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Hosting and the Human Spirit.

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I had a huge dose of gratitude on the weekend....

I got away to watch our youngest daughter compete in the Auckland Half Marathon, for her first, ever half marathon.


Watching all these amazing people compete whether they were seasoned athletes, people with disabilities or amateur walkers certainly creates some warm fuzzies inside us all. It was so inspiring and I'm sure that 90% of the spectators walked away that day vowing, that they too, would compete next year.

I felt very grateful and humble that I could get away for the day to see all these people and especially, our daughter cross the finish line with her mile-wide smile and realised this is the whole reason we are Outrigger Motel and why we do motelling and hosting of all you fabulous people! Why? Because of "The Human Spirit"!


The whole purpose we all do what we do is to connect and help one another and I feel very blessed that I have a "job" that I can do just that! This "job" has also let us be able to work alongside our friends and peers to give back to the community which then supports us all. This "job" has helped raise our children to be good people and to be able to go off into the world and talk to all sorts of people and organisations.

So yes...I'm feeling pretty dam grateful and blessed and if it takes one of the family to run a half marathon for me to see that then I hope I attend many, many more.

You never know....perhaps it will be me next year??

Waitangi Mountain Bike park OPENING

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"Thrilled beyond belief" is how Paihia's Tiffany Holland summed up her feelings (and probably a massive understatement!)  during the opening on October 16 2016, of the Far North's first park for mountain bikers.


Waitangi Mountain Bike Park opened with an initial 20km of trails in the forested hills behind Waitangi.


This summer work will begin on another 25km; by the time the park is finished in 2017 it will boast 75km of trails.


A wonderful bit of architecture is the bike hub at the Bayly Rd entrance and so far has parking, portable loos and information panels but will eventually include a cafe, park office and bike rental.


Community group Focus Paihia is behind the project, which was the brainchild of Mrs Holland and her husband Robin. They got the community behind them and the community delivered in terms of massive amounts of donations and grants plus the hundreds of hours of free labour to get the park to this stage.


The bike-mad couple battled bureaucracy for three years then shed "blood, sweat and tears" during a year of construction to get the park off the ground.


Though the WMBP facility will be 'free to ride' there is a low cost membership for an annual fee of $25 - this money goes entirely towards maintenance of the trails and is extremely important for the sustainability of the project. So it is essential that we make this offer as attractive as possible, as we need EVERYONE who rides the park to join. 

Come check it out. The views are spectacular out over the Bay of Islands and the tracks sensational......according to my husband! 

New Treats in Kerikeri!

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A couple of weeks ago I went out for a girls day out.

We wanted to try somewhere new and then I remembered that the Makana Boutique Chocolate Factory had added a café. As we walked in we were greeted by lovely smiling faces and an array of tasty looking treats. As we looked at all the options we were spoilt for choice. After much deliberation, I decided on ice cream and my friend went for the cake and coffee option . It was absolutely delicious! I had a double scoop in a cone, however, I could have just had a single as they were very generous with their servings. Once we paid we sat outside in the sunshine. There was lots of seating inside and out and even though the café is close to the road it was very peaceful. We both enjoyed our visit to the Makana café and will definitely be going back soon. The toilets are lovely too!!!!!! 

On a Saturday, you can make a day of it with a visit to the fabulous Packhouse Market now just across the road from the Makana Chocolates and Cafe. 

The market runs every Saturday morning from 8.00am indoor and outdoor – RAIN OR SHINE!!!

At the Bay of Islands Old Packhouse Market you will find good, honest, farm fresh products plus value added produce, fabulous artisan breads & pastries, delicious “street” food, great coffee and music.

The Old Packhouse Market is also a good place to purchase gifts from a wide range of talented Arts and Crafts stallholders.

And then go and treat yourself to Makana deliciousness after the markets! Enjoy!

Get down and dirty at the Bay of Islands Beast!

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July 9th saw entrants who participated in The Bay of Islands Beast flock to Paihia from all over Northland and Auckland. The Bay of Islands Beast is one of many very successful and annual events to be held in the beautiful Bay of Islands.

Over 800 people got down 'n dirty in mid-winter, all in the name of fitness and fun to participate in this great community supported event in the Bay of Islands. Most entrants and their support people stay in Paihia and enjoy Fullers Greatsights transport to and from The Beast which is held at a local farm at Haruru Falls. The Hawke family give up a couple of paddocks and their farm life for the day so as the Sports Northland team along with Fullers Greatsights can hold this fantastic event. Fullers Greatsights provide their coaches to deliver entrants to and from Paihia to make for a carefree, non-stress time for all, in this event. (I know what you're thinking...that you wouldn't want to get in the coaches after this lot, but Fullers Greatsights do an excellent job of the transporting and no one would know there has an ounce of dirt in the buses at all!)

