The best way to explain the allure of Kerikeri in the Northland of New Zealand is to show you.
The view as you drive through the Northland changes from water and natural landscapes to cultivated agriculture and forest. Punctuated by thick forest. There are small villages dotted throughout.
We left Omapere and stopped at the market for a flat white. Before we knew it we were in Kerikeri. UK Sarah drove straight to the historic mission house and storehouse. The Kemp House and Stone Store are some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. Beautifully maintained and curated, they are fascinating. They look out on this cove and it was hard to remember that the earliest missionaries would have felt their isolation from home much more keenly than we do today. They might not have found this place as idyllic as I do.
We stopped at The Pear Tree for lunch. It is right next door to the Storehouse and offers the most relaxing outdoor space for dining. The food was good and we enjoyed talking to the young man who waited on us and then brought out our lunch.
These two signs epitomize the Kiwi outlook for me. A wry sense of humor, a spirit of adventure and more.
It is hard not to think the missionaries had it really great. Who would not want to live in this house on this cove today?
As museums go, the Storehouse has some really terrific exhibits that explain the early history of European settlement. The gift store on the ground floor is really cool too. I admit sometimes I spend more time in the gift shop than I do the museum. This time the exhibits fascinated even more.