ice cream at Puhoi

Ice Cream At Its Best

Just a mere 9kms away from our B&B is one of the best places to go in New Zealand’s for ice cream. The Puhoi Valley Cafe won five major awards at the 2017 Ice Cream Awards.

b&b afternoon teaIt took home the supreme award of boutique manufacturer for its chai latte ice cream, won the premium ice cream category, won the open creative category with its lemon cheesecake ice cream and won the best of coffee category with its Matakana roasted affogato yoghurt ice cream.

This was the third straight supreme win for Puhoi Valley, last year winning for its roasted coffee affogato ice cream.

This cafe has a great area for children to play, or frolic round the grounds. If you’re looking for places to go near our BnB and you want a treat, this is your answer.

The ice cream really is superb and we find it very hard to go past the hokey pokey ice-cream in a cone. A little indulgent perhaps but they’re pretty good as a dessert after munching on oysters and chips from the Puhoi Store for lunch.

If you’re after more ideas about what to do, where to go and what to eat while you’re staying at our B&B at Mahurangi West, just get in touch or give Rachel a call. We’re always happy to help.

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The best things to see and do in Orewa

Bike, swim or lick an icecream at this beachy paradise, writes Elisabeth Easther.

If you’re looking to stay a little longer that the afternoon, you’ll need a B&B near Orewa. See if our room is available at a time that suits you. Our bed & breakfast is about 17kms north of Orewa.

Orewa Beach
Where is it? On the Hibiscus Coast, just 40km north of Auckland’s CBD.

Origin of name: Named for the native tree, the rewarewa, over time it was truncated to Orewa.

Population: 9180.

Town slogan: Pure beachfront.

Tunnel vision: When the Northern Gateway Toll Road opened, Orewa was no longer on the main road heading north; the place is so much nicer without all that traffic.

Grab a selfie: Take a holiday snap with Sir Edmund Hillary. Sculpted by Chen Wei-Ming, the statue was erected in Hillary Square in 1991.

Best website:

Town fiestas: The Orewa Big Dig is a charming Lions fundraiser held each summer and the Santa Parade is also groovy. The Saturday morning farmers’ market is another good reason to visit. Plus there are plenty of cultural and sporting events throughout the year.

Here for a short time: Ride a bike, go for a swim, lick an icecream, and admire the 3km of heavenly beach.

Best time to stop: Of course it’s dandy during the height of summer, but it’s also popular in winter and particularly invigorating during a storm.

Who lives here: Orewa is all the rage for retirees and young families looking for a more laid-back life.

Kids love: The beach, the icecream joints and the holiday programmes at Estuary Arts. The new-ish skate park beside the estuary is an amazing facility although it’s more for serious skaters than beginners.

Best parks: Orewa is bursting with open green spaces, wetlands and that glorious beach. Further up the road, Wenderholm Regional Park is another phenomenal place to explore.

Best playgrounds: There are several playgrounds dotted along the seafront including a boat-themed area for juniors with swings and tube slides as well as other more sophisticated facilities with climbing and spinning paraphernalia. Volleyball and basketball can be played right by the beach.

Best walk: Immerse yourself in bush and birdsong at Alice Eaves Scenic Reserve on Old North Rd. With about an hour’s worth of tracks, loops and A to Bs, the mature kauri and nikau, with peeps of sea between their trunks, tower above elegant boardwalks and, if you go at night, you’ll see glow-worms.

Best views: Anywhere out to sea is pretty special or park yourself upstairs at Brew Bar and toast the sunset. If you’re a lark, rise with the sun for some spectacular colours.

Best place to pull over: Heading north towards Waiwera you’ll find a viewing platform on the sea side of the road. Climb the stairs and gaze down on the length of Orewa Beach.

Best swim: All along the coast is epic with plenty of room for everyone to have their own little spot. The waves are mostly gentle, although they can kick up in some conditions, while over at the estuary there are lots of safe paddling spots for juniors. And, of course, between the flags outside the surf club is the sensible spot.