Though we claim our region as the "Winterless North" here in the Bay of Islands, you will agree that New Zealand could not be as amazingly lush, green and beautiful without a certain amount of rainfall, so a perfect event to have in July where getting dirty is the aim! Don't panic, as our local good guys the Paihia Volunteer Fire Brigade are there in force for a bit of fire drill practice whereby they get to hose the mud off everyone at the finish line. I don't know who has the most fun?? I hear there are plenty of brigade volunteers on the day!! 

People of all ages and levels of fitness participate in The beast and it is so pleasing to see that this crazy yet amazing race is encouraging many people into their first of many, sporting events. There is plenty of competition for the individual athlete who are competing in the all the Sport Northland Series Events OR for the entrants that are just there for fun and fitness from walking, running and sliding their way to the finish line. Teams of mates, school groups, sport clubs and corporate teams are encouraged to enter. As you can see, "dress-up" is the order of the day!

Everyone finishes off their fun filled day at the prize giving held in conjunction with the Bay of Islands Beast Community Street Party held in Williams Road, the Centre of Paihia village. Some great prizes to be won and then time to enjoy wonderful food, wine, music and local ambience at the Street Party!

As you know Outrigger Motel is so centrally located so it is just a short stroll of 300 meters to catch the coach for the Beast and 200 meters to the Street Party in the heart of Paihia. So what are you waiting for?

Check out the link to The Bay of Islands Beast for more information and to book for next years event and while you are at is book your central Paihia accommodation at Outrigger Motel too. Book online NOW or give us a call 0800 7627737

It called the winter-less north for a reason.

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2016 Autumn, has melting records for being the hottest climate since 1938 and we are expecting the trend to continue through the winter. 
Already middle of June and we are still sitting out in the sun with our kiwi-attire on; Jandals, T-Shirts, and shorts. Here in the Bay of Islands, there is no need for rugging up like the rest of the country, as we have the sun streaming in, enough to make it feel like summer.

Today may be the shortest day of the year, but we can make the most of it with the weather being so nice for all the activities here in the Bay of Islands.

18°C today, which is hotter than Britain in the middle of their summer. We have made a little list of things that you can do in the Bay of Islands over Winter

1.    Fishing- We have plenty of fishing charters here in the Bay of Islands to choose from. Start the day off early, and head out to sea around 7am to catch the beautiful sunrise as it peaks over Russell. The sea is quieter in winter and very peaceful.

2.    Golf- The Waitangi golf course is just around the corner from Outrigger Motel. Go and see the spectacular sea views up there for yourself. Views that beyond Russell. All golfer at any level are welcome.

3.    Waitangi Treat grounds and the New Museum- Come and see where New Zealand's history began. With a newly constructed museum, we have plenty of artifacts that only a few have seen. Come and check it out and have a tour around the grounds with some of the local tour guides.

4.    Bike tracks- Now that it is winter, the bike tracks are not over populated so you are able to 'shred' through the Haruru forest in peace.

5.    Tour boats and buses- We have an array of tours to choose from in winter that you can take part in with not having to walk for more than 50 steps out of Outrigger Motel. We will help you book a tour that suits you and will wave you goodbye as you enter a day of history, sight-seeing and fun.

6.    Wine tours- What better way to spend winter than with a wine tour. We have over 10 wine vineyards here in the Bay of Islands to choose from, just a matter of picking one that suits you. Alternatively, the Bay of Islands ‘its’ festival is in October. This is a wine and food festival that has been held for the past 4 years in the heart of Paihia. We are expecting it to the best one yet in 2016 as we are welcoming New Zealand band, Dragon performing to the festival goers.

7.    Forest walks- No hustle and bustle in the tracks in this time of the year. You are able to walk the variety of forest tracks we have here in the Bay of Islands without seeing anybody. What better way to become mindfulness in your thinking and breathing than being one on one with mother nature. Our favorite walk here at the Outrigger Motel is the Hararuru forest walk. We will personally drop you to the Hararuru forest waterfall, where from there it is only a 30 min walk back to the township. You will see the magnificent waterfall, many native and endangered birds and the best part is you will have it all to yourself.

8.    Dine in the sun- We have many restaurants and cafes in Paihia that are situated right on the waterfront. Having them right there, allows you to be able to bathe in the sun, whilst drinking your well-deserved coffee or wine. Here at Outrigger Motel, we will give our honest opinions on where we think is the best place for you to eat.

9.    Beach walks- Now that it is winter, not many people are located on the beach. This now allows us to walk peacefully down the beach, breath in the fresh sea air and reminisce on how blessed we are to be in the warm, sunny, beautiful Bay of islands.

