Monday, December 14, 2015

Waihau Bay Lodge, Waihau Bay

Waihau Bay on the East Coast seems a remote place to find a historic hotel, but this small settlement was established in the 1870's, complete with Post Office/store. The hotel and store still remain in htis beautiful spot. It was an excellent place to take a short break.

Masonic Hotel, Opotiki

Opotiki has one of the most complete and original late 19th century town centres. On a prominent corner in the centre is the Masonic Hotel. It made an excellent lunch stop on our way to Waihau Bay. The Indian restaurant has excellent food.
Visit date: 14 December 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

Russell is one of the most beautiful spots in Northland, and the Duke of Marlborough Hotel is a wonderful place to stay. It shows off our old colonial architecture to best advantage. The rooms are of a high standard and the restaurant food superb.  A great end to our Northland trip.
Visit date: 26 November 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pagoda Lodge, Kerikeri

Although not a historic hotel, we had to include Pagoda Lodge because of it's historic interest. It was built by a Scotsman in the 1930's to display his collection of chinese treasures. The Lodge has now been converted into three self contained holiday apartments set in a lovely garden on a riverbank. A very beautiful spot to stay.
Visit date: 25 November 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Marlin Hotel, Whangaroa

Situated on the Whangaroa Harbour, this old hotel is in another great scenic spot.  After climbing St Paul's Rock and admiring the amazing view from the top, we stopped at the hotel for lunch.
Visit date: 24 November 2015

Mangonui Hotel, Mangonui

Built in 1905, this hotel is one two remaining hotels in the bay. Once a busy harbour for whaling ships, it is now a quiet picturesque town. Many old buildings remain in the bay and can be explored by following the Mangonui Heritage Trail.
Visit date: 24 November 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Central Hotel, Dargaville

As the Commercial is a B&B, we ate at another historic hotel, also opposite the Wairoa River. The Central Hotel was built in 1876, and also has new owners who have started the exciting task of restoring this wonderful reminder of a bygone era. We enjoyed the best burgers we have had in years.
Visit date: 22 November 2015

Commercial Hotel, Dargaville

Having started our trip at the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour, our accommodation that night was at the northern end. The Commercial Hotel was built by John Logan Campbell in the 1880's, when Dargaville was a busy port during the kauri timber days.
It is now a very pleasant B&B, where the new owners are busy restoring this grand building. Our room had the beautiful kauri floor looking like new.
Visit date: 22 November 2015

The Grand Hotel, Helensville

We started our Northland tour at the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour, so lunch had to be at the remaining hotel of the era when this was a busy port. The original wooden building from 1876 burnt down twice (deliberately according to our friendly bar staff) and today's concrete building dates from the 1930's.
Visit date 22 November 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

National Hotel, Cambridge

Cambridge is a striking old town, worth exploring on foot. While passing through, we took time out to walk around and admire the old buildings. The National Hotel was an excellent choice for lunch, we would highly recommend their delicious and well presented food.
Built in 1912, after fire destroyed the original wooden hotel. It has undergone extensive renovation in recent years.
Visit date: 2 September 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Grand Hotel, Te Aroha

Te Aroha is a delightful small town. The heritage buildings date back to the discovery of gold in 1880 and when the gold ran out, it was developed as a spa town. By 1886, there were seven bath houses - initially Te Aroha attracted more visitors than Rotorua or Hamner Springs.

But like the gold, visitor numbers dwindled as Rotorua took over as the main spa town. What remains today is a small quiet town with a good number of beautiful old buildings.

One of these is the Grand Hotel, built in 1880, when gold was discovered in the Wairongomai Valley. Although the gold soon ran out, the hotel survived due to it's location near the hot springs. Today it is well worth a lunch stop, the food was excellent value. Visit date: 22 August 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Llandaff, Masterton

Wairarapa is full of beautiful historic homesteads, and we were able to spend our final night there in a really stunning 1880 home. This beautifully restored homestead also has the original farm buildings and a lovely garden with many 120 year old trees, planted by the family that built it.
Visit date: 22 March 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lake Ferry Hotel, Lake Onoke

Nearly 100 years old, this hotel was built in 1919. The original hotel was built in 1851 by the locals, to supplement the local ferryman's income and role in the community. Today it is a peaceful 'end of the world' type location, a world away from nearby Martinborough.
Site visit: 21 March 2105

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Martinborough Hotel, Martinborough

Martinborough. like Greytown, is a lovely small town full of well maintained historic buildings. The hotel is the original hotel built in 1882, and located on the town's central square. Definitely a must visit for old hotel lovers.
Site visit: 20 March 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The White Swan Hotel, Greytown

The White Swan Hotel looks like an original colonial hotel, with its wide verandas, but although a historic building, it actually started life as a railways administration building and was moved to Greytown in 2002. They offer an excellent mid-week package including a three course dinner.
Visit date: 19 March 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lake Whakamarino Lodge, Tuai

The Lake Lodge in Tuai, can be almost considered to be a historic hotel, as it was built nearly 100 years ago. In the 1920's, this huge Lodge (actually five separate lodges) was built to house the workers for the various hydro dam schemes. It catered for them then, and today still caters for workers passing through and any other visitors to the area. The large lawns leading down to the lake, give the feel of an English-style park.
Visit date: 10 March 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Matawai Hotel, Matawai

After a previous failed attempt to visit the Matawai Hotel, we managed to dine and stay the night there this time. The hotel was obviously beautifully finished, with lovely wood panelling and a grand staircase. Now at the stage of 'faded glory', but still worth a visit. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, then had the whole top floor with it's six bedrooms and lounge to ourselves overnight.
Visit date: 6 March 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cheltenham Hotel, Cheltenham

Cheltenham Hotel is a real old time country pub. Originally built in 1876, it had to be rebuilt twice after fires. Not quite in the league of Cheltenham hotels in the UK, we nonetheless had a comfortable bed in a renovated room - what more can you ask for when discovering another piece of New Zealand's past.
Visit date: 2 March 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thyme Out Estate, Fielding

Our accommodation near Fielding was a historic 19th century homestead, rather than a historic hotel. This modernised homestead, was a very comfortable alternative, complimented by an attractive two acre garden.
Visit date: 1 March 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Waitomo Hotel, Waitomo

Our trip to Waitomo Hotel was a repeat of a visit there 41 years ago. In those days it was owned by the THC government hotel chain and was a busy vibrant place. The government sold the chain in 1990, and although the hotel is a wonderful old building in a brilliant position above the village, it is a far cry from it's hey-day. But fortunately we were unaware that it has a reputation as the most haunted hotel in New Zealand. The only ghosts for us, were memories of our younger selves forty-one years ago. For us, that was equivalent to the paranormal time travel experience  reported in the Waikato Times by an investigator in 2011!
Visit date: 9 February 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oxford Royal Hotel, Tirau

It's hard to imagine that Tirau was originally called 'Oxford'. It was intended to be built in the style of an English town, complete with a Cathedral. A remnant from this optimistic beginning still exists in the Oxford Royal Hotel. Built around 1877, it was the staging post for travellers between Rotorua and Cambridge.

Today however, the hotel serves an excellent steak, and still makes a good stopping point.
Visit date: 22 January 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Harbourside, Tauranga

Although, not strictly a historic hotel, the Harbourside Resturant is located in a stunning location in an old harbourside building, built out over the water.

Eating on the old veranda is delightful, and the food excellent. A real summer's day treat.
Visit 20 January 2015