Located in the Bay of Islands, Kerikeri is famous for its lifestyle, history, and many attractions. Kerikeri has a rich and colourful history. In the heart of the town The Stone Store is New Zealand’s oldest building. Rewa’s Village will take you back to a time before the European settlement and a visit to the Kerikeri Mission Station and Pete’s Pioneers Transport Museum is not to be missed. The town is widely known for its successful horticulture, niche food products, fabulous chocolates, boutique vineyards, art galleries, cafes, and crafts. Foodies everywhere come to stock up on an abundance of fresh local foods at the Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning. Explore the Vineyard Trail and taste some of the great local wines. The Crafts Market, just across the road from the Farmer’s Market, is a great place to find those unique gifts made here by a wide variety of artists and crafts persons. Kerikeri has two ‘Gardens of National Significance’: Palmco and Wharepuke Gardens—both places to enjoy a quiet walk and discover plants you may not have seen before. Only slightly more challenging is a one and a half hour round trip bush walk up the river to the spectacular Rainbow Falls. Or do it in style, and take the steamboat ride at the historic Stone Store Basin, chuffing along past New Zealand’s oldest historic buildings. The Bay of Islands region is indeed ‘natures playground’ with a myriad things to see and do.
Indulge yourself at Moon Gate Villa in a unique, modern villa set within secluded gardens, with waterfalls and reflective pools, only two minutes from Kerikeri Village. Designed by an award winning architect this unique, modern villa has much to proffer. Each super king suite offers luxury linens, en-suite, bar fridge, satellite TV, private indoor and outdoor seating. Guest facilities include free wi-fi Internet, heated swimming pool, and exclusive guest lounge. Breakfast may be enjoyed overlooking the stunning gardens. The hosts offer in-house dining, or you may simply choose to explore the many local restaurants and cafes which Kerikeri is famous for. Only a short drive to the waterside attractions of Paihia and Russell, and within half hours’ drive to Northland’s famous beaches, diving and surf coast; this is an ideal central base for touring the natural, historic and cultural sights of the Bay of Islands.
Built in 1990, the structure was commissioned by a noted Bay of Islands author and designed by Martyn Evans, an architect with a reputation for designing curvaceous and unusual buildings throughout New Zealand and Europe. The large 1.5 acre gardens surrounding the villa have been featured in Kerikeri’s famous annual “Garden Safari” in previous years. Moon Gate Villa is named after its exotic Moon Gate, suspended over one of the two elegant ponds that grace the formally landscaped grounds surrounding the main house. The gardens feature an eclectic blend of native New Zealand, Australian, sub-tropical and European trees and shrubs. As well as the native ferns and flaxes, there are year round blooms from Hibiscus and Lilies during summer, Rhododendrons, delicate Camellias and Daphne in winter, to Magnolias and bulbs flowering in the early spring. It’s not unusual to find the guests enticed to stroll through the gardens in the early morning light.
Standing at 2.3 meters tall, and 2.5 meters wide, the solid Oregon timber door was the largest single door in New Zealand at the time of building, and took six men to manoeuvre into place. The door handle is made of solid brass and is the shape of an eel, for reasons that become apparent once you pass through. Yes, it does open! It pivots on an axis point one third of the way across its width. Designed in the shape of Cupid’s bow, you can easily spot the building’s unique shape from the air, and on Google Maps. All guest rooms have doors leading from the dramatic atrium, and private access into the north facing gardens where they enjoy day long sunshine. Bi-fold doors and windows stretch all around the house, from north-east to north and northwest, capturing light and sunshine all day long. The guest lounge and dining areas open completely to the gardens, creating a unique indoor – outdoor ambiance. Light playfully reflects from the ponds onto the ceilings of the living areas, and all throughout the house are soothing sounds of flowing water.
Moon Gate Villa was substantially updated in 2011, to include expansive king bedroom suites with dedicated bathrooms. The original orchard cottage is also available during the summer season.
Featuring the following:
- Luxury beds and linens
- Heated swimming pool
- Full breakfast included
- Outdoor dining
- Walk to local attractions
- En-suite bathrooms
- Bar fridge, satellite TV
- Exclusive Guest lounge
Breakfast is served in the guest dining room or outdoors on the patio, weather permitting. The owner prides himself on using seasonal fresh fruits from local producers whenever possible. Bread freshly baked, and a traditional cooked breakfast, made to order for those that prefer. Evening dinner is available, from seasonal menus, when pre-booked by 5pm each day. You may choose to dine anywhere in the guest areas, including the gardens. Local wines are available by the glass or bottle.
In addition to private sitting areas in and around your suite, a dedicated guest lounge and library is available to all guests. The swimming pool, gardens and water features are free for you to enjoy anytime of the day into the evening. Wireless Internet is available through most areas of the house, including guest rooms. Business fax/print and wired Internet available on request.
After more than 20 years abroad, the Maori owner Lionel, has returned to New Zealand along with his partner to explore new territory in hospitality. He brings to Moon Gate Villa his unique Maori perspective on life in New Zealand and beyond. A true kiwi host, Lionel will be delighted to recommend touring options for those wishing to experience genuine Maori cultural experiences in Northland and further afield.
Indulge yourself at Moon Gate Villa and enjoy the Bay of Islands, which is indeed ‘natures playground’.