While visiting the Bay of Islands, you have two main home-base options. Choose the thriving tourist center of Paihia as a jumping-off point for most cruises and outdoor activities—or the quaint, quieter seaside village of Russell. Here’s how to make the most of a 3-day stay.
246, Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, 0239
The Stone Store sits on the banks of the Kerikeri River, part of the 19th-century Kerikeri Mission Station alongside Kemp House, New Zealand’s oldest building. The Mission Station was built with the blessing of local Maori chiefs and soon became a pivotal location in the European colonization of New Zealand—a place where missionaries spread the word of God, Maori visited to trade, and whalers drank themselves under the table.
At the Stone Store today, exhibits tell the history of the store and the Kerikeri region. Kids can discover the life they might have had in the 19th century with the hands-on Children’s Chores Tour, held at 11am daily from December to February. Year-round, daily guided tours of the Mission Station—the only way to see inside the nearby Kemp House—start at the store. The Stone Store is a popular stop on sightseeing tours in the Kerikeri and wider Northland region.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Stone Store and Kemp House are ideal for history buffs, heritage lovers, and families with children.
Mission Station is also home to New Zealand’s oldest European garden, which you can explore at any time, free of charge.
You can purchase local goods and souvenirs in the store’s charming gift shop.
The Honey House Café near the Mission Station offers lunch items and coffee.
Because of their heritage status, neither the Stone Store nor Kemp House is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Mission Station isn’t far from the center of Kerikeri, just a short walk or drive north on Kerikeri Road. From Paihia, follow State Highway 11 north, turn left at State Highway 10, turn right onto Kerikeri Road, and follow it all the way to the end.
When to Get There
The store is open daily from 10am to 4pm May through October and until 5pm November through April. It’s best to join a guided tour, which run more frequently between in the warmer months; check the website for tour schedules. If you visit during the summer, you can enjoy the Kerikeri sun as you walk between the buildings and around the heritage garden.
Experience Maori Heritage near the Stone Store
The Stone Store is located in Kororipo Heritage Park, which is home to a few ancient Maori landmarks. The ancient Kororipo Pā, a Maori settlement that was home to the powerful chief Hongi Hika, is a short walk along the riverbank. Across the river is Rewa’s Village, a full-scale re-creation of a precolonial Maori fishing village.