Northland: Kerikeri

sculpture, Wharepuke Gardens
sculpture, Wharepuke Gardens

We had such a nice time in Kerikeri last Labour Day that we decided to do the same thing this year. To avoid the holiday traffic we left Auckland on Thursday evening. After an hour we stopped for Kebabs and continued north to our destination. We were lucky to get unit 5 again.

Now that we have our own car and bicycles we were able to stick with our triathlon training throughout the weekend. On Friday we biked around town. The community swimming pool opened for the season on Saturday. We went for a run and arrived at the pool. The atmosphere was sombre compared to the Memorial Day celebrations I remember from my swim club growing up. It was just as well we were the only ones there because without lane lines set up it may have been difficult to swim laps with others playing in the pool. The water was a cool 64 degrees. We returned the next day for another workout and jumps off the high dives.

img_2280We also did a couple of nature walks. One at Puketi Forest with beautiful kauri trees. It was an easy 40-minute tramp with signage identifying the different vegetation. This is also the start of the Waipapa River Track and the 14-hour Forest Pools trek that we might want to do in the future.

The walk around tiny Aroha Island was relatively flat with magnificent views. The island offers beachfront camping with access to swimming and kayaking in the crystal clear Kerikeri Inlet. It would be worth spending the night for a chance to see a resident kiwi.

We left Kerikeri early and stopped in Whangarei. By the time we got back on the road the holiday traffic had begun. That was the unofficial end to a fabulous weekend.

Dates: 20-24 October 2016 (Labour Day Weekend)
Travel with: Allen
Weather: mostly dry with plenty of sun, 50-70s
Accommodation: Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens, unit 5

sculpture, Wharepuke Gardens
sculpture, Wharepuke Gardens


  • Swimming at Kerikeri Community Outdoor Pool. It was opening weekend; outdoor pool was a cold 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18C). We were the only people there Saturday and Sunday so didn’t have to share the pool during our training swims.
  • Biking around Kerikeri
  • Makana Chocolate – watching it being made and then sampling their delicious creations
  • Old Packhouse Market – food and shopping on their 2nd anniversary
  • Puketi Forest Nature Trail
  • Sculpture Walk at Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens
  • Aroha Island Eco Centre Nature Walk
  • A quick stop at The Parrot Place to see if they have kakapos. Unfortunately not.
  • Mass at Holy Family Church
  • reading and relaxing on our lanai
  • shopping in Whangarei
Aroha Island Eco Centre
Aroha Island Eco Centre

Food & Drink:

  • Aga Turkish Cuisine, Warkworth
  • Food at Wharepuke (!)
  • Bonefish Cafe
  • Curry King
  • Tango Cafe
  • New World supermarket
  • Columbus Coffee, Whangarei

Transportation: my 1st trip out of town with our own wheels!