Two of the oldest buildings in all of New Zealand are located right in the town where we stayed in Northland, Kerikeri. The Stone Store is the oldest stone building, and Mission House (also known as Kemp House, after the family who lived in it for over a century) is the oldest wooden structure. Because it was late in the day when we visited these two buildings, we didn’t get to see inside Mission House, but it is a beautiful villa.
The Stone Store is still a store, selling various old-timey stuff as well as a few modern day souvenirs. It is fascinating (and free) to wander through its two rooms to see what they have on offer. This building was originally built as both store and storage for the original New Zealand mission at Kerikeri. However, by the time it was completed, the centre of commerce had moved elsewhere. The building fell into disuse for awhile but has been wonderfully restored to its original, other than a few changes, such as the wooden belfry and iron fittings being removed.
To tour Mission House will cost you $10 (about $8 US), with half hour tours being given at the top of each hour (when enough people desire the tour). The house has also been restored somewhat, so that it was difficult at first for me to see that it was really over 190 years old. The lawns around the two structures are well maintained, and there is a pedestrian bridge nearby by which you can walk to the Rewa Maori Village (which is well worth a visit and the $2 donation).
These two buildings, along with St. James Church, are located at the end of a road in Kerikeri; just follow the signs. This road used to cross a bridge located here, but because these historic buildings were suffering from the traffic, the road was rerouted to a much larger bridge upstream and this bridge removed. This historic area is well worth a visit, and you should plan to arrive early enough to see all you want to see before the closing time of 4:30. There is also a pa (Maori fort) downstream along a short path from the small car park (parking lot).