Yvettes 40th

Join us for an iconic kiwi beach holiday. Come for a few days or a full week, whatever you can manage.

NOTE – As accommodation options in the area are limited and book well in advance we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. Here’s some key information to help you in your decision making process.



The event will be held about 30km from Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands in an area called Matauri Bay. Matauri Bay and the surrounds are the true perfect Kiwi holiday destination. There are many things to do at Matauri Bay as well as in the Northland area.

The Matauri Bay beach is ideal for swimming, and often for boogie / body boarding and surfing (depending on the waves). Around from Matauri there are many beautiful beaches within walking distance, also with great swimming. Matauri is alaos fantastic beach to launch your boat from and go out boating. The Cavalli Islands are just off Matauri, with many private beaches to explore. There is great fishing and diving in the area.

Very near Matauri Bay Motor Camp is the famous Rainbow Warrior Wreck Dive and the Rainbow Warrior Memorial.

The closest town is Kerikeri, a beautiful town with many activities and larger supermarkets. Other towns in the area include Paihia and Russell.



We are hopeful that people will come up and spend New Years Eve and a full week with us (the longer we have together the better), however we understand if family & work commitments may not allow this. Just come for as long as you can, or as long as you would like, and do as much or as little as you like while you enjoy a special New Zealand holiday in the Far North.



  1. Waiheke Island – some of the best views of the Auckland skyline can be experienced on the 35 minute ferry ride to Waiheke, a mini paradise of vineyards and golden sand beaches to the Hauraki Gulf. Go for a boat ride only, go have a meal there, do a wine tour, or stay overnight on the island (book in advance). Boats go from Auckland viaduct.
  2. Karangahape Road (K Road) – One of the city’s liveliest strips in Auckland. Between art galleries and fossicking for vintage treasures (yes there are op shops!) stop for a coffee at Bestie, in a recently restored 90 year old arcade that overlooks Myers Park. Cocos Cantina, an Italian bar/bistro is where its at come dinnertime, while across the road cocktail lounge 69 serves Polynesian and American street food until 3am. If you need a place to work from in Auckland check out www.bizdojo.com/. It’s on K Road too. 🙂
  3. Black sand beaches – if you’re into natural landscapes, beaches along the rugged wild west coast line are worth a look. Take your pick from Bethells Beach, Piha (showcased in the TV series 800 words) or Muriwai, a total surf community.
  4. Gelato – Order award-winning gelato from Takapuna Beach Cafe (north shore – over the bridge) and admire the iconic Rangitoto Island (which can also be visited from the Auckland Ferry Terminal), the largest volcano in Auckland’s field of about 50.
  5. Best burgers EVER – No trip to Auckland is complete without a trip to Burger Burger. Eat in or takeaway in Ponsonby, Newmarket and Takapuna, Auckland. There will be queues but don’t let them put you off. They’re there for a reason. The burgers are to die for! It is worth the wait!! burgerburger.co.nz/menu/
  6. Auckland museum – Auckland War Memorial Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm, closed Christmas Day. It has a NZ music exhibition (http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/whats-on/exhibitions/volume-making-music-in-aotearoa) on during the summer which looks worth checking out. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/visit/plan-your-visit/hours-admission-info
  7. Auckland Art Gallery – More than 150 historic oil portraits of Māori and Pākehā will be shown at Auckland Art Gallery in the largest ever exhibition of work by artist Gottfried Lindauer. The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand will feature artworks from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Entry is free. http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/whats-on/exhibition/the-maori-portraits-gottfried-lindauers-new-zealand
  8. Auckland Domain – The Auckland Domain is Auckland’s oldest park, and at 75 hectares one of the largest in the city. Located in the central suburb of Grafton, the park contains all of the explosion crater and most of the surrounding tuff ring of the Pukekawa volcano. Park Rd, Grafton, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
  9. Maungawhau / Mount Eden – is a scoria cone in the Mount Eden suburb of Auckland. From the summit, visitors can enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the city and its harbours!
  10. Hallertau – Unpasteurised and unfiltered craft beer brewery! The kitchen grows a good amount of produce in the garden, homebake their bread and keep their eggs free range to aide the five star menu. It’s definitely worth the drive out to the countryside. 1171 Coatesville Riverhead Highway, Riverhead.
  11. Silo Park – Silo Park has become an Auckland summer regular, delivering a range of special cinematic, music and community events every Friday and Saturday. https://www.silopark.co.nz/

MORE: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attractions-g255106-Activities-Auckland_North_Island.html


