Thought it was time to make some recommendations about accommodation in Northland: I stayed on a boat, in backpackers, hotels, B&B, a farm stay, villas, cottage, and a camping ground. I’m sure there is bound to be one of these that will suit you perfectly – or maybe you would like to mix and match just like I did.
Thank you to Destination Northland (@northland_nz)for helping me arrange this trip and the diverse accommodation – and to Rental Cars NZ (@rentalcarnz) for the use of a car. Where I know them, I have included Facebook pages and Twitter names – these links are to mine.
Perched on the edge of the renowned Tutukaka Marina, the Oceans Resort Hotel is part of a European inspired resort destination, with a myriad of water-based activities on their doorstep, and with fabulous beaches and a lush subtropical climate you will feel as though you have escaped to paradise (www.oceansresorthotel.co.nz) with its fabulous views and breakfast. (@oceansresort)
Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (www.copthornebayofislands.co.nz) is located within the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, next to a scenic golf course and the historic Treaty House. Set in park-like grounds, this resort is situated beside the Bay of Isalnd harbour and enjoys views of the Bay of Islands. Service excellent. (@mchnz)
The Rock overnight cruise and bed! (www.rocktheboat.co.nz) . . . plus target shooting, fishing, night kayaking, snorkeling, island walks and generally exploring the Bay of Islands. BBQ dinner and breakfast included. All the cabins are upstairs with windows to take in the incredible views and balcony access to two quiet observation sun-decks. Unbelievably downstairs has everything from a log fire, bar, piano, pool table, lounge, dining area and a large fishing and kayaking ramp.(@rocktheboatnz). Loved it!
Pickled Parrot Backpackers, www.pickledparrot.co.nz Greys Lane (just beyond Scenic Hotel) at the southern end of Paihia. This small friendly hostel has a well-appointed kitchen and is set in quiet subtropical gardens – and with breakfast included. All the rooms have New Zealand bird names – I was in the Aussie over-stayer one – rosella.
Waitangi Holiday Park, a very basic campsite for tents and campervans, some cottages too. http://www.waitangiholidaypark.co.nz/ Close to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds – it’s really ideal for Waitangi Day celebrations and I loved being in the centre of the activity – celebrations that I believe all Kiwi’s should attend at least once in their lifetime!
In Kerikeri you’ll love the Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens and eco-cottages.http://www.accommodation-bay-of-islands.co.nz/
I stayed in one of the stylish self-catering, eco cottages which are nestled in 2 hectares of award-winning subtropical gardens. The accommodation also showcases original fine art prints and paintings by resident artist Mark Graver and has wonderful food at FOOD at Wharepuke.
On the recommendation of Bare Kiwi (see his video on this link) I also stayed at Kahoe Farms Hostel (www.kahoefarms.co.nz) a fabulous homestay with an Italian flavour – a must do if you want to see real kiwi-life and a great base for many local activities such as hiking, canoeing, sailing etc. This is a beautiful Kauri farmhouse with charming rooms of polished wood and country furnishings. The hosts give a warm welcome here at one of New Zealand’s leading farm hostels and backpackers. Footballers (what we call soccer) are especially welcome to join a game with locals and other travellers.
Doubtless Bay Villas www.doubtlessbayvillas.co.nz are beautiful as you can see by the photos and their website – and the views are fabulous too. These stylish, spacious and luxurious villa-style apartments are just a short walk down to the lovely sand beaches where I had a swim and joined locals in sampling some of the mussels clinging to the rocks.
Mainstreet Lodge in Kaitaia www.mainstreetlodge.co.nz is a very clean and friendly backpacker’s lodge in the centre of town – a good jumping of place for tours “up to the cape” or beginning walking the length of New Zealand on the Te Araroa walkway. With new ownership this old YHA is being refurbished to an even higher standard and has a variety of rooms to choose from.
The Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga, www.copthornehokianga.co.nz (@MCHNZ) is right on the water’s edge of the Hokianga Harbour, this beautiful old style kauri villa (and newer wings) has stunning views of the massive sand dunes across the bay.
I also recommend you check into the Endless Summer Lodge, on Foreshore Rd, Ahipara. www.endlesssummer.co.nz . This is a beautiful, clean, friendly 1880 wooden villa is at the end of 90-Mile Beach. Shipwreck Bay is sheltered from the prevailing wind and is home to one of the best surfing breaks in NZ – and one of the world’s best left-hand surf break – and is also a safe beach for swimming. A great country kitchen and herb garden for all to use too.
Sunset View Lodge, Baylys Beach. www.sunsetviewlodge.co.nz is where you can hear the sound of the waves from the Lodge and is near Ripiro Beach – the longest driveable beach in New Zealand. Free Wi-Fi here and an honesty box in the bar!
The Commercial Hotel, Dargaville www.commercialhotel.co.nz is a completely refurbished (2011) heritage-listed waterfront pub that was built in the 1880s and overlooks the mighty Northern Wairoa River. Sitting, with a coffee, on the balcony watching the sand barge returning home after its days’ work, birds, and watching the sun-set, was a treat. I can well recommend this place when you are exploring the Twin Highways of Northland.