In a picture-perfect setting in the Bay of Islands one of New Zealand’s premier historic sites preserves the stories of tumultuous times when Māori met missionaries and life was changed forever.
Stone Store – Built in 1832, the Georgian-style Stone Store was originally a Missionary Society warehouse but assumed various roles including a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school. It also served as a general store, a tradition that continues today in the atmospheric ground-floor gift shop. A browser’s delight, the shop stocks an amazing range of authentic goods reminiscent of those traded in the early 19th century, alongside unique New Zealand merchandise. Museum displays can be viewed upstairs.
Kemp House – Set behind the Stone Store is New Zealand’s oldest building, Kemp House. Completed in 1821–22 by missionary carpenters and Māori sawyers, Kemp House is a family home of simple, Georgian design. It has changed little over time, despite bearing witness to many historically significant events, as shared by our guides on fascinating tours of the building.
Heritage gardens and orchards – Cultivated over the past 200 years and New Zealand’s oldest European garden, the Mission’s award-winning heritage garden and orchards are a wonderful place for a picnic or walk, with a self-guided Garden Tour also available.
Don’t miss St James Church, surrounded by a tranquil graveyard, across the road. Māori pā and village It is a short stroll uphill to Kororipo Pā, an ancient, fortified hill settlement once home to the Mission’s Māori protector, Hongi Hika, and the stronghold of his powerful Ngāpuhi iwi (tribe).
Nearby is Rewa’s Village, a full-scale replica of a Māori fishing village and native plant garden.