New Zealand’s diverse Te Tai Tokerau Northland region is full of natural and cultural riches. It’s a special place worthy of an equally singular base from which to explore it. Checking into one of Paroa Bay’s villas in Russell, your biggest problem might be that it’ll be difficult to stray beyond the heated swimming pool.

There are three luxury sole-use villas you can book on The Lindis Group-owned 75-acre property: Tarāpunga with its supplementary two bedroom villa Weka just 20 metres behind it, and the Vineyard Cottage on a different part of the property.

It’s around four hours’ drive from Auckland, or you can fly to Kerikeri airport and take the one-hour-15-minute road trip from there. By the time you arrive, via a winding driveway through rolling hills and Paroa Bay Winery’s green vineyards, you’ll feel a world away from the clamour of city life.

With its contemporary, open-plan kitchen and living area, Tarāpunga sleeps six across three bedrooms. Beside two spacious showers, the master bedroom’s ensuite has a deep bathtub ideal for lolling in bubbles with a glass of Paroa Bay wine from the in-house selection. The Vineyard Cottage is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom farm-style house. Both have swimming pools and beautiful views – gaze out at Paroa Bay and the wider Bay of Islands from Tarāpunga, and the vines and landscaped gardens from the Vineyard Cottage .

At both, the kitchens are stocked with breakfast and snack provisions – think eggs, sourdough, prosciutto, cheese, crackers and condiments. There’s a separate drinks fridge stacked with soft drinks, Antipodes water, Paroa Bay wines, beer, cider and champagne. You won’t go hungry – or thirsty.

Paroa Bay’s Sage Restaurant is well-known in the area; it’s perched just up the road from the accommodation in an idyllic setting overlooking vines, forests and sea. It’s open to the public, and there’s a daily three-course dinner included as part of the Tarāpunga package (or a personal chef).

Sage head chef Dan Fraser and his team cook dishes that draw from the area – many ingredients are grown in the on-site gardens at Paroa Bay Winery, and others – oysters, fish, clams, and lamb neck – are listed at the start of the menu according to how many kilometres away they were sourced.

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Updated: June 28th, 2023

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