  1. Waiwera Thermal Resort, Orewa – Waiwera Thermal Resort is located 35 minutes north of Auckland, on the picturesque Hibiscus Coast. They natural thermal pools are sheltered by the native bush and hills of the Waiwera valley. The perfect place to unwind and relax in these naturally hot thermal pools or kids (or big kids) might like to try out the water slides! http://www.waiwera.co.nz/
  2. Sawmill Brewery – Craft beer brewery in Matakana, New Zealand – An independent New Zealand owned brewery in Matakana, 1004 Leigh Road that. www.sawmillbrewery.co.nz/
  3. Goat Island – Established in 1975 as New Zealand’s first marine reserve, Goat Island is a protected area, which has allowed sea life and fauna to recover and flourish. You can arrange kayaks, snorkelling or glass bottom boat tours. 1 hour north of Auckland. Leigh is the take off point. Book in advance. Glassbottomboat.co.nz
  4. Matakana – explore the produce-rich region of Matakana, where regional parks, wineries and a renowed farmer’s market are all situated.
  5. Kawiti Glow Worm Caves at Waiomio just before Kawakawa – The Kawiti Caves are home to thousands of luminous glow worms, breath taking rock formations and lush green rainforest. Your 30 minute guided tour will follow a wooden boardwalk through a 200 metre limestone cave system. Once inside, you will see thousands of glow worms spread across the ceiling surrounded by breath taking stalactites and stalagmites. As you enjoy the galaxies of glow worms above, your friendly guide will explain the life cycle of the New Zealand Glow worm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) Cost: Adult NZ $20, Child (5-15years) NZ $10. Tours depart every 20 – 30minutes. Tour is approx. 30-40 minutes in duration. Open 7 days, 9am to 4pm.
  6. Kiwi North, Kiwi House and Museum


  1. Fish & chips at the famous Mangonui Fish & Chip shop over the water (we have this in the itinerary below – come with us?)
    Tane Mahuta Waipoua Forest – Stand in awe at the base of Tane Mahuta, an ancient and enormous Kauri tree.
    Rainbow Falls – A short walk along the Kerikeri River leads you to the stunning Rainbow Falls. 400 m one way in return via same track. Very easy walk. From Kerikeri township, head north-east to the Heritage Bypass, then turn left into Waipapa Road. Rainbow Falls Road is on the left off Waipapa Road. Access to the Rainbow Falls is from the parking area at the end of Rainbow Falls Road or from the Kerikeri River Track itself.
  2. Kaikohe – West of the Bay of Islands is Kaikohe, a good place to stopover for refreshments on the way up the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. Monument Hill offers excellent views and is a beautiful place for a picnic. The main local attraction in Kaikohe is the pioneer village, which includes several restored historic buildings – New Zealand’s oldest courthouse, an 1875 cottage, a jail, a school and more. You’ll also see Maori artefacts, gum-digging equipment and a blacksmith’s shop. Kaikohe also has two hot pools at Ngawha Springs, Ginns Ngawha Spa & Waiariki Pools. These are the most northern of New Zealand’s geothermal sites.
  3. Waitangi – where the Treaty of Waitangi (NZ founding document) was made, take in a Maori cultural performance. We plan to do this on Tue 3 January. Come with us!
  4. Mission House – The Mission House at Kerikeri in New Zealand was completed in 1822 as part of the Kerikeri Mission Station by the Church Missionary Society, and is New Zealand’s oldest surviving building. It is sometimes known as Kemp House.
  5. Cape Reinga – See two oceans collide at Cape Reinga, the very top of the North Island of New Zealand. Maori people believe their spirit flies to the top of the north island and off into the sea as they pass out of this life. We plan to do this on 9 January. Come with us!
  6. Golfers – Play golf at Kauri Cliffs or Peppers Carrington Resort

However here is a rough itinerary of some activities we plan to do in the area.

If you’d like to join us for these activities please RSVP on the form below for all items you intend to be a part of, including the 40th party celebration, so we have an idea of numbers and can plan catering etc.


WED 28 DECEMBER – Arrive into Auckland with my two kids + Steve & Tracy (mates from San Fran visiting NZ for first time!)


WHERE: Head north. Stay somewhere near Mangawhai – accommodation TBC.
Probably check out

SAT 31 DECEMBER – New Years Eve
WHERE: Stay somewhere near Mangawhai – accommodation TBC. Georgina to join us from London – whoop!

SUN 1 JANUARY – Lazy day!
WHERE: Stay somewhere near Mangawhai – accommodation TBC.