10.    Eat ice cream!!- Just because… why not?

Here at Outrigger Motel, we welcome all our guest from all over the globe and it is our goal to make their stay the best it can be. 
If you start getting the ‘winter blue’ relocate yourself to the 'Winter-less North' for a weekend get away to boost yourself for the cold months a head.

Love this time of year!

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Yes, I love the month of June!

Why you ask, when it's the start of winter, the days are short, the nights are dark, it can be cooler and sometimes it's wet!

But yes, I love this time of year. It is quieter, the pace is slower and I get so much done!!!! For me it's time to reboot, plan and reinvigorate myself and our business and what better place to do it than in the Bay! We encourage all our friends and family to visit us this time of year and when they do, they are always blown away by the mildness int eh weather and the beauty of the Bay.

The Bay of Islands is called “The Winterless North” and is famous for sunshine and balmy weather year-round. Even on the off-chance of showers, the colours of the water and greenery are spectacularly vibrant, and it seems to only enhance the views. It's a great time to visit the Bay as it is not as busy and a few degrees warmer than anywhere else in the country. Plus so many events on the go.

The people are friendly, relaxed and always have a welcome and kind gesture to anyone not familiar with the area. We look after each other and look out for each other. Isn't that what life's about? This time of year brings out the locals who have worked really hard all season looking after our visitors. The ideas start flowing and events get organized and working bees are diarized by the many volunteers that pitch in anyway they can. So yes, a real community feel.

I think June is also the time to reflect on the beauty and and the natural wonder we have here in the Bay and Northland, with our maritime playground and the wonderful native bush and scenic areas. The shortest day brings about Matariki Celebrations (Maori New Year) with the sky so clear at night and full of stars. Some things that we take for granted after talking to many of our overseas visitors. Again another reason to visit in winter.

Half marathons and mud running events (BOI BEAST) populate the winter months in the Bay with street parties and car shows right in Paihia. BOI jazz n Blues Festival attracts so many music enthusiasts from NZ and overseas as our streets and venues are so easy to get around. You can just stroll every where or catch the iconic Russell ferry. The beauty of simplicity! 

So come and join us at the Outrigger Motel in June, July, August or September and enjoy what I enjoy about the Bay!

What's On - Events in the Bay of Islands

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Whether you are looking just to escape from your life over the cooler months (fact: Bay of Islands is always 2-3 degrees warmer than Auckland) As a local I love the Bay of Islands winter months and strolling on the Paihia beaches with the sun in our faces and the dog frolicking about. Every day is a blessing in the sub tropical North.

But just to let you know, that the Paihia, Waitangi and Russell community does not rest on its laurels and have organized some amazing events in the Bay of Islands to keep the active person in us all satisfied as well... Read on.

LOOK at Paihia's event calendar!!!........you want some action for the weekend?? - Paihia and the Bay have these fantastic events coming your way

7th - 8th April - Waitangi Golf Club Pro Am - into it's third year, the Waitangi Golf have another fantastic Pro Am event this weekend with the raising stars. Have you a team entered??

10th April - Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon - Inaugural event in Waitangi already SOLD OUT!

Excited kids everywhere!

16th April - Bay of Islands Bathtub Classic AND NZ Offshore Powerboat Racing

8th May - Jennian Homes Mothers Day Fun Run/Walk
13, 14, 15th May - BOI Country Rock Festival 
5th June - Explore Group Paihia Half Marathon 
9th July - Fullers Greatsights Bay of Islands Beast
9th July - Paihia Community Street Party
12, 13, 14 August - BOI Jazz & Blues Festival 
1st October - "it!" Business Paihia BOI "it" Festival
7, 8, 9 October - Bay of Islands Walking Weekend

The Museum of Waitangi

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Museum of Waitangi.


The Museum of Waitangi, opened on 7 February 2016. Built by local building companies, the two storey museum houses a permanent exhibition Ko Waitangi Tenei on the ground floor and changing exhibitions, along with an education centre on the first floor. The Museum of Waitangi enhances the Waitangi Treaty Grounds experience by introducing the story of the area and its people through high quality exhibition and learning spaces, making use of multi-media and visual displays. Significant taonga (treasures) associated with Waitangi were scattered throughout New Zealand and have now made the journey home to take their place in the Museum of Waitangi.

Locals and dignitaries flocked to the Museum for opening day and all agreed that the Museum is fantastic whilst portraying a sometimes not-so-pretty account of that signing of the Treaty. Come visit NZ’s newest cultural icon, the Museum of Waitangi, destined to become a site of great national significance and a major visitor attraction in the Bay of Islands.

