Visiting the Kerikeri Mission house and Stone Store was one of the highlights of our Northland and Bay of Islands road-trip.
I love historical buildings and artifacts and especially love to hear the stories of people who lived and worked in these historic buildings.
We first visited the Mission Station in the evening of Day 5, when everything was closed. There is plenty to look at around the buildings with their picture perfect location next to the river.The morning of Day 6 before heading to Russell we decided to pop back to have a quick look inside the Stone Store and we were so glad we did.
I didn’t know there was a museum upstairs in the Stone Store until I overheard others asking about it (cost of $8 per adult, kids under 18 free) then I heard talk of a tour of Kemp House (only $10 per adult, kids under 18 free and it includes access to the Stone Store museum!) so I immediately booked in for the next tour.Our tour guide was excellent. She was so knowledgeable and shared a great deal of interesting facts and information about the history of the site, relationship between the local Maori and Missionaries and details about how they lived their lives. Our children found the tour informative and the guide did a great job engaging the kids and letting them try writing on slates which they really enjoyed. We were able to go upstairs in Kemp House and view all the different rooms. The kids had fun imagining how a family with 15 children fitted in to the place!
After the tour of Kemp House we were free to explore the museum on the 2nd and attic floors of the Stone Store.
Walking in to the Stone Store was almost like going back in time. The staff wear period costumes and the store sells a huge variety of authentic frontier goods just as it would have many years ago. You feel like you’re looking at museum displays but most of it is really cool early pioneer type items for sale! I’m so glad we went back. The tour of Kemp House and entry to the Stone Store Museum was well worth the very low cost.
I’m already dreaming about a future holiday in Kerikeri and going back to spend a whole day at the old Mission Station.