Kororipo Heritage Park. © Claudia Babirat.

Tohu Whenua: Kororipo Heritage Park


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Kororipo Heritage Park in Kerikeri is one of Aotearoa’s most important historic sites. This is where Māori and Europeans lived side by side and where some of the most important early meetings between our two cultures took place. 

Incredibly picturesque and jam-packed with heritage experiences that span over 500 years of our country’s history, set aside at least half a day to experience the park’s many highlights.

Explore Kororipo Pā which was built as a strategic site for northern Māori. 200 years ago the pā was the headquarters of Ngāpuhi chief Hongi Hika, a skilled leader in war and trade. A short track leads to a fortified lookout and stunning view over the Kerikeri Basin.

Take a guided or self-guided tour at Te Ahureato experience pre-European life in a reconstructed and interactive Māori pā. Enjoy the native birdsong as you stroll past reconstructed Māori buildings and learn about medicinal plants in the rongoā garden.

Visit Kerikeri Mission Station which was established by the Church Missionary Society in 1819 under the protection of chief Hongi Hika who was keen to harness the trade and technology of Europe. The settlement that was built became the place where Māori and Europeans came to trade, talk and learn from each other. 

At the heart of the Mission Station are two of the country’s oldest buildings, Kemp House and the Stone Store. Join experienced guides on a tour of Kemp House to hear stories of fierce warriors, drunken sailors, and earnest missionaries who endeavoured to spread the Christian message amongst Māori, a proud people with their own ancient traditions. Shop for quirky gifts and check out the small museum at the Stone Store, our country’s oldest trading store. Then have lunch at the award-winning Honey House Café located in a European heritage garden which features our country’s oldest pear tree.

Kororipo Heritage Park is recognised as a Tohu Whenua, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best heritage experiences. The park is proudly cared for in partnership by The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Te Ahurea.

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