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Trees ablaze at the Kerikeri Mission Station

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

If you’re keen on colourful trees, summer is the time to visit the Kerikeri Mission Station, a Tohu Whenua cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

Both the Mission Station’s historic Jacaranda and Pohutukawa come into full bloom over December and early January.

"The Jacaranda’s distinctive purple flowers are always an added delight for visitors during this time," says the Manager of the Kerikeri Mission Station Liz Bigwood.

"And our Pohutukawa at the back of Kemp House pops out scarlet flowers every Christmas as regular as clockwork."

Credit for these spectacular botanic titans must go to Sophia Kemp - the wife of James Kemp Junior, the son of missionary couple James and Charlotte Kemp. Both trees are said to have been planted by Sophia in the late 19th Century.

Today, the Pohutukawa is listed as a notable tree with the Far North District Council.

Sophia was also responsible for another monster - the large Magnolia behind the Stone Store.

"The Magnolia is a summer-flowering ‘grandiflora’. In season it’s capable of producing blooms the size of dinner plates," says Liz.

"We can also thank Sophia’s green thumb for this beautiful tree."

Caption: The shade of the Jacaranda tree at Kemp House (Photo Credit: Steve Burgess).

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