Travel like a local.


Rainbow Falls, Te Ahurea & The Kemp House in Kerikeri, New Zealand

Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel - Honey House Cafe with rainbows

Honey House Cafe with rainbows

I’m really excited to interview Heather Markel of Heather Begins about Kerikeri, New Zealand. Heather’s tips for the best things to do in Kerikeri are awesome because she was traveling through New Zealand when the pandemic hit and decided to stay there because there were so few tourists and lots of nature.

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Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel - wishing well at Kerikeri Inlet

A wishing well at Kerikeri Inlet

Kerikeri, New Zealand

Kerikeri is a small town with a diverse international community. It is the largest town in Northland, New Zealand. The city is located about 240km north of Auckland on the northern tip of the North Island. You’ll find a sub-tropical climate with moderate temperatures year-round. Heather said that the temperatures are so nice that she never even had to put on socks during the winter.

During your visit, you’ll find numerous waterfalls to hike to and explore. Some of Heather’s favorites include Rainbow Falls, Wharepuke Falls, Te Wairere Falls, The Secret Waterfall, and Charlie’s Rock waterfall. The Kemp House was completed in 1822 and is the oldest house in New Zealand. Next door is The Stone Store, which is also worth a visit. To learn about the local Maori culture, stop by Te Ahurea (formerly known as Rewa’s Village).

If you like wine, stop by Marsden Estate Winery & Restaurant and sample some of the local varietals. Heather said that they produced some of her favorite wines. And The Old Packhouse Market is a good spot to visit on the weekends for local crafts and food.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Kerikeri Tourism, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel - The Stone Store

The Stone Store

Getting around Kerikeri

The local airport is Bay of Islands-Wiroa-Kerikeri Airport (KKE), which is about a 6-minute drive to downtown. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Heather says that, even if you’re staying downtown, it’s a good idea to rent a car. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel - Wharepuke Waterfall

Wharepuke Waterfall

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Heather Markel about Kerikeri, New Zealand. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Green dots = best things to do in Kerikeri, New Zealand
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Kerikeri, New Zealand

Who is Heather Markel?

Heather quit her 25+ year corporate job to travel the world full time in 2017. Pre pandemic, she went to 25 countries on 6 continents. She has been marooned in New Zealand since February 2020 (why leave the safest place on earth?).

Through her travels, she’s been slapped by a baboon in Zimbabwe, drank Malbec in Mendoza, ziplined high above the world in Costa Rica, drove 150km in Portugal, walked among the Moai on Easter Island, eaten guinea pig in Peru, and met amazing new friends around the world. She now helps others who want this life to learn how to comfortably afford it on her website

Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel with cow

Here are a few articles that she has been featured in:


Click here to download our one-page guide of Heather’s tips for Kerikeri.

You can connect with Heather on her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Best things to do in Kerikeri New Zealand - Heather Markel - Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks

This episode is brought to you, in part, by Bluffworks. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have clothes that make me look good AND feel great. I wear Bluffworks jeans, slacks, dress shirts, and blazers because they’re wrinkle-free and are designed for the modern traveler. And if they get dirty, a quick spin in the washing machine and they’re good as new.

Go to and use the promo code from the image below to save 10% off your order. There are many styles to fit your needs so you can stay wrinkle-free when you travel.

Bluffworks Save 10 percent ad 2019-02

Save 10% with promo code “LEE”

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter NaldrettListen to the next episode when author Peter Naldrett shares the best things to do in the Isles of Scilly, UK. In this episode, Peter and I talk about exploring the Valhalla Museum, wandering through Tresco Gardens, and stargazing during Dark Skies Week. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Kerikeri? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about New Zealand and Australia, please listen to our other episodes from this region: