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“Wonderfully Ecological”

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Aroha Island Ecocentre
Reviewed 8 April 2013

Alice & Cliff Hutton made it possible to live with nature with the comforts of home. We stayed in the Fantail Cottage while our friends stayed in the Tui Cottage (what wonderful names). The entire centre is managed exceptionally well with everything provided for to make your stay comfortable. Heated water is provided through Solar heating (really good for those cold days). There's Kayaks for those who want to indulge in some exercising and a BBQ to whet your culinary skills. We'll definitely return soon to have a shot at camping on the grounds. Thanks Alice and Cliff for making our stay memorable.

Room Tip: The Tui cottage is quite a big spacious place if you want more room a bigger bath etc. The Fantail c...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Kiwiboy146
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 51 of 56 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2013

we travelled for 3 months in NZ. We wanted to see a kiwi and we were told about this place. The volunteer who was in charge these days was really nice, helpful and full of knowledge about her country.
So, we stayed in the campground and went for kiwis searching in night time...and we saw one !!!
Lovely place

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lookslikeasian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

We couldn't quite believe it as we crossed the causeway through mangrove trees and our little cottage came in to view - an idyllic place, well equipped and perfectly situated in the forest. Nestled next to "Fantail Cottage" is a larger accommodation (perhaps for a family group) and there is also a cabin with sea views as well as ample camping facilities and lovely BBQ area. However on this occasion in October we were the only couple staying on the island which also serves as an information and resource centre during the day focusing on the kiwi, its habitat and the preservation of this sadly endangered species...after our trip to Aroha we feel enlightened and enchanted by these little buggers! There was the option of a guided night time walk to see the kiwis or a self guided tour in the dark with infrared torches but at the end of the day we settled for just listening to them call to each other in the woods, well I wouldn't want to come across Robert and I lurking in the bushes if I went out for a midnight snack. To sense them around us was enough.

Please visit Aroha and stay if you can, its not to be missed, it's an idyll, practically an island, it has its own private beach, we swam but you can also kayak, or just relax and kick back. The range of seabirds at low tide is astounding, there are kingfishers aplenty, Tuis showing off at every turn, ducks marauding on the deck but beware that Fantail - "Fantail Cottage" is exactly what it says - his!

Our hosts Daryl and Chris were a pleasure to meet, they were volunteer keepers who are now moving on, but I'm sure everyone who looks after you on this Island sanctuary will offer the warmest of welcomes (but perhaps not the homemade hummus and cookies - thanks again for those!) What we learned most was the amazing work people are doing across NZ to look after their Kiwi namesakes not least here on Aroha...

...once again - don't pass through without a visit, we will never forget our time here and it will be a highlight to tell of friends in the UK!

A little background to our stay - we set out from Auckland on the Cape Reinga mission, we wanted to travel budget but not backpack budget, ie to have our own rooms with en suite, not because we're anti-social just at an age where we still want a bit of adventure but a bit of comfort too! At the time of writing we have been to and returned from our mission and in both directions have been seduced by Aroha and Kerikeri, the locations, atmosphere, friendliness of its people, in to staying 2 nights in either direction which was never the plan. This is a testament to both accommodations we have stayed in and our hosts as well as anything else. If you do it our way you'll spend quality time both here at Aroha Island and at Wharepuke subtropical accommodation 12km south in Kerikeri.

ENJOY!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Carole W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2012

We have just spent 2 nights in Fantail Cottage and wanted to stay for much longer.
We have been to Island before for a day and loved it so booked a cottage. We were hoping to see Kiwi in their natural habitat and we did both nights we stayed there. On the first night we had a warden as a guide - this was not cheap but well worth it she was so informative and we had the most amazing viewing of a female kiwi foraging in the undergrowth - she was gorgeous foraging away and stopping to look at us and then just getting on with her business.
The island is tiny but so pretty I just relaxed read my book and my husband fished. The accommodation was clean and well equipped. Beds excellent. The wardens were fab helpful but left you alone to enjoy the peace. Must do if you can.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank gill h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inge B, Manager at Aroha Island Ecocentre, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2012

Many thanks for your feedback. We are so happy that you enjoyed your experience at Aroha - Chris & Darryl, winter managers.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2012

We have just spent four nights in the Fantail Cottage at Aroha Island. We found it very relaxing, peaceful and an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Aroha Island is about 12kms from Kerikeri towards the yacht club. The cottages (there are two and a lodge to choose from as well as camp sites) are situated down a long driveway and whilst you would never consider them luxurious, they are perfectly adequate, clean and comfortable.

