Kerikeri, the largest town in the Bay of Islands area, has a long, colourful history. The area was home to, fearsome Maori chief, Hongi Hika, who terrorised many North island tribes in the early 1800s. Yet he was kind to missionaries, allowing Samuel Marsden to establish New Zealand’s second mission station.

The Kerikeri Mission Station, also known as Kemp House, is New Zealand’s oldest standing European building. Built to house the Reverend John Butler in 1821.

Nearby is the Stone Store, which dates back to 1832 and is New Zealand’s oldest stone building. It was designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales. 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.