We left the beautiful Bay of Islands to travel north with a little sadness and thought maybe we should have stayed the extra 2 days there and took our Cape trip from Paihia. However we were so glad that we took both the trip with spectacular coastal detours and the stay in beautiful Mangonui. Jean the hostess is a relocated Los Angel who fell in love with Mangonui on a trip and moved here. She has restored the Old Oak hotel with great style and flair, every comfort and every modern convenience. We were upstairs with a balcony view over the water. Our suite had a lounge with comfy chairs that turn into loungers, table and chairs, plasma, aircon, internet, and pay TV. Separate bedroom had a kitchenette for toast, cereal etc and separate bathroom with clawfoot bath and separate shower. Out in the back garden there is a BBQ available, and the garden next door has fresh herbs and lettuce. A great location and we loved everything about it, even Monster the cat who darts across the road to chase the seagulls.
Next door is a charming bistro The Acorn, which serves dinner, as well as brioche and coffee in the mornings. We had a beautiful dinner there one night and enjoyed Mangonui’s world famous fish and chips on the other. Mangonui is a picturesque harbour (like most of the area we travelled). Jean directed us to a terrific lookout with commanding views of the area. A short distance away are good swimming beaches. There are a selection of gift shops and a wine store. But mostly its just very peaceful and relaxing.
We went on a trip to Cape Reinga from there (booked by Jean), leaving about 9.30 and returning 6pm – a long day, but worth it. (see my separate review for this). People from Paihia had an even longer day, with a 6.30am start. Take our advice and head up to Mangonui and take your trip from there, plus get to see all the coastal scenery on the way up.
I can’t recommend the Old Oak highly enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our beautiful small hotel features just six rooms - three suites, two premium studios, and a standard room. The heritage building has been modernised for the comfort of our guests with new bathrooms, lighting, plumbing, and insulation and has been decorated with a contemporary mix of modern and country. All rooms, other than our petite standard room, have modern heating and cooling systems and our three suites feature kitchenettes. The property is home to a colonial inspired garden with organic herb and vegetable beds, formal rose garden, petanque court, harbour view verandas and a courtyard nestled into the hillside of native bush and ferns. Guests can relax in the gardens and on the verandas in a private and tranquil setting. The Old Oak provides superior service with 24 hour management, daily housekeeping, and concierge services. Enjoy fishing, swimming, country walks, and strolls along Waterfront Drive in the 19th century whaling village of Mangonui. Mangonui village features r ... more less
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