Northland, New Zealand
Interesting things to do in KERIKERI
Yes! The historical Kerikeri Stone Store is a very interesting historical landmark, but one of the most interesting things to do in Kerikeri is to hike one of the walking tracks that feature five stunning waterfalls?
FIVE STUNNING WATERFALL WALKS!
The walks are all located on three different walking tracks within walking distance of Kerikeri town. If you are driving through Kerikeri on your road trip north, make Kerikeri a stopping point and do at least one of the waterfall walks, or better still stay for a few days and do all five waterfall walks and check out some of the other interesting things to do in Kerikeri .
Map -Thanks- Kerikeri Directory
1. Rainbow Falls & Wharepuke Falls
2. Rainbow Falls- quick access
3. Te Wairere Falls & Secret Waterfall
RAINBOW FALLS & WHAREPUKE FALLS
Option 1- Via Kerikeri River Track
About 4 km -1 hour 30 min each way
Start at the Stone Store or Rainbow Falls Carpark
The Kerikeri River Track starts in the Kerikeri Basin Reserve opposite the Stone Store and ends at the Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri. You can walk the track in either direction. It is a well-formed track and is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The walk is a very pleasant, shady, riverside walk and goes through stands of native trees and vegetation.
On the way, you will pass by an historic powerhouse that was built in the 1930s and was used until 1967. It was built to meet the expectations of the new settlers’ wives, who, when they discovered that there would be no servants available, insisted they would not move to Kerikeri unless they had electricity to help with domestic chores!
Before you reach the first waterfall you will notice some interesting basalt lava rock formations on the sides of the path. About 20 to 30 minutes along the track you will come to the Wharepuke Falls with its popular swimming hole at the base .
About ten minutes past the Wharepuke Falls the track goes under the busy Heritage Bypass Road and you will come to a seating area overlooking the Fairy Falls. Finally, you will come to the magnificent 27 meter Rainbow Falls.
RAINBOW FALLS, Kerikeri
Option 2- quick access route
Rainbow Falls Carpark in Rainbow Falls Road.
A ten minute walk (maximum)
If you’re limited for time and would like to take a quick look at the Rainbow Falls, drive along Waipapa Road to Rainbow Falls Road. Park in the car park and follow the signs in the car park that will direct you to the right, about a minute walk to the upper lookout or to the left about a ten-minute walk to the lower lookout points and the base of the waterfall. You will be able to get an excellent view from either of these locations of the 27 metre Rainbow Falls.
Next to the car park is the Rainbow Falls Tea House in a 1920’s villa, where you can enjoy delicious Devonshire Teas and light lunches and morning and afternoon teas while relaxing on the verandah in the garden.
Rainbow Falls Tea Rooms
TE WAIRERE WATERFALL & SECRET WATERFALL
Via TE WAIRERE WATERFALL TRACK
Start at Stone Store car park
About an hour return
From the 1920s to the 1950s the Te Wairere Waterfall, also known as the Wairoa Stream Waterfall, was a very popular picnic spot and swimming hole for the locals. However, over the next 60 years or so access was lost due to residential development and the track became totally overgrown with weeds. In 2006 the Vision Kerikeri group started lobbying to get the track reopened. They managed to negotiate some track access with the private landowners and made new tracks to reach the waterfall. In 2017 the new track opened and is still maintained by the volunteers from Vision Kerikeri, Friends of Wairoa Stream and Rotary.
It is about a one-hour return walk from the Stone Store car park. Initially, you walk through the carved columns, cross the field and then walk upstream following the orange triangle markers. The track scrambles through tree roots and rocks in places and has quite a steep section alongside the Te Wairere waterfall so good walking shoes are required. It’s an interesting walk through some beautiful bush and swimming holes and passes two waterfalls- the Te Wairere Waterfall and the Secret Waterfall. Along the track many of the plants and trees have signs attached to explain what they are. There is a new footbridge over the Wairoa stream. The track is not suitable for pushchairs.
Te Wairere Waterfall
CHARLIE’S ROCK WATERFALL & SWIMMING HOLE
Start at Landing Road
next to Cherry Tree Croquet Club
2o minutes walk (one way)
Charlie’s Rock is a pretty waterfall with fascinating basalt rock formations and a very popular swimming hole for the locals in summer. The falls are about 4 meters high with a large rock above them that acts as a jumping-off platform into the deep pool below.
The biggest challenge is finding the start of the track that leads to the falls! If you are walking from the Stone Store cross over the footbridge in front of the stone store and walk up Landing Road until you reach the Cherry Tree Croquet Club on the left. The track starts on the left of the club and follows alongside the club boundary.
The track wanders alongside the Waipapa stream and can be muddy and some sections are quite rocky especially towards the end. It is not suitable for pushchairs. The walk takes ten to twenty minutes.
And while you’re in Kerikeri …..
check out these interesting places to go and things to see and do…..
Rewa’s Village by Hayley Moore (Flickr)
The Stone Store by Wendy Schotsmans (Wikipedia)
PLACES TO SEE OF HISTORICAL INTEREST-
- Kerikeri Mission Station (Kemp House- New Zealand’s oldest building) & the Stone Store
- Kororipo Pa -A short easy walk from the Stone Store, in the footsteps of chief Hongi Hika and early missionaries to Kororipo Pā.
- Rewa’s Village-Te Pa Kainga O Rewa- Te Ahurea- A full-scale reconstruction of a Maori village
THINGS TO DO
- Kiwi spotting on Aroha Island Eco Park.
- Cycle Trail- The Twin Coast Cycle Trail from the Bay Of Islands to Hokianga Harbour.
- Manginangina Kauri Walk in the Puketi Forest- a short walk (30 minutes) through beautiful native bush to impressive stands of Kauri trees.
- The Parrot Place- 300 birds from all over the world
Manginangina Kauri Walk
- The Saturday and Sunday Packhouse Markets
- The Sunday Farmers Market in the Post Office Carpark
Kerikeri Markets by Laurabl (flickr)
WHERE TO EAT?
- The Plough & Feather by the Stone Store- we had the best fish and chip meal here!
- Rainbow Falls Tea House– for delicious Devonshire teas and sandwiches and cakes
- Makana- Boutique Chocolate Factory and Cafe– Iced Chocolate drinks made with real chocolate!
- The Old Packhouse Cafe and Store- Great coffee and fresh breads and pastries and pies and cakes.
- The Rusty Tractor- a favourite with families.
- Fresh blueberry icecreams at Blue River Orchard.