After a couple of wrong turns, driving to Marsden Cross and the remains of Rangihoua Pa via a backcountry labyrinth of gravel roads, becomes a karmic test of patience. A muddy track leads down to the beach and the famous cross which stands in a farm paddock on the edge of the sea. In winter, it seems like you are visiting a private beach framed by pohutakawa and a full frontal view of the nearby islands.
Inside the Stone Store Kerikeri
Even in winter the air around Kerikeri smells fruit-laden. People visiting art galleries, coffee shops and farm supply stores still animate the main street. At the Stone Store, I discovered that talking to someone who's every gesture expresses how much she loves her job is a delicacy to be savoured.
Liz Bigwood is the Kerikeri Mission Station’s property manager. Names such as Reverend John Butler and James Kemp; significant dates; and the relationship between the mission and Hongi Hika’s Kororipo Pa, flow effortlessly through our conversation.