About Moon Gate Villa
The villa was commissioned by a successful Bay of Islands ‘Mills and Boon’ romantic novelist, and designed by Martyn Evans, an architect with a reputation for designing curvaceous and unusual buildings throughout New Zealand and Europe. Built in 1990, it was intended as a place to inspire the author’s literary muse. The Far North Turner Centre arts and entertainment complex in Kerikeri Village is probably one his best known local designs.
The Gardens & Moon Gate
The large 1.5 acre gardens surrounding the villa have featured many times in Kerikeri’s famous annual ‘Garden Safari‘ the last appearance being spring 2015. Moon Gate Villa is named after its exotic Moon Gate, suspended over one of the two elegant ponds that grace the formally landscaped grounds surrounding the main house.
There are year round blooms from hibiscus and lilies during summer, rhododendrons, delicate camellias and daphne in winter, to magnolias and bulbs flowering in the early spring. It’s not unusual to find our guests enticed to stroll through the gardens in the early morning light.
The Great Front Door
Standing at 2.3 meters tall, and 2.5 meters wide, the solid oregon timber door was the largest single door in New Zealand at the time of building, and took 6 men to manoeuvre into place.
The door handle is made of solid brass and is the shape of an eel, for reasons that become apparent once you pass through.
Yes, it does open! It pivots on an axis point one third of the way across its width.
Atrium hallway and waterfall
The entrance door opens to reveal a stream running through the 20m length of the atrium. Native ferns and plants provide a lush ambiance, and the sounds of running and splashing water immediately provides a sense of serenity and relaxation.
All Villa rooms have their interior entrances from the atrium, with the guest lounge overlooking the pond and terrace.
Guest rooms have doors leading into the north facing gardens and heated swimming pool area, where they enjoy day long sunshine.
We felt instantly relaxed as soon as we walked into the atrium..
The guest lounge and dining areas open completely to the gardens, creating a unique indoor – outdoor ambience. Light playfully reflects from the ponds onto the ceilings of the living areas, and all throughout the house are soothing sounds of flowing water.
Bi-fold doors and windows stretch all around the house, from north-east to north and northwest, capturing light and sunshine all day long.
Moon Gate Villa was substantially updated to include expansive king bedroom suites with dedicated bathrooms. The original ‘workers’ orchard cottage has been fully renovated and offers a delightful, private retreat.