Being a “visitor” to your own town: Kerikeri

Many of our weekends are spent 3 hours north of Auckland in Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands where we intend to move permanently on our return from our next travel adventure.

The last post covered a recent excursion into Auckland as a “visitor” rather than a commuter so this time I though I should grab the camera and pay more attention to the surroundings that we take for granted during our morning exercise around Kerikeri. Doing that made me appreciate the beauty of the place that usually passes rapidly by in a blur (well I like to think I am going that fast) during those regular walks.

Part of the walk is roadside but you are very soon in a rural surrounding with little traffic, just the kiwifruit, the tui, the odd chook, horse or cow and even an occasional friendly human also out for their morning exercise.

The walk takes us through a rural area that look more English than kiwi
The walk takes us through a rural area that look more English than kiwi

You then leave the roads and follow tracks which lead us to the historic landing with the old mission station and stone store. One of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand and the site of historic Maori settlements.

Kerikeri Eucalyptus trees
A large open “dell” is surrounded by large Eucalyptus trees.
Kerikeri inlet
The Mission Station and Stone Store stand at the head of the Kerikeri inlet at the mouth of the Kerikeri river. Kerikeri means dig dig.
Kerikeri inlet and landing
The Landing in front of the Stone cottage has had a significant facelift in recent months.
Stone Store Kerikeri
The Stone Store at the landing

From the landing you cross the river and then follow the river track, we only follow it half of the full length before heading back towards home but you can continue through the bush to the second and much higher waterfall (Rainbow falls). Our walk takes us past the smaller Wharapuke falls that in late summer had reduced to a bit of a trickle. Best viewed when a lot more water is going down the river.

Water Lily
The track takes you between the river and a dark water lily covered pond.
Kerikeri River
The kids messing around riverside brought back old memories.
Wharapuke Falls, Kerikeri
The river side part of the walk is very pleasant.
The riverside path has plenty of shade and old volcanic lava flows.
The riverside path has plenty of shade and old volcanic lava flows.
Riverside walk Kerikeri
With regular glimpses of the river through the native bush you easily forget that you are in the town.

Finally we divert from the riverside path and head through the town which has more of a village feel. Unfortunately like most New Zealand towns it is “polluted” by the belief that cars should take precedent over people. I guess one day we will figure out that if you take the cars out of the center of town you actually can create a fabulous urban environment. Imagine sipping that flat white coffee without the fumes and noise.

Kerikeri town
There are plenty of pleasant places in the Village where you can join the “village people” for your favourite brew of coffee, tea or whatever

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