There are many things to do in Kerikeri being a part of the Bay of Islands which is filled with awesome tourism activities and attractions. Kerikeri has excellent historic attractions with New Zealand's oldest buildings, excellent outdoor things t... Show More
Tourist Information About Kerikeri
There are many things to do in Kerikeri being a part of the Bay of Islands which is filled with awesome tourism activities and attractions. Kerikeri has excellent historic attractions with New Zealand's oldest buildings, excellent outdoor things to do being in close proximity to many walking and biking trails and great local activities with a chocolate factory, wine trails, galleries and markets. Also plenty of things to do with the kids such as mini golf, a parrot place, horse trekking and more.
Kerikeri also has the more exciting things to do covered with skydiving and scuba diving activities right there and how about horse riding treks and lessons! Also a main attraction just 20 minutes away is the Waitangi Mountain bike park with bike trails and also the Twin Coast Cycle trail. Bike rentals are easily available for both biking activities.Things to do in the evenings in Kerikeri are visiting the restaurants, bars, Cathay Cinema and also The Centre which is a great attraction, with plenty more evening activities only 20 minutes away in the Bay of Islands tourism towns of Paihia and Russell.
Weekend things to do include the Kerikeri Old Packhouse Market, a great activity filled with fresh food, crafts, local attractions and produce open Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Kerikeri, is only a 35 minute flight with stunning New Zealand scenery from Auckland or a 3 hour drive. It has a beautiful sub-tropical climate and an interesting history with early European buildings still standing with the country's oldest house; Kemp Mission House, and New Zealand's oldest stone building; the Stone Store dating from 1832. Both attractions are right in Kerikeri and are excellent things to do with a guided tour options, being huge attractions for New Zealand tourism. These wonderful buildings are regarded as the "Cradle of the Nation".
Tourism Activities in Kerikeri
1. Visit Kerikeri Mission Station
Kerikeri’s top attraction is a short 5 minute walk from Kerikeri Township. The Kerikeri Mission Station is where two of the country’s oldest buildings can be visited. The Stone Store and Kemp House, beautiful attractions situated along a pretty riverside are one of New Zealand’s premier historic sites and a top tourism attraction. This Georgian-style Stone Store Built in 1832, was originally a Missionary Society warehouse but has been a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school over the years. Today it is a gift shop downstairs and a Museum upstairs. Kemp House completed in 1821–22 by missionary carpenters and Māori sawyers is still kept in its original state with tours available.
2. Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trial
Kerikeri is central to one of New Zealand’s “Great Rides” A top tourist attraction for the area, Aotearoa's most northern and only coast-to-coast cycle trail. An excellent thing to do for anyone who can ride a bike and wants to explore the local countryside! The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail attraction starts at Opua in the Bay of Islands and finishes at the historic Mangunu Mission House at Horeke in the Hokianga. The trail is split into four sections, an easy ride almost the entire way with the exception of the short intermediate section between Okaihau and Horeke. Break it into smaller day trip activities and ride it in either direction. The Cycle trail is free to use and you can hire excellent mountain bikes or e-bikes. The Twin Coast Cycle Trail will take you past glittering coast, a tranquil harbour, wetlands, native forest, rolling farmland and some significant heritage sites. Following a smooth rail trail, cycle paths, wetland boardwalk, suspension bridges and country roads, it is both relaxing and highly rewarding.
3. Indulge at Makana Confections!
For a truly delicious experience, visit Makana Confections Boutique chocolate factory – and right next door is the fully licenced Chocolate Café! Makana produce some of New Zealand's finest confections. Watch delicious chocolates, truffles, caramels and toffees being made by hand in the chocolate factory, and taste a few samples! The Makana Chocolate café attached, sells wonderful pastries, traditional Italian gelato, fine deserts, and also serve savouries and main meals all day. Makana Confections, are all made from high-quality ingredients in small batches creating the ultimate chocolate experience to indulge yourself with, and of course shop for gifts. Makana is well known and loved by all the locals and is one of Kerikeri’ s main tourist attractions and fun things to do for all ages.
