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The Bay of Islands in luxury

Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Bay of Islands is made up of 144 islands and encompasses Kerikeri, Waitangim, Paihia and Russell. It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in New Zealand. The irregularly shaped 16-kilometre-wide inlet is a natural harbour with several arms and inlets.

Named by Captain James Cook in 1769, it was the first place in New Zealand to be inhabited by Europeans. Whalers arrived at the end of the 18th century, followed by missionaries in 1814.

Rahimoana Villa

Rahimoana Villa opened in 2006. It is on a long peninsula extending into the bay, not far from the towns of Russell and Tapeka and sitting on 30 hectares at the top of a steep slope at the end of a long private driveway.

Rahimoana is a Maori word translated as "sun over the sea" and as it faces directly north, the sun is there all day.

The villa accommodates up to eight people in total luxury. The owners planned, designed and constructed the property over four years, resulting in fine design, art, aesthetics and a sense of spirituality.

Set on nine-metre piles, the floors and walls of Rahimoana are of flamed and polished granite, giving the stone a soft texture. The interior is minimalist and the dominant colour pure white. Exterior walls feature expanses of glass, allowing the north sun to filter in a translucent light.

Blinds and roof panels open and close at the touch of a button, lighting is subtly concealed, furniture is of white Italian leather, bench tops are Italian marble, ensuite walls are sandblasted glass and bathroom fixtures are Europe's finest.

The kitchen's opaque sliding panels may be closed or left open as gourmet meals are prepared by the resident chef or you may prefer to self-cater.

There is a meeting discussion area, loads of living and dining spaces, a portico and open roofed area between the front and rear.

At the rear are two smaller accommodation areas, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, infra-red sauna and wine cellar. Large open spaces under the villa can be used for any number of things — parking, banquet preparation, whatever you need.

The main living area enjoys 270-degree land and sea views along the villa's frontage and looks directly out over the deck and large horizon pool.

Cavalli Lodge

The Cavalli Islands form a small group in Whangaroa on the east coast of northern New Zealand. They lie five kilometres to the east of Matauri Bay on the mainland. The main island is a nature reserve, and some of the smaller islands are privately owned. In 1987 the hulk of the bombed-out Greenpeace vessel the Rainbow Warrior was scuttled between Matauri Bay and the Cavalli Islands to serve as a dive wreck and fish sanctuary. The move was seen as a fitting end for the ship, which had been sunk the year before by French secret agents, much to the consternation of the world.

The Cavalli Island Spa Retreat, which opened in January 2006, accommodates eight people. It is made up of a series of adjoining buildings including a cottage.

Cavalli Island Cottage and The Pavilion are set right on the beach just metres from the water. You can enjoy water activities, soak up the sun by your own private pool, or experience a spa treatment.

Guests arrive aboard a 72ft luxury motor yacht, which is on call for exclusive use during your stay, and you will be welcomed by a traditional Maori powhiri.

The Pavilion offers a choice of sleeping options — old world or new. A luxuriously furnished cottage dating to the 1800s is one choice; the other an award-winning contemporary design in the main pavilion's suite. Both have absolute beachfront and are absolutely private. Enjoy the open fireplace, roll-top antique bath, indoor and outdoor showers.

The lounging area is spectacular. Take in the ocean views on the expansive decks. There is a pool, Jacuzzi, barbecue, 24-hour cable television and an in-home theatre.

Eat where and when you wish. Award-winning chefs prepare the best in indigenous fare to your own taste, and serve it up with New Zealand wines from your own private cellar.

Keep up on your exercise in the professional gymnasium, which features views of the Cavalli shoreline.

The spa allows you to indulge in individually-designed treatment in the purpose-built pavilion. Therapists are trained in traditional and indigenous Maori well-being therapies.


New Zealand's Bay of Islands.


Rahimoana Villa costs around $28,777 a night with a three-night minimum. It is all inclusive.

Cavalli Island Retreat costs around $13,230 a night for two people. It is all inclusive.

Prices correct at 4 March, 2010.

More information

Ph: 0011 64 9 403 8333

Cavalli Island Retreat
Ph: +64 21 107 5233
Fax: +64 9 402 6026

Visas: Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.

Electricity: 230V/50Hz using the same plugs as in Australia.

Time zone: GMT +12.

Currency: The New Zealand dollar.

Telephone code: +64.

To find out more about the hot deals mentioned on the show, check out Holidays for Sale.

User comments
have you ever done a show on house boats on the bay of islands? I think I remember you doing one.

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