'round & about the Bay of Islands

Of Maoris and Missionaries

We love to recommend themes for guests along their interests for day trips, and one of our favourites is the Bay of Islands’ Missionary Trail.


Overlooking the Hokianga

December 2014 marks the 200 anniversary of Samuel Marsden establishing the first Christian missionary at Hohi (Oihi) Bay, about 30 minutes drive from Kerikeri. On December 21 2014 there is a formal commemoration at the Rangihoua Heritage Park and a Christmas Service on December 25th to mark the 200th anniversary of the first Christian service held by Samuel Marsden in New Zealand.  Except for the grandly placed Marsden Cross memorial, there is little evidence of the original settlement, but this is a a fitting start to our trail!


Kerikeri Stone Store and Mission House

Eventually the missionaries moved further west to the Te Puna Inlet, and the famous Kerikeri Mission (still standing and New Zealand’s oldest building) was completed in the 1821.  This is second stop on our tour. Take time to enjoy the guided tour of the mission house and the imposing Stone Store (New Zealand’s oldest stone building) next door.  There are tea rooms and the Pear Tree restaurant overlooking the basin across the road here, so a good spot for lunch!

Further west again is the Waimate North Mission station – again still standing, and about 15 minutes from Moon Gate. It formed part of the effort by missionaries to educate Maori in a European ‘farming model’ with poor results, however the grounds and mission house are in great condition and well worth a visit.


Horeke Mission House grounds

Ending our tour, we arrive at Horeke mission house, with its wonderful view across the east end of the Hokianga Harbour.  There are several places to visit here. including the mission itself, however the greatest delight is simply walking out the pier and letting the silence and tranquillity of the Hokianga soak in.

There are lots of other things to see, and we always customise a day of touring suggestion for our guests, however we sincerely recommend the trail if a sense of time and history is what you seek.


If we can assist with your Bay of Islands visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


KOAST Accommodation Special

koast-posterWe are offering a special weekend package for visitors to Kerikeri for the KOAST (Kerikeri Open Art Studios Trail) on the holiday weekend of October 25-27. Stay in one of our in-house villa rooms for 2 or more nights and receive 10% discount AND a free bottle of wine and antipasto platter! How good is that?

The Kerikeri Open Art Studios Trail offers three days of discovery, with over 50 artists exhibiting their work for sale at 30 studios and galleries around Kerikeri. This will be KOAST’s first annual trail, and it will be a great one. Bring your friends and enjoy driving around beautiful Kerikeri in the Bay of islands; exploring the studios where our artists create their unique works. You’ll find plenty of original art for sale. And Moon Gate Villa is in the heart of Kerikeri and the Bay of Islands.

To book, simply go to our secure booking page, and make sure you mention KOAST in the booking comment.

Certificate of Excellence 2014

certificates2014We are delighted to announce that during autumn we were quality certified as ‘Boutique and Lodge’ by New’s Zealand tourism’s quality arm, ‘Qualmark’. We also achieved TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellent 214″ – in the top 10% of reviews – for the third year running.

It is still 21 degrees in our sheltered garden in mid-June, as we write this, . Although it’s a quiet time of year to visit, there are some wonderful days of blue skies and warm sunshine.

If you’re idea of heaven is strolling along deserted, white sandy beaches then this is a fine time. Why not consider our romantic getaway package?  

Terrace PondWe never rest on our laurels, so over winter we are continuing to improve the lodge and its ground with a new log fireplace in our guest lounge, and a ‘makeover’ for some of our favourite garden spots; including a more tropical focus of heliconias, gingers and bananas in our pool area, a new entrance way to the terrace for our Cottage guests and rejuvenated floral garden beds along our driveway entrance and opposite the moon gate pond.

Stay tuned to our web site, and our Facebook page.  We’ll post photos to update friends as the works progress.

About Moon Gate Villa

We offer a unique, boutique accommodation experience just outside of the Kerikeri township, in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands, New Zealand.