4. Fabulous Wine Tasting, Trails and Tours
The Bay of Islands is the place where the first vines were planted in New Zealand, by the missionary, Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1819. This is the area that is the foundation of the New Zealand wine industry and produces many award winning wines. With its sub-tropical climate this is also the warmest growing region in New Zealand, making it uniquely suited to Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah, and many more varieties are successfully grown. Kerikeri has 6 local wineries; Ake Ake Vinyard is open 7 days a week, all year for wine tasting, and you can also enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner at the vineyard. Marsden Estate is open for tastings and lunch. A fun thing to do is to take a wine tour with arranged wine tasting and/or beer tasting and learn some of the vibrant history of the area. Craft Beer & Wine Tour; Wine Tasting & Scenic Adventure; Wine and Beer Tasting & Lunch Adventures
5. Experience Skydiving over the Bay of Islands
Kerikeri is one of the best places to go skydiving! This is one of the best things to do in the Far North, being the warmest part of New Zealand with a beautiful sub-tropical climate. Kerikeri is located in the Bay of Islands and the view from the air is spectacular! Tandem Sky Diving is an awesome activity where you can safely skydive with an experienced instructor for a pure adrenaline rush, reaching speeds of up to 200 km per hour! Experiencing the thrill of free fall is something you’ll never forget and skydiving over the stunning Bay of Islands with its 144 Islands and viewing the NZ coastline from the air is a bonus attraction in this area. Click here to book your Skydiving in the Bay of Islands experience and choose from 9,000 feet right up to 20,000 feet! This is a great activity for anyone looking for an adventure and incredible experience!
6. Go Horse Trekking through beaches and farmland
Kates Riding Centre is a top tourist attraction in Kerikeri with lots of things to do including short horse riding treks, Beach treks, farm treks, trekking weekends, lessons and summer pony camps for the kids in the beautiful Bay of Islands of New Zealand. Kates Horse riding centre caters to all abilities so previous experience is not necessary as horses and ponies have been chosen for their lovely nature, taking adults and children for both group and private trek activities or horse riding lessons. The activities take place on a large specialty farm with facilities that include a 100 x 60 metre sand all weather arena, a 20 x 32 metre square covered arena, a 20 metre round pen and a 2 km exercise track set on 466 acres of rolling farmland all in a beautiful setting for horse riding in the Bay of Islands.
7. Day in the Bay of Islands
20 minutes from Kerikeri is the tourist town Paihia, filled with tourism activities being the entrance to the Bay of Islands, also filled with things to do with its calm waters and 144 islands. There are some fantastic day trips out into the bay on a variety of boats. Xtreme Jet Bay of Islands is the Bay of Islands newest and fastest thrill ride with speeds of up to 80km/h! You can Discover the Bay on a larger tour boat with a stop at Otehei Bay to explore the island, swim at the sandy bay or enjoy a drink or lunch in the sun from a fully licensed café. A main attraction is the traditional Cream Trip and visiting the Hole in the Rock out at the entrance to the Bay of Islands, take a tall ship sailing adventure on the heritage ship R Tucker Thompson or go on an unforgettable adventure with Island Hopper Sailing Cruise
8. Learn to Dive go on a Dive trip
Kerikeri is central to the Bay of Islands and also the stunning Cavalli Islands! These are top dive locations for New Zealand filled with stunning reefs with prolific fish and plant life. This is an amazing world class attraction for divers from all over the world, and if you live in other parts of New Zealand it’s an absolute top activity in this area. If you don’t dive yet and have 4 days and want to try a whole new adventure activity, learn to dive with a PADI Open Water Course in one of New Zealand’s best diving locations. Northland has beautiful clear and warmer waters compared to the rest of New Zealand and this is a great thing to do even in mid-winter. If you are already a diver, there are two famous Wreck diving attractions to do in the area: the Rainbow Warrior Wreck Dive and the Canterbury Wreck Dive. Add the stunning reef dives at the Cavalli Islands and many beautiful dive sites in the Bay of Islands and this is a fantastic activity in the Far North of New Zealand!
