'round & about the Bay of Islands

Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.

Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015At Moon Gate Villa, we are proud that we have won this prestigious award every year since our opening in late 2011, and every subsequent year since.  We are both grateful and humbled by the wonderful feedback and reviews received from our guests. On Tripadvisor we remain one of New Zealand and Northland’s top ranking accommodation; on booking sites such as we were recently awarded  a ‘9.9’ rating in their 2014 Award of Excellence.  But possibly we are most touched by the lovely messages left behind in our Villa Guest Book; please take a moment to review this treasure during your stay with us!

Samsung-netflixWe continue to improve our services based on feedback.  All our rooms now offer phones with free New Zealand wide calls to landlines, bookable reminder calls, and of course this allows our guests to conveniently contact us whenever required.  During winter we have upgraded our in-room entertainment systems to include ‘smart TV’ as well as our ‘on-demand’ movie service (yes, Netflix for everyone!) with larger 42 and 48 inch screens.

Wireless Network WiFi zone icon

We have learnt from our guests, who we often find strolling our gardens, whilst sharing the flowers and trees with friends overseas via their iPad! Our new hi speed WiFi network allows continuous roaming through the guest rooms, pool and garden areas and across to the cottage without having to change networks. Our improved Internet speeds allows high definition video calls to family at home; check out our rating on !


Autumn is the best time to visit Bay of Islands


Kerikeri Stone Store Basin – at its best when crowds have departed

The children are well and truly back at school.  The best of the summer weather may have waned, but then so have the crowds and the queues. New Zealand’s Far North enjoys a sub tropical climate where even the Autumn and Winter months mean that we have many sunny days, and the temperatures are in the mid teens, often tipping over 20 C.

Here in Kerikeri Bay of Islands, the magnificent Kauri rain forests are arguable at their best with light rain.  The canopy protects walkers from all but the heaviest rainfall.  You can enjoy a stroll along our wide deserted beaches with no other soul in sight.

Then there are other attractions – the Kawaiti  glow worm caves, and of course the Waitangi Treaty museum.  Our historic mission houses are just as intriguing no matter what the weather.  And lunch at Marsden Estate winery, Ake Ake or maybe overlooking the Bay at the Duke of Marlborough are a delight no matter the weather.

Curl up with a good movie – or a least someone who’s watched one!


The sunset from our Premium room.

We’ve reintroduced our Romantic Getaways this autumn, along with  our updated in room movie service on our brand new smart TVs. For only an extra $49 per booking, you can retreat to our glorious Premium Suite with a 2 course dinner served in-room.

moon_riverThen pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist! Select a classic movie from our ‘TV Direct’ movie service. Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone? If you’re feeling just a bit more wicked, then you’ll be delighted to know our new NETFLIX service (all free of course) allows you to relax and lose yourself in an entire season of your favourite TV show.

Add the sound of autumnal rain falling gently on your roof – and you have a recipe for a deliciously decadent evening!

Please visit our ‘specials’ page for more information.

Kerikeri wine and food – punching well above its weight!

Aucklanders already seem to know about one of Kerikeri’s key delights – it’s a haven for epicureans!

For a small town, Kerikeri punches well over its weight with offerings of fine restaurants featuring our local organic produce, as well as a great selection of boutique wineries.  International guests are often overwhelmed with choice, and have to make some tough decisions on where to spend their evening dining (and maybe a few lunches).

The Pear Tree Restaurant is nestled amongst the historic buildings in the Stone Store basin. Why not combine a tour of the store and mission house, and a stroll to Rainbow Falls with a delightful lunch on the veranda, overlooking the calming waters of Kerikeri Inlet?

The Pear Tree Restaurant overlooks the serene and historic Stone Store basin.

Further up the hill, Food at Wharepuka offers fresh modern cuisine with a South East Asian twist; the Thai banquets on Friday night are delicious and excellent value.  Over at Ake Ake Vineyard, the restaurant overlooks the vineyards and the delicious seasonal menus are designed to match their beautiful wines. Their Chambourcin (a red varietal that grows perfectly in our sub-tropical climate) is a personal favourite, highly recommended to match with their venison if it’s on the menu.

Among our ethnic options, Kerikeri boasts Japanese, Thai, Indian and Italian; and are of a standard you’d expect to find in a cosmopolitan city and are highly recommended.

Finally, the ‘French chateaux’ inspired Marsden Estate winery (designed by the same architect as Moon Gate Villa) overlooks a water lily pond you could well imagine Monet himself inspired to paint beside, and is a personal favourite!  A sunny day, lunching al fresco with a glass or two of their Pinot Gris is as an absolute delight.

Local restaurants and winery stalls line the streets at the annual Kerikeri Street Party.

Local restaurants and winery stalls line the streets at the annual Kerikeri Street Party.

Kerikeri hosts two foodie favourites during its calendar year.  The annual and FREE Kerikeri Street Party is held each year after the Kerikeri Half Marathon event in November, and sees all the local wineries and restaurants break out the finest foods into street stalls lining Kerikeri Main Street.  And the Ocean and Orchard Festival held at the end of February features local chefs and restaurateurs holding demonstration and talks, amidst great local musical entertainment, competitions, and local food & wine stalls.

So there you have it; and we haven’t even talked about the small cafes that dot our main little shopping village!  So if good food and wine is on your selection criteria for where to stay in the Bay of Islands, then Kerikeri is the place for you!

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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.