Guided Tours Your Day Pass includes a Guided Tour of the Treaty Grounds. A large copy of the Treaty of Waitangi in the Visitor Centre sets the scene for your informative tour. Stepping outside takes you through lush native forest to the sparkling waters of the bay, where you’ll discover Ngātokimatawhaorua, the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe. The story of the journey of Māori ancestors to Aotearoa is revealed before you continue along a gently sloping track to the flagstaff. Underneath the flagstaff is the very spot where the Treaty was signed in 1840. Your Guided Tour ends in front of the Treaty House and Meeting House, with breath taking views of the Bay of Islands and a new appreciation for New Zealand’s history

Feel as welcome as a local!

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Why we love the Bay of Islands and Northland and we'd love you to feel the love too!


 Because you can walk down the road in your bare feet and relaxed clothing or go to the bar in you jandals. Everyone waves and says hello even if you don't know them very well. Everyone looks out for everyone's children. I call that community!

Our amazing little town has gone through some trying times like a lot of small townships in NZ and the world over the years but we love this place and the resilient and very hard working community that punches above it's weight to get on the world stage.  

What makes the Bay of Islands special? It's the people who say hello and always have smiles on their faces as they walk down the street who say hello to strangers and visitors alike. It's the simple little things and our most amazing nature aquatic play ground that we all cherish and  want to protect for future generations.  Plus our beautiful native bush that surrounds the area, that again locals and environment experts are doing their utmost to protect and preserve.

 No matter what sort of day you have had you, just walk down the waterfront and wonder at the beauty of our area and feel very blessed we live in this beautiful environment. Everyday is amazing!

In our line of hospitality work with unsociable hours, a great night out is fish n chips on the beach with your favourite person, a good glass of local wine and the most amazing scenery. The dog comes too and our guests love her as they are usually missing their own pets back home. 

When we get out, we like to go to a few of our favs like Waterfront Café with Kelly is always welcoming and gives us fantastic service with her local style. If we want to feel like we are in Europe or somewhere resorty, we hit Alongside and feel like we are in a completely different world with its luxurious lounger and amazing flavours and wines. Right next door is 35 Degrees South for it’s local flavours. Sue, Mary and team at "Only Seafood" Restaurant is always a firm favourite for all the seafood lovers! Newly opened Charlottes Kitchen is proving a hit with it's contemporary social dining.  And the family get together choice is Legends with Clint and Sasha run along with their family a great restaurant with a real family welcome and good comforting food.

 We hope our guests get "the local feeling" too and we love if they get the time to wake a bit earlier and walk up past the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, up near the golf course and take in the panorama as the sun is bursting through. They come back so refreshed, relaxed and the most amazing smile on their face. You know they have got the local feeling!

I will sprout on some more in another blog and mention some other local finds that we adore. Ooh did I mention Suma Suma where I’ve just purchased a dress that makes me feel like I’m in my twenties again!!

Have a great day in the Bay!

Christmas Parades and Friday Night Markets

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December in Paihia brings our annual Business Paihia's Christmas Parade Extravaganza! For a small community,we really know how to turn it on and again this year the floats were worthy of a far bigger population than our small village. Months of planning go into some of more amazing floats and there are those of us that just join in for the fun of it!

Makeup ran and a papier-mache Death Star threatened to dissolve but otherwise Friday afternoon’s rain did little to dampen Paihia’s Christmas parade, famous for having some of Northland’s most extravagant floats. This year’s theme was ‘a town full of superheroes’. The town was indeed over-run by Supermen, Spidermen and Mutant Ninja Turtles, but there were also more Supermums, firefighters, Maori demi-gods, eco-warriors, Princess Elsas and Jedi knights than Santa could shake a stick at.  Where in the world do you get a school principle to agree to be hoisted air borne for several hours all in the name of celebrating Christmas for our community.


 AND MORE EXCITING NEWS - What was the old Mall in town is now....a revamped/upcycled new exciting social place which is now rebranded at PAIHIA LANES!!! 

After the Christmas parade had it's winners congratulated, and the children had their share of more lollies as Santa made his farewells till Xmas Eve; Paihia celebrated at the opening of "Paihia Lanes"! and the inaugural Friday Night Food Markets. What a success , with many stall holders selling out of their delicious and most satisfying tasty tidbits. Great value for the family and a relaxed atmosphere for every generation all enjoying each others company. The markets are to be a regular Friday night feature and we hope to see people from afar get off work and coming to the market for a relaxed fun atmosphere with the most delicious food ever!!

The Friday Night Street-Food Market in the Paihia Lanes was fantastic! Full of fun, entertainment and delicious delights. Make it a Friday night regular. See you there!


What our guests say

"We stay at Outrigger several times a year on our visits to Paihia to see family. The Outrigger is so central to all the happenings in Paihia. We love the waterfront park and the restaurant with the bi..."

Julie and Matt Dec 2016

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