Free Things to do in Kerikeri
1. Rainbow falls
One of Kerikeri's main attractions is the Rainbow Falls which is easily accessible with a short walk from the car park and beautifully surrounded by bush. There are walking tracks if you are looking for more things to do and there are three stunning viewing platforms. There is pram and wheelchair access from the car park and picnic area at the end of Rainbow Falls Road, or for an extra activity, you can walk up the riverside track from the Stone Store which is about 3.5 Kms. At the base of the 27-metre falls you'll find a popular swimming hole for confident swimmers and occasional kayakers.
2. Visit the Old Packhouse Market in weekends
On Saturday and Sunday mornings head to the Old Packhouse Market just outside Kerikeri. A fun thing to do with lots of different food, great coffee, fresh local produce, hand crafted specialty gifts, live entertainment with 100 local vendors! The Saturday market is all about Northland-made produce and products, while the Sunday market has some different attractions with additional stalls for fashion items and vintage treasures. There is an excellent in house bakery and the two cafés are open all week with warm open fireplaces in winter.
3. Browse Historic stone store
This is New Zealand's oldest stone building and another main attraction for Kerikeri and a top tourist activity for Northland. It is now operated as a shop and free to browse and wander around the pretty setting along the Kerikeri River. The Stone Store dates back to 1832 and was built as a storehouse for the neighbouring Kemp House which is also a top tourist activity being New Zealand’s oldest building, but there is a fee to enter. Designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales, the store was meant to house large quantities of wheat from the mission farm at Te Waimate. When the wheat failed, the building was used as a kauri gum trading store. There is also a museum upstairs with a small fee to enter this part. The building has had major conservation and renovation work and reopened for the public during 1998.
4. Kororipo Pā Historic Walk
Learn some Maori and European history and visit another top historic tourist attraction in Kerikeri with a 20 minute walk to the Kororipo Pā just 4Km from Kerikeri or park just 5 minutes away. The Kororipo Pa dates back before 1775 and was once the home of Hongi Hika, a famous fighting chief. Before European times, the terraced pa site was once a stockaded fortress. When the missionaries lived here in the early 1820's, it was the site of an unfortified village where some of Hongi Hika and Rewa's people lived. Access is near the Stone Store on 246 Kerikeri Road beside the Pear Tree Restaurant.
5. Kerikeri river track walk
Follow the bank of the Kerikeri River from the beautiful Rainbow Falls through regenerating forest for a relaxing short hiking activity. Along the way you’ll discover the remains of an historic power house and a second waterfall, the Wharepuke Falls. The track is a fun thing to do and well used by locals being very easy going and mostly downhill all the way to the Stone Store Basin. Beside the Stone Store you will find the lovely Honey Café for a refreshment before your return trip. The walk can be done in either direction with car parks either end and is 3.5Kms one way taking about 1hr 30 minutes.
6. Puketi Forest Walks and Hikes
A fabulous attraction just 20 minutes’ drive from the Kerikeri township is the beautiful Puketi Forest and all the great activities that are available with the many different length walking tracks and hikes. The most popular for tourists wanting a quick but stunning activity for all ages is the Manginangina Scenic Reserve. Here you will find a magnificent grove of kauri on one of Northland's few wheelchair accessible forest walks. The elevated wooden walkway protects the kauris' sensitive feeding roots, yet allows visitors to get 'up close' to the ancient trees of the Puketi Forest.
Things to do in Kerikeri when it's raining
1. Cathay Cinema Kerikeri
When you are on holiday, one of the best things to do on a rainy day is go to the movies. All the latest movies are in Kerikeri at the Cathay Cinema right in the centre of town. The cinema has three theatres, all with different movies playing and shows up to 15 movies per day. As an added attraction, keep an eye on what’s coming up as often there are special operas showing as well, with fresh recordings from the latest top operas all over the world. There is also an adjoining café and restaurant and there are ‘Movie and Meal’ deals!