Best hot pools: Waiwera’s geothermal mineral pools range from cool to 48C, plus there are private spas, a lazy river, a movie pool and some seriously speedy hydroslides, so make sure your togs are tied on tightly.

Best museum: Neighbouring Silverdale’s Pioneer Village is where the history buffs go to learn about the region’s past.

Nice arts: The Estuary Arts Centre is a gorgeous gallery with shop, teaching unit and school holiday programmes. Pretty things to gaze upon and buy.

Top shops: Animal Natural Health is a fab place to get affordable wholesome pet food. Their offal-rich kitty mince is a huge hit with our feline friend. Or for something more fragrant, stop in at Flowers by Joanne, divine aromas, bouquets and gifts.

Cream of the coffee: Driftwood Cafe at the art centre can be relied on, plus their quiches, cakes and sausage rolls are tasty too. Other good coffee joints includeMozaik, Walnut Cottage Cafe, and the BP station.

Baked: Le Croissant is a French bakery selling the most delicious croissants, bien sur.

Best food: Coast Bites and Brews does delicious food with one of the finest views in town. They serve Deep Creek beers — highly recommended by the Travel Editor — and it goes off of an evening if you’re that way inclined. Tuesday night, it’s all you can eat ribs. For wholesome snacks, salads, juices and smoothies, check outCharlie Coco’s. Kotare Bistro at the surf club is also grand if you’re fond of seafood beside the beach.

Wet your whistle: Aside from Coast, another heavenly sipping spot is the top deck of Orewa Surf Club. Bliss.

Best cycling: Hire a bike from BikeMe for just $10 an hour and cycle the fabulous Te Ara Tahuna Pathway, a 7.5km loop around waterways and wetlands and almost all off-road. Mostly flat, cyclists of all ages will enjoy this.

Best adventures: Pop in to Underground Surf and hire a surfboard or stand-up paddleboard. You can even take a lesson if you’re new to either art. No surprises that kayaking, kitesurfing and fishing are pretty popular too

Wildlife: The bird life is plentiful but don’t give the seagulls a single morsel if you’re fish and chipping on the beach, because you will be swamped.

Safety warnings: With a busy-ish road between town and the beach, do be careful when crossing, and drive slowly if you’re passing through.

The verdict: A little slice of paradise just 20 minutes from the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

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warkworth-accommodationWarkworth is a picturesque village with a population of around 3,500 people. Tucked in beside the Mahurangi River, Warkworth is less than an hour’s drive from Auckland and has many accommodation options, attractions and activities with something to suit all ages, tastes and budgets.

Where to Stay

Warkworth is a good range choice of restaurants and places to stay. Warkworth’s accommodation choices range from camping grounds, Bed and Breakfasts, motels, hotels, holiday homes and baches available for rent, to luxury lodges. Warrkworth is ideal for a short holiday break.

What to See & Do

Warkworth on the Matakana Coast and is close to beaches of Omaha Goat Island, Tawharanui, Mahurangi West regional park and Wenderholm park.

Matakan is known as wine country. From Warkworth you can easily access numerous wineries: Ransom’s winery to the south and the numerous wineries around Matakana.

There are two regional parks in the area – Tawharanui to the north east and Mahurangi West to the south. Tawharanui Regional Park is a 588-hectare park and New Zealand’s first integrated open sanctuary. It has beautiful white sand beaches, a great surf beach, shingled bays, native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands. You can camp at either of the two campgrounds at Tawharanui Regional Park

Mahurangi West regional park, just 18 km south of Warkworth, also offers camping in one of the three campgrounds available in the park. A safe harbour, Mahurangi West is a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy swimming, fishing, sailing and kayaking.

Goat Island Marine Reserve, New Zealand’s first marine reserve, is just 25 km from Warkworth and offers excellent snorkeling straight off the beach.

All the fabulous areas and the activities they offer are within easy reach from Warkworth. If you’re looking for comfortable, peaceful bed and breakfast accommodation close to Warkworth you can’t go past Mahurangi West Wing; just see what our guests say about it!

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