Our Amazing View Is Back!

Yesss! - our amazing view is back! When we bought our property, we enjoyed an incredible view of the harbour, the sand dunes and the ocean beyond, but sadly, little by little, our neighbour's pines and eucalyptuses grew to the point that the view from our house was seriously compromised. Luckily the Lodge is higher up the hill and always maintained its view. Now the view is better than before, because we had never been able to see North Head from our house and now its pretty much the focal point. Naturally, we waste lots of time just soaking it all in, but we think that's time well spent! … [Read more...]

Hokianga Heritage

One of the great things about running a business like Kokohuia Lodge is that we get to meet some really interesting people. None more so than our recent guests, Leigh and Nickie Overton from Wanaka. Leigh is the great great grandson of Mary Bumby, the sister of John Bumby, who was the Wesleyan Superintendent at The Mangungu Mission House at the time of the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi. Both John and Mary were present (and hosted some 2000 to 3000 guests) at the second signing of The Treaty at Mangungu on February 12th 1840. It is interesting to note that more Rangatira signed The Treaty at Mangungu, than had signed it six days previously at Waitangi. Another interesting fact about Mary is that, in 1838, on her way out to NZ, she … [Read more...]

Its been a great season at Kokohuia Lodge!

As we head into May, its a good time for us to look back on our season, which is only now starting to wind down. Each year that we've been open, our season has started earlier and ended later, which is extremely gratifying. This season was no exception - to our great pleasure, we were heavily booked from the beginning of October, right through to the end of April. We've also started to get some solid bookings for next summer, so the omens are good. We now have beehives and recently had our first honey harvest. It has been great fun learning about bees - they're very cool animals! Apart from producing some of the nicest honey we've ever tasted (but we would say that) the bees also helped us to have a bumper fruit crop this … [Read more...]

Kokohuia Lodge is now 5 Star!

We're delighted to announce that Qualmark visited us last week and have awarded us a 5 Star rating in the Boutique and Lodge category! (We were previously 4+ Star in the Guest and Hosted category). We're particularly pleased as this has been a major goal for us. In addition, Qualmark has reconfirmed our Enviro Gold Award. Gaining a 5 Star rating also has a broader significance, as Kokohuia Lodge is now the first 5 Star accommodation on The Hokianga. The visit from the Assessor is of course only a snapshot in time - we've actually got a whole list of further improvements planned. The first of these is scheduled for next month and involves doubling the size of our solar array. … [Read more...]

Kokohuia Lodge Turns One

Kokohuia Lodge, the Hokianga's newest lodge has just celebrated its first anniversary. It has been an incredible year, with many high points. First and foremost, we have had a non-stop procession of fabulous guests. We haven't had one yet that we wouldn't raise a glass with. (and we have in fact raised glasses with a few!) Thanks to our friends at Northland Inc. and Tourism New Zealand, we have had the most unbelievable coverage in both print media and on the web. For me, the media highlight has been being featured in three English national daily newspapers, The Guardian, Financial Times and last Saturday, in The Independent. Link to Independent article.  Next month, we're being featured in Jetstar Magazine and Travel New Zealand ( an … [Read more...]

Planes Trains and Automobiles! (well almost)

We've just had some guests staying with us who went to major lengths to spend a couple of nights at Kokohuia Lodge. On Friday, following a night shift for one of them, they left from Masterton and drove to Wellington airport. From there they flew to Auckland and picked up a hire car, so they could drive the rest of the way. Today, they're doing the same in reverse. Fortunately, they had a fantastic time on The Hokianga and are glad they made the effort. It was a good week in general for Kokohuia Lodge. On Thursday, we inked a year long promotional contract with our friends at ecostore. This is for a rolling programme of activities taking us up to next summer. We're very pleased with this association, as ecostore customers are likely to … [Read more...]

The Build

After much planning and delay, we finally got underway with the build in late March 2011. We never imagined that it would take us till January 2012 to complete and it has certainly been a hell of a ride. We would have made a great “Grand Designs” episode for sure! The site itself has provided many challenges and dramas along the way. Add to that the fact that there is barely a right angle in the entire building and you start to understand the complexity. Then there was the rain, the sticky, slippery Hokianga clay and the wind you get with a winter build on The Hokianga. The most memorable drama had to be on Queen’s Birthday Weekend when a storm demolished the entire back wall of the house.  Or maybe the day when the 12 tonne digger … [Read more...]

Designing Our Eco B & B

Our initial plans to develop a sustainable Eco B & B were very much more modest than our current venture and have undergone a number of transformations along the way. As our knowledge and confidence with off-grid living grew, we realised that it would be possible to create something unique that would offer people the experience of green design and building without any compromise in comfort or style. We chose to team up with Auckland based architect, Cameron Pollock, having worked with him on a previous villa renovation in Auckland and being familiar with other projects he had undertaken. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that he is an old friend meant that we could work in a much more collaborative way than you might otherwise … [Read more...]

How it All Began

Well, here we are, finally open for business and taking bookings for Kokohuia Lodge, our beautiful, luxury, sustainably designed and built eco B&B. Welcome to our blog, where we will endeavour to keep you updated on the trials and triumphs of sustainable  living and hospitality on the stunning  Hokianga Harbour. I suppose it all started with a romantic weekend away in October 2004 when we spent our first weekend up here, not long after we got together. There is something about the Hokianga Harbour that gets under your skin and I think we were hooked from then on. On Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2005 we made our second trip up and started looking at property to buy. Of course at that point we had a bach in mind – never for a minute … [Read more...]