2. Browse Art Galleries
If your looking for a great little gallery filled top local and national artists, visit The Little Black Gallery just out of Kerikeri township on the main road. You can spend quite a lot of time looking at all these hand crafted treasures including locally crafted jewellery, a wide variety of art, beautifully crafted ceramics, original handmade tableware, a great selection of local crafts and gifts both New Zealand made and some also sourced internationally. The Little Black Gallery will even wrap your gifts for you and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 4.00pm.
3. Tour the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Museum in Paihia
At The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is an easy 20-minute drive from Kerikeri and is one of New Zealand’s main attractions not to be missed being one of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a place where much of New Zealand's history was shaped through the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. There are plenty of things to do here with Waitangi’s contemporary museums, activities such as Māori cultural performances in an authentic Meeting House, informative guided tours, a carving studio, the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, and a pretty little café, all with stunning views over the Bay of Islands
4. Take a Wine Tasting or Scenic tour with a local tour guide
Go for an adventure with one of the local wine or scenic tours and be looked after and shown around by one of the local Northland tour guides. There is a Craft Beer and Wine Tour visiting two top local vineyards, a local brewery and a chocolate factory! A Wine Tasting & Scenic Adventure tour which can include Wine Tasting, Lunch at a Vineyard, Historic Buildings, Haruru Falls, Art & Crafts, Chocolate Factory and Honey tastings. There is also Wine and Beer Tasting & Lunch Adventures visiting three different local Kerikeri vineyards. Tastings can include wines, ports, liqueur, or ask about the Craft Beer Brewery or the local Cheese Factory.
5. Visit Kerikeri Mission Station
Kerikeri’s top attraction The Kerikeri Mission Station with two of the country’s oldest buildings can be visited when it’s raining as both buildings’ main attractions are indoors. The Stone Store and Kemp House are some of New Zealand’s premier historic sites and a top tourist attraction. This Georgian-style Stone Store Built in 1832, was originally a Missionary Society warehouse but has been a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school over the years. Today it is a gift shop downstairs and a Museum upstairs. Kemp House completed in 1821–22 by missionary carpenters and Māori sawyers is still kept in its original state with tours available. You can take a tour of Kemp House, browse downstairs in the Stone Store, and view the museum upstairs.
6. Visit Russell and go for an historic tour
Visit Romantic Russell by ferry from Paihia and take a guided tour of New Zealand's most historic town on-board a comfortable coach with Russell Mini Tours. Russell is steeped in history with a very interesting past. Bus tours depart regularly from Russell Wharf, spend a comfortable hour aboard our Mini Coaches and be taken back in time with the telling of stories going back to the earliest settlers whilst visiting places of significant historical interest around the Russell area not easily covered on foot. Discover why Russell has played such an important role in the history of New Zealand and why we locals love it so much. You can also visit Pompallier Mission and Printery and have lunch in the famous Duke of Marlborough Hotel.
7. Make Your Own Jewellery Activity in Russell
While in Russell, a perfect indoors activity for a rainy day if you feel like being creative and learning fun new skills with a local artist. You can take home your creations from these Jewellery Workshops which are available year round with a local artist Tui Slater helping you learn something new! Small private groups of up to four ensure you have all the attention you deserve. Ideal as a bonding activity for families or businesses, wedding party leadup activities, or something to do that doesn’t involve a boat, fishing or walking. Can be booked by solo travellers or a group of four friends or family.
