T H E   B A Y   O F   I S L A N D S


Homestead proprietor Chris Swannell (below)celebrates the Orongo Bay boardwalk on the Coastal Walkway right in front of The Homestead.

144 unspoilt islands invite yachting and boating pleasure, world record game fishing, and diving in a subtropical, unspoilt environment.

Temperatures are usually several degrees centigrade warmer than Auckland, only a scenic three-hour drive or one-hour flight away. Even in winter the Bay of Islands is up to ten degrees centigrade warmer than the more crowded tourist meccas of Taupo and Rotorua. The Homestead tree-ripens organic bananas, guavas, papaya, kiwi, and a host of exotic fruit and vegetables, which feature in its gourmet menus.

We can arrange historic Russell tours, arts, crafts and museum visits. Guests often buy excellent original paintings or native fashion at amazing prices.

See New Zealand's oldest giants: awesome native Kauri trees, or discover lush, unspoiled bush with guides to take you over private coastal hills and beaches.

Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, learning about their ancient Maori significance, or let us book you on a tall sailing ship cruise. On the crystal waters of the many secluded bays, sail away with skippered or unskippered yacht charters, or thrill to ocean jetboat sightseeing.

For dining, Russell has some of the best cuisine north of Auckland, including the awarded Country Hotel of the Year,The Duke of Marlborough Hotel,where reservations are absolutely essential.

Summer's best weather usually runs from late January right through April.


Directly opposite the Homestead is the Okiato-Russell Coastal Walkway, a progressing community project already offering a fascinating nature and maritime margin walk for our guests. Click on Mr Walker (right) to find out more! (This will take you to another website: use your "back" arrow to return here)


Take-off for a private air tour and four-wheel-drive excursion to the top of New Zealand where the oceans meet and the spirits of Maori return to Hawaiiki.

Many guests simply play croquet or boules on the lawns, or relax with a flute of champagne or glass of fine wine in our pampering haven with native kauri ceilings, large open lounge fire, fine music, organically grown herbs and produce, and candlelit cuisine (bespoke dining is by arrangement only)..


Orongo Bay Homestead is waiting to relax and restore:
a unique combination of home and hotel with a healthy regard for organic gourmet luxury.