In the Far North of New Zealand, the Bay of Islands is a stunningly beautiful length of sand and rock coastline that circles a sea pierced by 150 islands. Wherever you are, it's impossible to escape the lure of the sea.
One of the most beautiful places to visit while you're in the area is the historic seaside town of Mangonui. Mangonui was one of the first settlements in New Zealand, and is one of the few towns that has managed to retain its original character. Fishing has long been its main source of income and it still boasts a resident group of fishermen as well as the country's most famous fish and chip shop, where the fare has to be tasted to be believed.
A long weekend in the town is highly recommended, and one of the best places to stay is the iconic Hotel Mangonui. Often called “New Zealand's most beautiful hotel”, it has been the social centre of the town for most of its history, and really is like a step back in time. Built in 1905, the exterior of the building has remained unchanged over the years, and inside the interior has retained its old world charm with a few mod cons thrown in for good measure. It is also surrounded by buildings built at the same time, including the Post Office (1904), the General Store (1907) and the Court House (1896). It's a great base from which to explore the area too, and definitely won't blow your budget.
Planning a trip to Mangonui? Book your accommodation now
with Yellow Maps.
Editorial by Helene Ravlich