Fun things to do with kids & Children's Activities in Kerikeri
1. Kerikeri Mini Golf
For a fun activity that is great for all ages including smaller children and grandparents and right in town is Kerikeri Mini Golf . An 18 hole mini golf activity that is located right by Rainbow Falls. This is great affordable fun for all the family, beautifully landscaped with a picnic area and seating available where you can bring your own lunch and you can buy an ice cream from the Kerikeri Mini Golf shop. Kerikeri Mini Golf course is a challenge to the better golfer yet easily played by novices and children. Adults are $10, Children $8, and family rates with two adults and two kids $30. Kerikeri Mini Golf is open from 10am to 5pm, 7 days per week during all school holidays and summer months, and in the winter months (April – November) Thursday to Sunday only. Being located right by Rainbow Falls is an added attraction as just over the road is the car park where you can make a stop to visit Rainbow Falls and view right beside the car park, or walk part or all of the track
2. Kates Horse Riding
For an activity that is only an hour and a half or a whole day – or even several days with one of their camps, visit Kates Riding Centre in Kerikeri which has of things to do for kids of all ages. Activities include short horse riding treks, leaded pony rides for the little ones, longer beach treks, farm treks, trekking weekends, and even lessons and summer pony camps for the kids in the beautiful Bay of Islands of New Zealand. Kates Horse riding centre caters to all abilities so previous experience is not necessary as horses and ponies have been chosen for their lovely nature, taking adults and children for both group and private trek activities or horse riding lessons. The activities take place on a large specialty farm with facilities that include a 100 x 60 metre sand all weather arena, a 20 x 32 metre square covered arena, a 20 metre round pen and a 2 km exercise track set on 466 acres of rolling farmland all in a beautiful setting for horse riding in the Bay of Islands.
3. Hire an electric boat and explore the beautiful Kerikeri River.
This is a great family thing to do with no boating experience required. Take the kids on one of New Zealand’s first electric boats for hire in the sheltered Kerikeri River and/or the historic Stone Store basin. Silent electric propulsion allows you to relax, get up close to wildlife while exploring the winding river amongst interesting boats, historic landmarks and scenery. Around every bend in the river a new vista opens up. A range of different sizes and types of boats to suit couples, families, corporate groups and elderly people. Large groups can take multiple boats. From one hour to seven hours to relax and explore our beautiful river.
4. Ride the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park
Take a day (or more) and come and enjoy the World-Class Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. Hire a bike and catch the shuttle for downhill thrills at the huge Waitangi bike park with trails for all abilities. The shuttle service runs on weekends and school holidays. The Waitangi Mountain Bike Park provides the perfect introduction to mountain biking with lots of easy, scenic trails that you can take at your own pace. It currently offers over 20 trails (50km) of varying difficulty with great flow and features, from introductory downhill riding, jump trails, cross country, beginner trails and loads of tracks for the experts too.
5. Parasailing in the Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands Parasail has New Zealand's highest parasailing at 1300ft over the stunning Bay of Islands. With specially designed boats for this amazing activity to make it safe and easy to catch the wind, a fun thing to do and incredible way to see the Bay of Islands from the air. Bay of Islands Parasail has 20 years of experience and a perfect safety record, take-off and landing is easy, fun and safe. Suitable for all ages as no physical restrictions. For extra fun in summer we can dip your toes into the water during your parasail, but there is no getting wet unless you want to! There are tandem and triple flights available all with insane views over the Bay of Islands.
6. Visit the Firehouse Museum and Pioneer Village in Kaikohe
For a fun thing to do with the kids, take a 25 minute drive through rural farmland to Kaikohe and you can have a fun adventure into the past at two different types of museums. Pioneer Village is an amazing thing to do with the kids as it is mostly an outside activity being a reconstructed historic village with an extensive collection of heritage buildings, machinery, artefacts and displays. Stroll through the village at your leisure or book a guided tour. Just down the road is the Firehouse Museum with displays from the first Hand Cart to the Modern Engine and everything in between. Models of progression, throughout the years in New Zealand and around the World. Uniforms, Badges, Helmets, Equipment and Full Size Engines on Display.
7. Bay of Islands Vintage Railway!
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is a family friendly vintage railway train ride experience. The oldest railway in the North Island of New Zealand, and the only one to go along a main street of a town in NZ. The vintage train will take you for a ride to visit the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere in Taumarere. The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway station for departure is located in Kawakawa just 25 minutes from Kerikeri which is also famous for the Hundertwasser public Toilets! The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is a fun activity with trains departing 4 times daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday all year; and every day in school holidays (except Christmas Day).