Winter sun on the Bay of Islands

Winter sun on the Bay of Islands

I recently asked some Kiwi guests from the South Island, what brought them to Kerikeri and the Bay of Islands in June.  “We were looking for somewhere warmer!” was their quick and to-the-point answer.

All things being equal, we are usually a couple of degrees warmer here than in Auckland, throughout the year. The difference between Far North and the South Island however is even more dramatic during the winter months. We have up to one and a half hours more daylight than the south, as well as temperatures in the mid to high teens, sometimes tipping over the 20C (68F) mark on a sunny day in our garden. The rare frost we get (some years we have none) is enough to get local tongues wagging.  There is a reason so many lush tropical plants grow so well up this way!

Waitangi Museum

Waitangi Museum – perfect for a rainy day

So even during June, July and August there is much to occupy the time of visitors who love the great outdoors: from shorter walks around the coastal cliffs and forests, to strolls along deserted, white sandy beaches.  Of course it does rain, but those are the days to spend at the wonderful new Waitangi museum, or perhaps a tour of our local wineries.

One of local private car services has a great offer to chauffer you around for the day, and we recommend ending a wine tour by sharing one of Marsden Estate’s huge antipasto platters overlooking their beautiful lake and gardens. If you’re interested, please let us know when booking.

Ake Ake walking track - Opito Bay, Kerikeri

Ake Ake walking track – Opito Bay, Kerikeri

Of course if you are the hardy type that likes a good walk no matter what the weather, then the Kauri forests, or the glow worm caves at Kawati are for you!  The ancient kauri forests are very special, with nature’s natural canopy protecting you overhead, and the smell of lush green fernery surrounding you.  You can practically see the koru (fern fronds)  unfurling.

Perhaps though, you are at the end of your holiday and prefer to do nothing more than curl up in front of the fire with a good book in our guest lounge.

The choice is yours. Winter is Wonderful.