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Orongo Bay Homestead

Bay of Islands, Northland

Organic, peaceful, simple luxury and privacy in our 3-suite, lakeside building. Relaxing hospitality in this exclusive historic coastal Homestead.

We are very personal with just three architect-designed rooms. We are organic, quality-oriented, involved and immersed in the happiness of our guests.

We offer privacy and value with heaps of space, an underground wine cellar, 15 acres of coastal privacy near the lovely, historic town of Russell: beautiful beds, healthy and tasty food - how can you resist?



The Teal Suite – Our newest room, spread over two levels with internal Juliet balcony. A large 5-window French door opens into your studio/lounge from a sail-shaded garden deck. The bed is king size. Upstairs, a ceiling moon-light and a casement window allow extra cooling in the cosy, loft lounge with its own convertible couch bed for kids (or the snoring one). Generous storage, clothing and luggage spaces. Shower only in a full wet-area bathroom. This informal suite is ideally suited to 3 people or a small family together. Bliss and privacy to come and go as you please. A new kitchenette completes this suite as an attractive option for longer stays.

The Retreat (purpose-built for easy access needs) – At garden level in the lakeside wooden building.  Indoor/outdoor shaded patio room with terracotta-style floors and a private lakeside deck.  French doors also lead to a private sun-deck.  A cool, summer retreat with wood-panelled ceiling, traditional wood-panelled walls: popular with honeymooners or guests seeking romantic privacy in a natural setting.

The Pacific Room – From a private foyer with a gentle water sculpture, the handmade staircase leads to a lofty, spacious room overlooking the duck sanctuary, with peeks of the bay.  Custom-finished walls and angled high ceilings reflect sand and sea colours of the Pacific, carried through in art and furnishings.  The surround-sound system is ideal for movie lovers.

All main beds are orthopaedic quality, and all pillows are feather and down unless non-allergenic requested. Warm towelling bath robes are provided natural toiletries are also complimentary.   All rooms feature DVD/TV and have sound systems. Ceiling fans circulate the cooling sea breezes and in winter underfloor heating keeps you cosy.  A personal room fridge contains complimentary Homestead mineral spring water, tea and plunger coffee, and may be stocked with other optional supplies such as Champagne, beers and other wines by prior order - or at a whim!

All rooms are refreshed daily, using chemical-free or eco-label licensed sanitising products.  Special deals may have diffrent room servicing.

Dining arrangements

Local restaurants are just 5 minutes’ drive or taxi away, with ferries to further restaurant options over the bay. Dinner at the Homestead is by prior arrangement only for groups of 4 to 8 people at a fixed price of $140 per person.

Breakfast delivered direct from the kitchen to your room, our fresh "bakehouse breakfast" includes fresh-baked homemade bread, warm croissants and organic, free-range eggs, plus homemade preserves, Muesli, and fresh juice.   Some special deals offer an express breakfast of coffee and croissants only.


Wifi is available in-room and in parts of the grounds, subject to a charge of 10c per megabyte. It is complimentary in the main Homestead building (usage limits apply.)

The Location

144 unspoilt islands invite yachting and boating pleasure, world record game fishing, and diving in a subtropical, unspoilt environment.

Temperatures are usually several degrees centigrade warmer than Auckland, only a scenic three-hour drive or one-hour flight away. Even in winter the Bay of Islands is up to ten degrees centigrade warmer than the more crowded tourist meccas of Taupo and Rotorua. The Homestead tree-ripens organic bananas, guavas, papaya, kiwi, and a host of exotic fruit and vegetables, which feature in its gourmet menus.

We can arrange historic Russell tours, arts, crafts and museum visits. Guests often buy excellent original paintings or native fashion at amazing prices.

See New Zealand's oldest giants: awesome native Kauri trees, or discover lush, unspoiled bush with guides to take you over private coastal hills and beaches.

Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, learning about their ancient Maori significance, or let us book you on a tall sailing ship cruise. On the crystal waters of the many secluded bays, sail away with skippered or unskippered yacht charters, or thrill to ocean jetboat sightseeing.

For dining, Russell has some of the best cuisine north of Auckland, including the awarded Country Hotel of the Year,The Duke of Marlborough Hotel,where reservations are absolutely essential.

Summer's best weather usually runs from late January right through April.

Our story…

Our story, that of Chris and Michael, began in 1990 with a chance meeting through opera. Together in 1994 we set eyes and hearts upon our next love: the peace-making oasis and sanctuary that has been The Homestead for nearly 150 years. With a history of restoring spirits and strength for its entire existence, the Homestead cossets our guests with healing and rest the moment they enter the curving driveway. Our guest book and many conversations confirm this, unprompted. It is palpable.

In 2010 we made our personal, legal commitment to each other. The setting of this union was the Auckland Ihumatao vineyard of Villa Maria Estate, among the gewürztraminer vines. This delicious wine is still on our cellar list today. 120 friends shared picnic baskets with us in the vines, and every morning we now pack those very same baskets with fresh baking and goodies, to deliver breakfasts to our guest suites. The opera posters around our rooms feature the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the musicians from which popped up among the vines to serenade our commitment. We still support their orchestra as a sponsor.

So you see, when you become a guest at The Homestead, you become part of a continuum of wine, food, music and a big love – in Maori Arohanui.  (Chris is an indigenous New Zealand Maori, and we are privileged to share the innate sense of hospitality, Manaakitanga, with you.) Don’t you love it when there is synergy and a feeling of “right place, right time”?  We invite you to discover this as a guest at The Homestead.

Your hosts: Michael and Chris

Aucks Rd
Bay of Islands

Phone: +64 (9) 403 7527


Email us 


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Our Rates

November 2016 – April 2017:
$350 per room (1 or 2 guests)

June 2017 – October 2017:
$295 per room (1 or 2 guests)

November 2017 – April 2018:
$350 per room (1 or 2 guests)
except the Teal Suite $395

Each additional person where suitable $120

Children (over 12 years only) at full rate, only when one party takes all three rooms

Winter package prices are available for long weekends of 6-8 people (all three rooms)

Dinners for at least four reserved in advance $140 per person with optional wine matching.

Tariff includes breakfast, in-room organic tea and organic fair-trade coffee-making facilities. Ironing boards are in every room.

Payment: Credit card or agent-guaranteed reservations required (Visa, Mastercard, Amex). Cancellation conditions: 25% retained/chargeable if less than 30 days notice; forfeiture of full charges for all accommodation and services reserved if less than 7 days notice. Agents are required to pay accommodation charges upon invoice or prior to guest arrival unless credit arrangements have been made.  Special offers are subject to prepayment and are non-refundable.  We recommend suitable travel insurance.

A minimum of 2 nights applies at all times. Single occupancy rates are the same as double. Where a third or fourth person may be accomodated in a room, a charge of $120 per person per night will apply, irrespective of age, in all cases.

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Host rates subject to change. Please confirm with hosts before booking.