Moon Gate Villa
Moon Gate Villa and gardens were commissioned by a successful 'Mills and Boon' romance novelist, and developed in 1990 on the 1.5 acre site of a former orange orchard. The shape of the main house was inspired by Cupid's bow, with distinctive curls at each end of the building, and the bow shaped wall forming the backbone to the house. Reflecting this, spiral garden beds 'arms' embrace the main lawn areas, and form distinct destinations for guests to sit and reflect.
The house itself features an internal atrium with a small stream and waterfall that follows its 20 meter length.The water theme flows past the 2.5 meter wide front door, and onto common terrace areas, outside the living, dining and bedroom areas.
A pagoda over the terrace forms the 'arrow' in the bow, and points to the elegant moon gate sculpture suspended over the large ornamental pond at the rear of the garden. The focus of the gardens, the ‘Moon Gate pond’ draws visitors to sit and watch the fish play under the splashing waterfall. Tropical and cold waterlilies – creams, yellows and delicate blue flowers are a feature during the warmer months.
The Far North climate is favourable to plants that only grow in climates without snow or frost and Kerikeri's unique orchard hedges further encourages micro climates to form. Brazilian fern trees, helaconias, palm trees and hibiscus all thrive here, to the delight of our visitors. Day lillies, varigated agapathus, and pineapple lillies are amongst varieties sharing gradens beds with native coprosmas, flax, cordylines and hebe throughout the themed destinations.
The garden features many perfumed species that are at their best in the evenings.
Lionel and Rob acquired the villa in 2011 after Lionel returned to his New Zealand home, and after living in Australia for over 20 years. The house and gardens had been a rental property for some period, and were well overdue for renovation.
Prior to this, their only experience was tending a small, inner-city Melbourne backyard! The learning curve was steep, but luckily Kerikeri is home to many fine sub-tropical gardens, and Lionel was able to draw on the advice of local arborists and landscape gardeners.
The gardens were originally an eclectic mix of native New Zealand and European, with some very mature, fine speciman trees. Whilst the essential layout and structure has been retained, parts of the gardens have slowly re-developed with new themes of their own: tropical, native, south-east asian and bromiliad.
The gardens have featured a number of times since the 1990's in Kerikeri's well regarded 'Garden Safari', run every year at the start of November. The gardens were last featured in 2015, during which the original author-owner strolled through with her grand daughter. To Lionel's delight, he received a huge 'thumbs up' for the state of her beloved gardens.
Kerikeri is 3 hours drive from Auckland CBD or 3.5 hours from Auckland International Airport on State Highway 1.
We are conveniently located at the end of a 50 meter driveway, off the main road between Kerikeri and Highway 10, just 2 minutes before reaching Kerikeri Village, and about 200 meters past the Makana Chocolate Factory and Kauri Workshop.
We allow guests with small dogs up to 10kg to stay in our summer cottage on the condition that they are under control at all times.
Moon Gate Villa is rated 5 star, 'Boutique and Lodge' accommodation by Qualmark New Zealand.
Our Premium Suite villa room is popular for couples celebrating their wedding. If you’re thinking of becoming our guests for your wedding night or a similar special occasion, please let us know when booking and we’ll do everything we can to ensure an even more special stay.
We can accommodate ‘pre wedding’ preparations, including hair and make up, and our premium room with its huge bath, large mirrors and excellent lighting make it perfect for preparing for that special day.
Our gardens make a delightful backdrop and can be used for both pre and post wedding photographs in complete privacy.
Kerikeri and the Bay of Islands is considered ‘the cradle of the nation’ and the site of the earliest European settlement – and New Zealand’s oldest buildings are just a short drive down our road.
Kerikeri is also known for its weekend markets, local organic produce and boutique wineries; all within a short distance. There are a number of art and craft galleries close by, the The old Packhouse Market is open every Saturday and just 10 minutes walk from our entrance if you are passing through on the weekends.