(Firstly, apologies to Norm and Shelagh for taking so long to write this; approximately a year on from our stay!).
We (my wife, 11 month old son and I) had a lovely break at Cook's Lookout Motel during our three week holiday in New Zealand during November time.
Our trip to New Zealand was built around a family wedding in Wellington and so tried to cram in as much travelling around the North Island as we could around the 'main event'. As such we wanted to be able to have a 'mini holiday' within our trip to be able to relax away from the rest of the family who were with us. Having done some research back in England before we left we decided on staying in the bay of islands, and after some researching found Cook's Lookout Motel which looked to be just what we were after with good reviews to boot.
The views you see on their website are spot on, and really added to the feeling of tranquility whilst we were staying there. The location is great to be able to get around without the stress of being down on the coast (which was great for us as a young family as we wanted to be a bit away from the hustle and bustle). Norm and Shelagh were lovely hosts and very accommodating to our needs (including the provision of a baby bath on request).
If you're looking for somewhere affordable to stay in the area which is away from the busy beach areas but within easy reach of the islands etc then you can't go wrong with Cook's Lookout Motel.
Would definitely recommend and stay again in the future if we are up in the bay of islands again.