Historic Kohukohu Villa: I travelled to every region in New Zealand, this was my favourite B&B
Brook Sabin05:00, Sep 26 2022
Historic Kohukohu Villa: I travelled to every region in New Zealand, this was my favourite B&B | Stuff.co.nz
The house I’m sleeping at has seen a lot through the decades; it’s more than 160 years old.
It’s been an office, a billiards room and even a jail. Today, it’s a luxury bed and breakfast with some incredible hospitality to match.
My visit to Northland’s Historic Kohukohu Villa marks the end of a two-and-a-half-year project exploring every corner of New Zealand, provoked after the pandemic closed our borders.
And it turns out we saved the best for last – this is my favourite bed and breakfast I’ve ever stayed at.
Kohukohu is a tiny town on the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour.
The house was built sometime between 1840 and 1860 and started life as an office for a vast kauri mill that was once the centre of town. Since 2018, the villa has been meticulously restored by hosts Dee and Sean Morrissey.
The pair have done an exceptional job, separating off the western wing of the house for their guests.
The bed and breakfast has two rooms, but you'll never be there with strangers – it's only open to one party at a time.
The ultra-plush main bedroom is in the historic part of the building, meaning you're sleeping in a room that's more than 160 years old – one of the oldest in New Zealand. The second bedroom is upstairs in a loft area.
Guests have a private bathroom and their own lounge, alongside a plant-filled conservatory where meals are served. There's also a beautiful outdoor courtyard that catches the afternoon sun.
Breakfast is included, with favourites like bacon and eggs, three-egg omelettes or creamy chorizo, onion and mushrooms on toasted focaccia. Meals come with barista-made coffee – and it’s great.
Dinner is a special treat, with the pair preparing a delicious selection of meals such as fresh flounder on a couscous salad, eye fillet on truffle mash or fresh pasta. It’s easily some of the best food I've eaten in Northland.
Worth stepping out for
Take the car ferry across the harbour to Rāwene, where you can explore Wairere Boulders. It’s a forest walkway through an ancient lava flow, with 22 bridges that weave through a labyrinth of enormous cracks and boulders.
If you enjoy walking, head across to the Hokianga’s famous sand dunes (a company called Hokianga Express Charters offers trips).
It's a 40-minute walk to the top of the dunes, where you'll see a series of dramatic formations whipped up by the wind over thousands of years, together with sand canyons. You can explore these over a few hours, but be sure to leave only footprints: much of the area is considered sacred.
The beautifully resorted villa and exceptional hospitality from Dee and Sean.
I loved it – I couldn’t pick a fault.
If you enjoy staying at bed and breakfasts while on the road, make your next trip to Historic Kohukohu Villa.