The tagline for this park is: ‘Be embraced by history.' History can be a cold cuddle for some, but this unique spot is fair warmed by those long-ago efforts of Māori and Pākehā to live side by side. And they did it in style, each uniquely their own.
Tucked into the top of the Kerikeri Inlet, the park takes in Kororipo Pā and Rewa’s Village, which together give you immediate insight into how the locals lived before the British turned up with their glad tidings and their Twinings. While the Stone Store and Kemp House, both built nearly 200 years ago, give you an idea of the architectural achievements possible with some local stone and a tonne of labour.
This was a mission station and although such things can be contentious, this site had a more colourful history than most. It was a peaceful fishing village when the mission was established in 1819. Shortly thereafter, chief Hongi Hika launched his southern wars and the area became known as ‘The Inlet of War.’
The first casualty of war was the name, clearly.
There’s barely an echo of all that hostility now. Instead, it’s all about gathering up some of that history while you take in some scorching views of the inlet.
And get in amongst the buildings, too
Your old gran might’ve annoyed you with that phrase ‘they don’t make these things like they used to’, but one view of these old buildings and you’ll be inclined to agree with her. A first time for everything, eh?