Our home for 2 nights
Swallows Ridge near Kerikeri is a lovely B&B run by Chris and Mike. I fell in love with that place when I was looking at our options on booking.com and couldn’t not to include a stay there in our trip itinerary. So we went up north straight from the Auckland Airport – about 3.5h drive. When we arrived it was already pitch dark, we struggled for a moment to find the right driveway but it wasn’t too hard.
The best part of arriving during night was the “surprise” view from our window in the morning (be sure to book a room with the sea views). It was beautiful – green hills, bay and blue sky. During breakfast (cooked by Mike, you just fill out the breakfast request form the evening before) we couldn’t stop looking out the window.
The friendliness of the owners is really a standout – they called a local restaurant and asked them not to close after 9pm because we were coming tired and hungry and gave us some tips what to do with our time the next day which turned out to be a great idea.
Very clean and modern place, each room comes with an en suite bathroom and patio seating. It was such a shame it was bit too chilly to plunge in the pool but we took the advantage of the separate guest lounge and the fact they had the LOTR movies – an evening with New Zealand beers, cheese and part III of the trilogy.
Rainbow Falls walk
4.5km hike along the Kerikeri river – from the Rainbow Falls to the Stone Store. It was a great thing to do on our first day of getting to know each other with Northland.
(unfortunately we were way too short in the Northland to find more places to recommend.)
In Paihia we had a late lunch at the Pier Lounge Bar and Cafe – lamb salad with beetroot and mussel fritters (with chunks of mussels) with herb sauce. Really lovely lunch with great views.