WHAT: Arrive to Whangaroa. Check into accommodation & get settled in!
WHERE: 12 Old Hospital Road, RD1 Kaeo, Whangaroa 0478


WHAT: Explore around Matauri Bay, KeriKeri township and surrounds

Kerikeri is widely known for its successful horticulture, niche food products, fabulous chocolates, boutique vineyards, art galleries, cafes and crafts. Some places you could check out:

Vineyard Trail
Kerikeri Art & Craft Trail
– Day spas – Pure Day Spa, Body Divine
– Visit Living Nature – Certified natural skincare and cosmetic products made of New Zealand’s unique natural ingredients.
Or you could just cruise around the shops in the township and meet some locals!


WHAT: Drive to Waitangi where the Treaty of Waitangi (NZ founding document) was made, take in a Maori cultural performance.

WHEN: Morning. Opens at 9am. Cultural performances at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm.
Adult $40
NZ residents (ID required) $20
Child * (up to 18 years) Free
– Admission to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
– Entry to the brand new Museum of Waitangi
– The Waitangi – Birthplace of a Nation introductory film (22 minutes)
– An informative Guided Tour with one of our local guides. Duration: 50 minutes
– A high-energy, entertaining Cultural Performance. Duration: 30 minutes
– Full access to New Zealand’s most historic site, featured icons, bush walks and spectacular Bay of Island’s views

WHEN: After 5pm
WHAT: BBQ @ the Old Hospital House
WHERE: 12 Old Hospital Road, RD1 Kaeo, Whangaroa 0478
BRING: Something for BBQ + drinks
SUITS: All welcome!


WHEN: 1030am
WHAT: Kerikeri River Track. Option to just do the Rainbow Falls (10 mins) or 3.5km which follows the bank of the Kerikeri River through regenerating forest – discover the remains of an historic power house, and Wharepuke and Rainbow Falls. You can see interesting rock formations close to the Wharepuke Falls. At the base of these falls is a popular swimming-hole. Ten minutes westward along the river from the Wharepuke Falls, the Kerikeri River Track goes under the Heritage Bypass and takes you to a seating area at the Fairy Pools.
WHERE: The Kerikeri River Track starts in the Kerikeri Basin Reserve and ends at the Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri. Access the track from Rainbow Falls Road. We could have the picnic at the western end of the track near Rainbow Falls Road. Also Wharepuke cafe/restaurant nearby comes recommended if you don’t want to do a picnic.
BRING: Good walking shoes, blanket to sit on, hat, sun glasses, sun cream, togs, picnic food!

WHEN: 5pm
WHAT: Dinner – Fish & chips at the famous Mangonui Fish & Chip shop over the water
WHERE: Beach Rd, Far North 0420, New Zealand
COST: Whatever you want to buy


WHEN: 12pm
WHAT: Lunchtime Picnic at Te Waimate Mission Station
WHERE: 344 Te Ahuahu Road, Waimate North (20 minutes drive from Kerikeri)
BRING: Picnic food and a blanket or something to sit on!
COST: May be a cost if you want to go and check out the mission house. Minimal though.

WHEN: 430pm – 630pm
WHAT: Social water polo and bombing competition
WHERE: Kerikeri Swimming Pool, Hone Heke Road, Kerikeri
BRING: Something for BBQ, drinks, togs, towel
COST: Pool entry
SUITS: ALL [Kid friendly – toddler pools also available]

WHEN: After 630pm
WHAT: Meet & Greet Drinks @ the Old Hospital House
WHERE: 12 Old Hospital Road, RD1 Kaeo, Whangaroa 0478
BRING: Drinks & nibbles
COST: Nuttin
SUITS: All welcome!


WHEN: 4pm on
WHAT: Yvette’s 40th & Matisse’s 10th!
WHERE: Old School House, Wainui Road, Whangaroa
BRING: Drinks to a certain value will be provided. If you would like anything special BYO. Food provided. Please make sure you have filled in the form below to indicate if you have any dietary requirements and to specify your preferred drink.
COST: Nuttin
SUITS: All welcome! Will be a jumping castle or inflatable for kids!

Note – I will have a photographer there from 6 – 9pm so please make sure you are there by then!


WHEN: 8:30 – 12 noon (if you aren’t too hungover!)
WHAT: Bay of Island Sunday Markets. Authentic Farmers Market! Features fresh local seasonal produce, seedlings, fresh cut flowers, Artisan food, music and welcoming atmosphere.
WHERE: Post Office Car Park, Hobson Ave, Kerikeri

WHEN: 12 noon onwards
WHAT: Hangi! A hāngi is a traditional Māori style of cooking which is still commonly practiced throughout New Zealand today. It is a process where steam is used as a medium of cooking the food while it is beneath the ground.
WHERE: Old School House, Wainui Road, Whangaroa
BRING: Drinks & nibbles for while you are waiting for the hangi to come up (late afternoon)
COST: $10 per head if you want hangi!
SUITS: All welcome!

