It’s an enchanting scene: a sleepy Northland river basin, where two of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest buildings, one made of stone, one of timber, sit nestled on the riverbank, with a heritage orchard and cottage garden flowerbeds. Peel back 200 years of history, however, and the site of the Kerikeri Mission Station turns out to be anything but tranquil.
10.00am - 5.00pm ( Nov- April )
10:00am - 4:00pm ( May -Oct )
Closed Christmas Day. Closed on Anzac Day (25 April) until 1.00pm.
Summer Tours: - Available from 10:30am until 4:00pm (subject to availability). Winter Tours: - Available from 10:30am until 2:30pm (subject to availability)
Adult Guided Tour/Museum $20.00
Adult Garden Self-Guided $10.00
Under 18 years Free
* Surcharges may apply for special events
Kerikeri Mission Station is idenitified as a Tohu Whenua heritage site. Tohu Whenua are the places that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand. Located in stunning landscapes and rich with stories, they offer some of our best heritage experiences. See more on the Tohu Whenua website.
Kerikeri Mission Station comprises the Stone Store, Kemp House and Honey House Café. It has shell paths throughout. This can make it difficult for wheelchairs and those with mobility issues to navigate the grounds. However, the Honey House Café is accessible and if your wheelchair has a suitable set-up, you can access the gardens. Please read on for full details.
The Stone Store is a three-storey building with steps up to the entry and two stairways inside. The floor is an uneven basalt rock floor. The second and third floors may not be suitable for people with mobility issues due to the steep angle of the stairs between floors. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access to the Stone Store. There is a drop-off point in front of the Stone Store for visitors with limited mobility.
Kemp House is a two-storey building with steps up to the entry. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access to Kemp House. If you would like to attend the introduction to the guided tour of Kemp House, our visitor hosts can share the history of our site with you from under the shade of the historic tree in our grounds.
The Honey House Café has wheelchair access through the main entrance. At times during bad weather this may be partially closed. Contact our staff to open it.
There are accessible toilets located in the Honey House Café that service the whole station. These can be accessed through the café. Alternatively, if you have a wheelchair that can navigate shell paths and uneven surfaces it can be accessed by following the path behind Kemp House. Another accessible toilet is available in the DOC Kerikeri Road carpark.
There are benches located in the garden for those who require outdoor seating navigating between buildings.
Food and Drink
Situated in the grounds of Kerikeri Mission Station, the Honey House Café offers a selection of freshly baked goods, lunch options such as, quiche, sandwiches and salads, as well as pies and sausage rolls. Produce from our heritage garden and orchard are used to produce our kai/food. A range of coffee, tea, cold drinks and ice creams are also available. Gluten free and vegan options are available.
This is a smoke and vape free site.
Tuesday - Saturday | 9.00am – 3.00pm
Check out The Honey House Cafe for more details
How many European gardens in Aotearoa New Zealand can boast that they have been continuously cultivated for more than 200 years? Kerikeri Mission Station can! First cultivated by Ngāphui iwi (local Māori people) with crops of kūmara (sweet potato), potato, yam, taro and aruhe (fern), the garden has evolved over time, but the layers of history are revealed as you explore the grounds. Discover millstones from the 1820s, the site of the first grape vines planted in Aotearoa New Zealand, a 100-year-old Mulberry tree, and a well-kept gorse hedge, just some of the surprising elements to this garden. Visit the Stone Store to purchase a garden guide.
Children and whānau
Both inside and out, there are plenty of things for kids to do.
The Store has lots to see and do including interactive story telling in the museum.
Kemp House is a bit more fragile – it is Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest Pākehā/European building after all – needs to be treated gently but still has lots to explore.
Outside, there is plenty of space to stretch little legs, orchards and gardens to roam, a brass rubbing trail, explore in nature and even make friends with some of the local ducks and geese. Pick up a brass rubbing activity pack from the Stone Store.
We have baby change facilities available.
Things to remember
We care for some important taonga (treasures) in our collection and our heritage buildings have lived a long life, so some rooms or items in the house may be off limits at times for conservation and maintenance.
Some rooms may be dimly lit depending on the weather and time of year.
We ask all visitors to please remove your shoes before entry to Kemp House so we can continue to maintain the 200-year-old building.
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is proud to be part of the Safe Space Alliance, offering safe and inclusive spaces that welcome and support the LGBTQI+ community.
A safe space is a space where the LGBTQI+ community can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that doesn’t tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards the LGBTQI+ community.
In 2000, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga staff discovered a pair of historic writing slates beneath Kemp House at Kerikeri Mission Station.
On one slate was a name and age: Rongo Hongi, 16.
Born in 1815, Rongo (later known as Hariata) was a rangatira of significant mana who was involved in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Northern War and several other key events of the nineteenth century.
Discover Rongo's story via our new digital experience.
Not sure where to start?
We've created a great Northland heritage adventure to get you started on your heritage journey.
Photo: Darryl Ward