Day 341 on the Road
Today we are checking out Rainbow Falls, The Stone Store Museum, and New Zealand’s oldest house in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities then hop on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
So this morning we are heading further up north to Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. And we are going to check out the Rainbow Falls and the oldest building in New Zealand.
So we are on our way toward Kerikeri right now, and we are going to stop at the beautiful Rainbow Falls and a typical authentic place called the Stone Store. That is going to be our activities today we’re gonna be doing two things not just one – two things!
Since Robin broke his arm a couple of days ago he is the one in charge of direction while I am the one driving and we are heading to Kerikeri which is our first stop in the Bay of Islands.
Kerikeri is really up north in the Bay of Islands it’s really famous for its fruit growing industry there are heaps of backpackers working in fruit picking in the area, plus it’s one of the earliest settled places in the country but we’re not here for that just yet, we’re here for the beautiful waterfall.
Yep, I know what you guys are gonna say: another waterfall. And yes, there are heaps of waterfalls in New Zealand and Northland is a prime spot for awesome waterfalls too, after the beautiful Whangarei waterfall we also check Rainbow Falls.
So this water fall is bigger and delivers more water than Whangarei Falls and on top of it, if you can see behind it you can usually swim and climb around and you can hang out behind the waterfall which is really cool.
There are three different viewpoints to Rainbow Falls and the first one is from pretty far away so you can get the whole scale of the waterfall. And the next viewpoint is from above the waterfall but when we’re actually making our way to this next viewpoint we spot a lot of cute little birds in the trees.
This bird is a fantail, which is one of the most common native birds in New Zealand.
All the beech trees provide a great environment for the fantail cos there is a lot of moss dangling from them which are shelter for insects which fantails feed on.
After spending way too much time filming this little fantail, otherwise known as a piwakawaka in Maori, we finally make it to the second viewpoint of Rainbow Falls which is an awesome perspective from above.
This waterfall is pretty gigantic. It’s quite amazing to see the huge amount of water flowing through it and I’m sure it will look better from up close so I’m passing the barrier and go check out the waterfall from even closer.
That’s probably because I am doing those silly things like that that I end up breaking my arm all the time but from behind the waterfall I get to see heaps of stuff including the duck which are the local wildlife as well as some fresh water fish it was definitely worth the hop.
Is there a sign saying you can’t go and do that?
The fences imply it.
I don’t understand subtle hints.
I understand big bright red signs.
But there is one more viewpoint of the Rainbow Falls that is definitely worth checking out it’s about a 5-minute walk to the base of the waterfall and to be quite honest if the Department of Conservation signs says its five minutes it’s probably about 2 minutes. So that makes it a total round up of 10 minute walk making it worth it to check out the waterfall plunges into the river.
The track is super well maintained and as planned, it doesn’t take us long to arrive on the viewpoint and we know we’re there because every single plant surrounding us drenched in water. The waterfall is creating so much water it’s crazy.
The Maori name for Rainbow Falls, Waianiwaniwa, means waters of the rainbow, it basically means the same things and this is probably because there’s so much spray coming off this waterfall mixed with the sunlight that it probably creates a rainbow so we walk down to the very bottom viewing platform to check this out for ourselves but unfortunately we don’t see any rainbows, so what ya gonna do?
Nevertheless, there’s plenty of native forest to check out and this whole area is regenerating kauri and totara forest which are some of the largest trees in New Zealand.
Another thing you can do here if you are feeling adventurous is to actually climb behind the waterfall itself by crossing the stream and going around the back of the falls. However, Robin’s arm is way to freshly broken for us to do that sort of adventuring today so we just take our time making our way back up the track back toward the car park.
The Rainbow Falls car park has a load of picnic benches and different seating areas so you can set up a picnic there and that’s exactly what Robin and I decide to do once we get back and before we move onto our next activity of the day which is going to be the Stone Store and the Kemp House in Kerikeri.
Although we are driving there, there is another way to get to the Stone Store in Kerikeri which is just taking the walking track from Rainbow Falls for about 1 hour until you reach the Stone Store alongside the Kerikeri River.
Believe it or not, this Stone Store is actually one of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. It was in trade 170 years ago that is very old in terms of New Zealand history. It has a lot of original building supplies and it was an amazing place back in the day, that was the centre of the whole local economy.
This place was also the base of the Kerikeri Mission Station and we learn all about that in the museum. There is a lot of interactive exhibition which is really cool cos it makes the whole history thing much easier to digest when you can just play around with it.
The Kerikeri mission was the base for all the early settlers that were coming to New Zealand to spread the word of God. They were coming here in the country to covert to Christianity a lot of the local Maori and they made Kerikeri their base.
Butting getting back to the store, it was a hot spot for buying everything you needed as an early settler, you could buy food and rations, you could also buy all your building supplies as well as everything you needed to create a whole new village.
And speaking of villages we are actually heading toward New Zealand’s oldest surviving house – it’s the Kemp House.
Maori desperately wanted European settlements nearby. It meant that they had access to tools, trade and technology. This house and settlement was for the central areas for all Europeans in New Zealand.
Our guide, Shannon, is dressed in old worldly clothing really looking the part and giving us a guided tour of this house that was built in 1821 and it gives us an amazing insight in how the early settlers lived.
Shannon tells us stories of how the Kemp family used to live as well as how Kerikeri was one of the first places where the Maori invited visitors to live among them and one of those visitors were the Kemp family that occupied this house.
Laura just said that she like the walls.
I really like the decoration, it’s edgy.
No you don’t.
We get the time to have a look around the house ourselves and check out all the early settler artifacts including these really creepy dolls.
I swear those dolls are staring at me. They are. Eeeeee.
Oo, that was really creepy. This is the end of our Kerikeri road trip but there is heaps to do in the area so we are checking in the Hone Heke Backpackers as we’re gonna stay here for a few days.
What does it want from us? Why is it here?