WHEN: After the hangi
WHAT: Drinks @ the Old Hospital House
WHERE: 12 Old Hospital Road, RD1 Kaeo, Whangaroa 0478
BRING: Drinks
SUITS: All welcome!


We check out of the Old Hospital house. We’ll head north to Cape Reinga the very northern most point of NZ. You’re welcome to come in convoy! There you can see oceans collide. Maori people believe their spirit flies to the top of the north island and off into the sea as they pass out of this life.

Yet to confirm where we’ll stay on this night. Maybe Ahipara. Maybe Opononi.


Yet to confirm where we’ll stay on this night. Maybe Opononi. Maybe Auckland.


Fly back to Brisbane. 🙁


Can you come? Please RSVP ASAP so we can get an idea of numbers for catering and know any dietary requirements you have!


Matauri Bay Holiday Park
Matauri Bay Motor Camp is a beachside camping ground and has 90 tent and caravan sites and good facilities including 6 cabins, kitchen & ablutions blocks, a licensed general store with fuel pumps, diving & fishing charters and scuba gear & refills.  View rates here. 


Brian and Maggie Grimwood
Phone / Fax: 09 405 0525

Kauri Cliffs
5-star luxury accommodation on 6,500 acres of beautifully landscaped coastal farmland. 22 guest rooms feature open fireplaces, private verandas and ocean views. Gourmet dining using the best locally sourced produce. 11 outlying guest cottages. Private beaches ideal for kayaking, fishing and picnics. Nature trails abound for walking or mountain biking. A health spa and an 18 hole 72 par PGA golf course. 

The Cavalli Beach House Retreat

The Cavalli Beach House Retreat is situated on the iconic Far North coast at Mahinepua just 30 minutes from Kerikeri/Bay of Islands airport, or an easy four hour drive north of Auckland.

The architecturally designed lodge fits beautifully into the fully landscaped surroundings on an absolute beachfront site which takes advantage of the stunning views of the private Rapaki Bay, the Mahinepua scenic reserve peninsula and the Cavalli Islands beyond.

Cottage on the Beach

The ‘Cottage on the Beach’ offers that relaxed Kiwi lifestyle that many people dream about. Just a few steps to sandy Mahinepua beach with unobstructed views to the beautiful Cavalli Islands. 10 minutes drive to world class golf course, Kauri Cliffs near Matauri Bay and Whangaroa Harbour for gamefishing charter boats. Surrounded by farmland and offering stunning, scenic coastal walks, you will find ‘The Cottage on the Beach’ the perfect place to escape to.

Kingfish Lodge

Kingfish Lodge is a harbour-side hideaway, accessible only by water, in Whangaroa Harbour in the Far North of New Zealand. Kingfish Lodge is the oldest coastal fishing lodge in New Zealand and is situated at Kingfish Point in Whangaroa Harbour (meaning “Long Harbour”).

Kingfish Lodge is in a setting full of contrasts, here your days can be as exhilarating or relaxing as your please.

A bach is the word used for a New Zealand holiday house. There are many local baches available to rent through the BookaBach website:



In terms of air travel you can fly into either Auckland International or Auckland domestic and then travel by car to KeriKeri, the nearest main town to all of the accommodation outlined, which is around 3 hours north.

Domestic flights

There are domestic flights direct to KeriKeri from Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.  For domestic flight deals sign up for alerts on https://grabaseat.co.nz/destination/Kerikeri.

Air New Zealand operate flights from Auckland to Kerikeri daily.

International flights

Click here for airlines that fly from the UK & Europe to Auckland, New Zealand
(note that you can also go via Australia on the way or the way back)

Click here for airlines that fly from Australia to Auckland, New Zealand.

Click here for airlines that fly from USA to Auckland, New Zealand


  • From Wellington – 10 h 32 min (889.3 km) via State Highway 1. 
  • From Auckland – 3 h 5 min (241.9 km) via State Highway 1
  • From Napier – 7 h 47 min (656.5 km) via State Highway 1
  • From Blenheim – 14 h 33 min (1,014.0 km) via State Highway 1

Coming from somewhere else? Use this handy distance calculator to get an approximate travel time and distance between two points in New Zealand.