Wanting somewhere quiet to stay before and after driving up to Cape Reinga, we looked for something a little different from the usual accommodation available in these holiday resorts. Trawling the internet, I located this motel which seemed to fill most of the criteria we sought – quiet and away from the main roads, great views and not too expensive. On arriving, we found it every bit as good as the website indicated. The view from our unit (No 10) over the Bay of Islands was impressive. As keen trampers (Hikers to you Northerners) we are used to seeing the world from lofty positions, and were not disappointed by Cook’s Lookout.
Our unit was spotless and well appointed, containing everything a weary traveller could need. With a small shop and fast food outlet just 5 minutes walk away, and many restaurants, cafes and bars within a few minutes driving at Paihia, there was no chance of going hungry.
Our hosts, Norm and Shelagh could not have been nicer, and were helpful and informative regarding things to see and do in the area. They offered to arrange for tour operators to collect and deliver us back from and to the motel if we wanted to take one of the many tours available.
We were particularly struck by the peace and quiet of the area, both day and night – the loudest sounds being the distant rumble of the Haruru Falls and the musical notes of the Tui, of which there seemed at times to be hundreds. Getting up before daylight on our last day to go for a run, I enjoyed a dawn chorus that would equal any that I’ve heard in the mountains.
We would recommend this motel to anyone wanting comfort, privacy, peace and quiet. We didn’t use the swimming or spa pools or the trampoline, but from what I could see of these facilities, I think this place would suit young families very well, and even those in their later years such as ourselves.
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