November 15th, 2008 – by: Rubbertoe
Next up along my drive up to Cape Reinga was the small town of Kerikeri, where you can visit New Zealandâ€™s oldest stone building, the Stone House (1835) next to the oldest wooden house, the Mission House (1822). These are part of the Kerikeri Mission Station, a Church Missionary Society settlement, set up as a trading post and granary to house the wheat harvest from the mission station farm at Te Waimate. The Stone store has been turned into a museum and for me it was worth a visit, because it has on display information and stories of the early settlers; it also includes a big collection of letters sent home by all those who lived in the house, and as I am a real nosey type I enjoyed a good half hour reading up on someone elseâ€™s business. I found the Mission House to be slightly less interesting; it is a home and it was occupied if I remember correctly up to the 1960s, with all the original furniture and features. Thereâ€™s an old piano in the living room which reminded me of mine, I wondered if my tenants were looking after it.
I carried on north along the coast and made one quick stop in the small town of Mangonui, to check out a garage sale advertised on the road. I was looking for a fishing rod, gas cooker, pots and pans, kitchen utensils and anything else cheap and useful. There was nothing there that caught my interest, but I did have a nice chat with the residents, these kiwis are really friendly people!