Classic historic places are not just for the foreign tourists - retrace early New Zealand stories when you're on the road.
A working slice of old New Zealand, the Stone Store's shop is well curated (no nasty tat here) in a beautiful fragrant building. Built in 1832, it is the oldest surviving commercial building when trade between Sydney and local Maori boomed. Next door's mission building has layers of history cleverly revealed, a beaut vege garden and a great walk.
2. Pompallier House
The Strand, Russell
The French Catholic mission headquarters is one of the few French Provincial buildings, considered the birthplace of the nation. Check out the working mission factory.
Tuesdays in January kids can drop into the I Will Knot workshops to explore the wonderful nautical world of Russell's history with crew from the schooner R. Tucker Thompson - and the odd pirate and buccaneer (prizes for the best pirate outfit). Tuesdays, 2pm-4.30pm.
3. Te Waimate Mission House
344 Te Ahu Ahu Rd, Waimate North
Built in 1832, this is the only survivor of Reverend Samuel Marsden Church Missionary Society houses, built with the agreement of local Nga Puhi. The very pretty veranda and shingled roof have just been restored, the chapel and graveyard fascinating for a wander.
4. Mangungu Mission
Motukiore Rd, 3km from Horeke, Hokianga Harbour
Established in 1828 under the protection of Ngapuhi leader Eruera Maihi Patuone for the Wesleyan Mission. It hosted Governor William Hobson for the second major signing of Treaty of Waitangi. The house has moved between Onehunga and the Hokianga Harbour, returning here for restoration in the 1970s. This is the Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai, so bring your bike to explore more.
5. Clendon House
14 Parnell St (enter from Clendon Esplanade), Rawene
An unpretentious 1869 house for Captain Clendon and Hokianga Maori wife Jane, it witnessed New Zealand's Declaration of Independence in 1835, the first United States Consul in 1838, the Treaty of Waitangi.
SEEING THE SITES
Best deal: Grab yourself a New Zealand Historic Places Passport (available at all NZHPT Northland places) and visit five Northland historic places for the price of two.
Summer hours: Open daily 10am-5pm, except Clendon weekends 10am-4pm and Mangungu weekends 12-4pm.