Our cottage had a king size bed (which can be divided into two singles) and bunks which were solid. It had a small kitchenette with two burner plug-in cooker, small fridge, sink and crockery, cutlery, pots, pans supplied. Note however no tea, coffee, milk, etc. It had a small bathroom with a modern toilet, shower and basin. It was small but having it attached to the cabin was fabulous. The balance of the room was made up of a small round table and four chairs. French doors opened out to a small covered porch area with a small picnic table and two chairs.

The cabins are in a clearing in the bush and all around you can hear the most beautiful bird song. Tuis were a frequent sight as were lots of other birds but I'm no bird watcher so don't know the names :-) This is a kiwi sanctuary and we heard kiwis calling at night and whilst we went kiwi hunting on the tracks just on night fall didn't see any. I do have two small children which might have frightened them away.

Aroha Island is not actually an island in that it can be reached by a causeway. Whilst its coastal, it is very tidal in the Kerikeri Inlet and so the beach there is nice at high tide for little kids to swim in it would be unlikely adults would like to swim there. There are two big camping areas (a lower field right by the beach and a higher field closer to the kiwi centre). For campers there is a small amenity block with a couple of toilets, one shower I think and a very small kitchen area where you can have access to a microwave and wash your dishes. Its kind of like a flash Dept of Conservation campground.

The kiwi centre at Aroha Island is a big room with lots of info about kiwi and during our stay there was someone there most of the time to answer our questions. This is also where you can organise to hire out a kayak, organise a kiwi night time walk and buy ice creams for the kids.

During our stay we spent a few hours at the Island morning and night and explored or visiting family during the day. It was definitely value for money and we'll be back. I would definitely consider it as an alternative when visiting Kerikeri. Probably better in the high season when more people are about unless you are seriously into solitude.

So a few pointers:
- definitely bring a torch because electricity can be a bit dicey in this part of the world if there is a storm / flood / etc - that applies to all of Kerikeri really.
- bring your own tea, coffee, etc
- bring ear plugs if you are in the Fantail / Tui Cottage - we didn't have noisy neighbours during our stay but because they form part of the same structure I can imagine that if you had noisy neighbours it would be a pain.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank RowsyLizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

What an idyllic spot. Facilities clean, and the management were awesome.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank nzchz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Samuel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aroha Island Ecocentre

Address: 177 Rangitane Road | Rd1, Kerikeri 0294, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Kerikeri
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 28 Speciality Lodging in Kerikeri
Price Range: £13 - £195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aroha Island offers a range of accommodation: Aroha Kiwi Lodge, our bush cottages Fantail Cottage and Tui Cottage as well as beach and bush camping. It’s the perfect place to just relax or to use as a holiday base to explore the Bay of Islands. Aroha Island offers camping on one of our two beautiful campgrounds. Unpowered sites down by our sheltered Kerikeri inlet beach or a choice of powered or unpowered sites in our upper bush campground. Aroha Island is a 12ha sanctuary in the Kerikeri Inlet and is a short 12km drive north east of Kerikeri, in the stunning Bay of Islands. A causeway links the island to the mainland, providing permanent and convenient vehicle access. It is a natural haven with a wide diversity of New Zealand plants and birds including the rare North Island Brown Kiwi.(You must stay on the Island to go for a Kiwi walk or phone or email for a guided Kiwi tour). Stroll the private beach, kayak the inlet, take a bush walk, look for birds and check out the information in the Eco Centre. Please note because of the presence of Kiwi & the sensitive nature of the island, a “No Pets, No Smoking” policy is in place, thank you. ... more   less 

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