Pakaraka, Kerikeri, Stone Store, Kemp House, Waimate Mission
This trip starts at the Rawene Road junction with SH 12.
Drive Eastward on SH 12 through Waima, Taheke, Kaikohe and Ohaeawai to SH 1. Head south to Pakaraka. On the right hand side of the road you will see Holy Trinity church. The small cemetery is well worth exploring.
From Pakaraka drive a further 1 km to the junction of SH 10 with SH 1 and turn left. Shortly after the junction you will see signs and a drive on your right leading to a small cheese making business. Well worth a visit if you fancy a bit of cheese.
At Puketona Junction keep straight ahead and you will come to the outskirts of Kerikeri. You will find several fine wineries in the district and many stalls selling fresh fruit. When you come to a roundabout, turn right into Kerikeri Road, which will take you to the town centre.
If you carry on through the town area you will be led down to the waters of the Kerikeri inlet. On one side of the inlet is the Stone Store, the oldest stone building in New Zealand and beside the store is Kemp House, the oldest occupied European house in New Zealand. Both historic buildings are administered by the NZ Historic Places Trust and are open to the public from 10.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. from November until April and from May to October they close at 4.00 p.m.
Across the bridge on the other side of the inlet is Rewa’s Pa, which is a full-scale reconstruction of a Maori village which recaptures the atmosphere of the average kainga in pre-European times. Traditionally each sub-tribe built a pa (fortified village) on a hilltop or some other easily defended position. In contrast, the kainga (unfortified village) was a temporary arrangement built close to the kumara fields or to other sources of food. In times of peace most would live in the kainga, but in times of danger would desert the kainga for the greater safety of the more permanent pa.
If you go back to the SH10 roundabout and this time drive straight ahead, you will pass Kerikeri Airport and come to a road junction. Turn left into Waimate Road and carry on until you come to Waimate North, where you will find the Waimate Mission House. It is owned by the NZ Historic Places Trust and is open to the public. It was very involved in the troubled times during the Northern conflict. Officers who fell in the Ohaeawai battle of 1845 are buried in the churchyard of the church of St. John the Baptist.
From Waimate North, take Te Ahu Ahu road back to SH 1. Turn left and at Ohaeawai turn right onto SH 12. Just out of Ohaeawai a sign on your right points to historic St. Michael’s church, which is built on the pa site where the battle was fought.
Stay on SH 12 to Kaikohe. At the west end of the town turn right into Orrs Road and then into Monument Road, the third on your left, which will bring you to the Hone Heke Memorial Reserve. This is not the Hone Heke of the Russell flagstaff fame, but the First Maori Member of Parliament. The hilltop gives a wide view over the land between the coasts.
Continue on SH 12 and back to the Hokianga.