It's taken me a couple of days to download my photos from a great weekend in the north. My friend Chris and I wandered many back roads and side roads, stopping whenever and wherever.
We probably spent more time in Kerikeri than anywhere else. It's always a pleasant place to linger. Chris was on the lookout for a specific material which she found at the old Stone Store, New Zealand's oldest standing European stone building. It was built in 1832 and has been trading as a general store since 1870s.
There's always something interesting to see inside the store, it has an amazing range of goods similar to those traded in the early 19th century, as well as a quirky range of New Zealand goods. I wish now I had purchased one of those thick wooden rulers when I was there. Next time. If I remember.
We gave the country's oldest surviving building, Kemp House. which stands next to the store a passing glance but didn't explore further as we have both done so in the past.
You'd think we were on a mission to visit historical places but we weren't. It's hard to avoid places of historic interest when driving around in the north. We didn't set out to visit the Mission House and church at Waimate North but noticed it as we approached and decided to call in. The Mission House is the only survivor of three mission houses founded in 1830 and is the second oldest house in NZ still standing. I didn't even get a photo that shows off its lovely, simple Georgian architecture. You know me, I was more interested in the church.
Between the Mission House and the church is a modest cottage which I think used to be the blacksmith's home.
I like the back story of this church. The original church (built in 1831) had to be
expanded to cope with the increasing number of worshipers that the
early missionaries converted to Christianity (from 2,000 to 35,000 in
four years). The church seated 400 and as there had been congregations
as large as 1,000 (in 1841), services were held in the churchyard.
good times did not last; the faithful declined as the Maori
congregation became disillusioned following the treaty war. In 1870,
when the church roof needed re-shingling, it was decided to pull it down
and build a smaller one from the same materials. I like the end