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Decades ago, the general perception was that Kerikeri was known for growing oranges and kiwifruit, and only oranges and kiwifruit. How vastly different this town is today...Yes they still grow oranges, but Kerikeri is really emerging as an epicurean mecca for those in search of life’s more indulgent moments.
The weekly Farmers Markets' are a definite highlight, so make sure your trip to Kerikeri includes a Sunday. Fresh vegetables (some organic), fruit (many seasonal and sub-tropical varieties), fresh fish, organic meat, locally grown wines, and ooh the gourmet cheese! The stall holders are really friendly, and you can sample your way around the market trying some of the produce. If you’re still hungry then there’s plenty of hot food and coffee ‘to go’...Local musicians playing a variety of styles of music add to the ambiance of the market. That’s your Sunday morning sorted.
Moving away from gastronomic delights... visit some of the many the studios and hideaways of the many talented artists who live in this corner of the world, featuring paintings, ceramics, native wood craft, and natural skincare products.
Kerikeri is fast becoming the boutique shopping destination. Designer clothing and home decor stores are offering up-market international brands along with complementary local designs catering for all styles. Kerikeri has two large supermarkets, and you’ll be pushed to find something you can’t buy in and around the town.
If you are an early riser, start your day just before dawn at the Puketi Forest, where hundreds of native birds gather to sing in the day. Sunset walks to the Rainbow Falls or a dip in the Fairy Pools would be a great way to fill in the afternoon.
On a historical note, Kerikeri has the country's oldest house (1821), and the oldest stone building (1832), which are located in the Kerikeri basin. This delightful setting can be enjoyed while dining at a restaurant which is believed to have the oldest fruit (pear) tree in New Zealand (1819)
Just a wee bit famous: Kerikeri is a former winner of the "New Zealand's Top Small Town" title bestowed by North and South magazine.
Kerikeri: Just over 3 hours drive from Auckland, on New Zealand's East coast
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