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Bella Vista's Blog

Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  


The best places to eat in Taupo

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The Taupo dining scene has grown to become something quite special in recent years. There’s no shortage of eateries serving up incredible meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner—and many of the best restaurants in Taupo are just a hop, skip and a jump from Bella Vista Motel Taupo. We’ve listed a few of our favourites here to help you make your choice—just remember to book well in advance if you can to make sure you can secure a table.


Zest Café

Every good motel needs a great spot for breakfast nearby—and we’re lucky to have the fabulous Zest Café tucked just around the corner! Zest serves up generous portions with friendly hospitality and you’ll see all your favourites on the menu—eggs benedict, omelette, French toast and the always-popular big breakfast. Open daily from 8.00am until 3.00pm, their all-day menu includes plenty of lunch options too. Plus, the word on the street is that Zest serves some of the best coffee in Taupo… Give it a try!



Brantry Eatery

The Brantry Eatery is just a short, five-minute walk from Bella Vista Motel, and we’re not the only ones who think it’s one of the best restaurants in Taupo. Diners consistently rave about the flavoursome modern New Zealand cuisine and the pleasant ambience that welcomes you as soon as you step foot inside. The Brantry is set on the lower level of a remodelled 1950s townhouse, with the top level home to ZeaYou Gallery. Diners are welcome to take their beverages upstairs to peruse the artwork before or after their meals—you might even find something special to take home with you.


Malabar Indian Restaurant and Bar

Malabar is one of the best places to eat in Taupo if you enjoy Indian and Nepalese dishes. Situated in Tuwharetoa Street, right in the town centre, the menu offers most of your favourite, recognisable Indian meals and some new and surprising dishes to discover… Creamy lentil curries, Nepalese dumplings and spicy Indo-Chinese style chicken, to name a few. Malabar Restaurant and Bar is rated one of the top restaurants in Taupo on Tripadvisor—this one is not to be missed!



Vine Eatery and Bar

If you like an extensive wine list or a tasty cocktail with your meal, Vine Eatery and Bar is the place for you! With over 150 wines, 25 single malt whiskies and 17 cocktails to choose from, the beverages alone are reason enough to visit this gorgeous venue. In terms of food, Vine specialises in flavoursome New Zealand and Mediterranean-influenced tapas. There’s a great selection of vegetarian, seafood and meat options and an equally varied choice of dining settings… Sit around the fireplace, choose a cosy booth or book a private dining space upstairs if you’re looking for top restaurants in Taupo that cater well to larger groups.



Taupo lakefront

There are some fantastic places to eat in Taupo and we all love dining out every now and then—but for a view that can’t be beaten, we highly recommend packing a picnic or picking up some fish and chips and eating down by the lakefront. It’s just a ten-minute walk from Bella Vista and when the sun is out and the lake is calm, it’s a Taupo dining experience you’ll never forget.

The five best things to do in Whangarei

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Are you staying up north for a while and busy searching for all the best Whangarei things to do? There are dozens of great activities up here in New Zealand’s northernmost city – so it was tough to pick our top five! We picked these ones based on all the great feedback we get from happy tourists here at our Whangarei motel.

Visit Kiwi North

Open daily from 10am until 4pm, Kiwi North is one of the best things to do in Whangarei whether you’re travelling solo or as a family. At the Kiwi House you can see the endangered Kiwi and Tuatara go about their business; the enclosure is light and climate controlled so that during the day it replicates night time in the wild. If you turn up at the right time you can also see Kiwi feeding take place – this happens daily at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. And that’s not all—the Kiwi North 25-hectare property also accommodates the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park. Here you can learn about the fascinating history of the local area and discover some of Whangarei’s oldest buildings including the 1886 “Glorat” Clarke Homestead.


Explore the Abbey Caves

This set of three limestone caves is just a ten-minute drive from our Whangarei motel and is a great option for those looking for something active and adventurous to try out. You’ll see stalagtites, glow worms and plenty of native flora and fauna—some explorers even report seeing eels swimming around their feet in the still, clear cave waters. Come prepared for this one—the caves get wet and dark and there’s a lot of climbing involved—so a headlamp, torch and suitable footwear are absolute musts! If you’re looking for walks in Whangarei with a touch of excitement, this one’s for you.



Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Who doesn’t love a leaisurely walk around nice garden? This gorgeous subtropical oasis is the result of a mammoth community effort to restore an old stone quarry, and the result is truly spectacular! The Whangarei Quarry Gardens is one of those things to do in Whangarei that’s great for all ages. Stroll around  camellias, cacti and bromeliads, or take a guided tour on one of the electric golf carts. It’s easy to spend hours here; the Quarry Gardens also has its own on-site café serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and treats.


Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls is one of the most popular scenic walks in Whangarei. Situated in Whangarei Scenic Reserve, the impressive 26-metre waterfalls are also easily one of the most photographed attractions in the region—and once you get here you’ll understand why! The 20-minute loop around the falls is a relatively easy walk, but there are stairs to navigate on parts of the track. Make your way to the two viewing platforms for the very best vantage points to capture the falls in all their glory.



Fishing and diving

In Whangarei, things to do generally centre on the outdoors thanks to our wonderful location. And we believe that but no trip here is complete without getting out on the water! Whether you’re an avid diver, a novice fisherman or just keen to take a cruise, there’s a selection of local tour companies ready to whisk you out to all the best spots. Poor Knights Island marine reserve has great visibility and an abundance of marine life—so it’s perfect for diving and snorkelling. Or let the locals take you to all the best fishing spots and try your hand at hooking a snapper, kingfish, kahawai or trevally. No matter your preference, a day on the water is an absolute must!

The best things to do in Taupo

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If you’re looking for a New Zealand holiday destination where you’ll never be short of things to do, Taupo is a clear winner! The township is nestled on the north-eastern side of Lake Taupo, making it a popular holiday spot for water-sports enthusiasts, cyclists, hikers, adrenaline junkies and explorers. Our list of popular Taupo activities has something for everyone… Read on to plan your next getaway!

Walking and cycling

One of the most enticing Taupo attractions is the incredible ability to explore the town’s beautiful natural surrounds by bike or by foot. When it comes to cycle trails, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Ride around beaches and wetlands, along the Waikato river, through native forest or right up to the famous Huka falls. And if you prefer walking or hiking, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an absolute must! Been there, done that? Try hiking to the summit of Mt Tauhara, the Rangatira Point Track or explore the gorgeous sights and smells of the Waipahihi Bontanical Reserve.



Geothermal wonders

A trip to Taupo would be wasted without exploring the magnificent hot springs and geysers that are found in this special part of the world. We mean it when we say that these amazing Taupo attractions are not to be missed! If you’re looking for family fun, try a visit to Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs. There’s a great water park with slides for the kids and a day spa for the adults who are keen to just relax. If you want to explore in more natural surrounds, try Orakei Korako Geothermal Park, Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk or the Tokaanu Themal Walk. You’ll see steamy pools, hot bubbling mud, incredible geysers and unique flora and fauna.


Adventure and adrenaline

Taupo may not be the official ‘adventure capital of the world’—but we’re calling it a close second! Looking for things to do in Taupo that’ll get your heart racing? We’ve got bungy jumping and skydiving for those keen to go all out – and jetboating if heights just aren’t your thing. You can speed up to the base of the beautiful Huka Falls or try white-water jet boating through the Aratiatia or Fuljames rapids.


Water sports galore

If you’re visiting while the weather is warm, make sure you try to get out on the water! We suggest  a kayak adventure around glistening Lake Taupo to see the Mine Bay Maori Carvings. Or for something more fast-paced, try white-water rafting on the mighty Waikato River—it’s one of the best Taupo activities for adventure-lovers! And if you can hire a boat and some extra gear, the options are endless… Waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing or just simply putting your feet up on deck and basking in the serenity.



Top Taupo attractions

To round out our list, we recommend one of our most popular ‘tried and trusted’ Taupo activities that many of our regular visitors make time for on each and every visit... The Huka Falls. These majestic looking waterfalls are always worth a look—you can take a leisurely stroll along the many tracks and even watch the Huka Falls jet boat race up to the rapids.

For more ideas on the best things to do in Taupo, feel free to have a chat to us at reception! We’re full of local knowledge and can offer tips and tricks to make sure you make some amazing memories in our lovely lakeside town.



Geothermal Attractions Around Taupo

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As part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone that stretches from Central North Island to Bay of Plenty, there are many geothermal attractions close to Taupo Bella Vista. Many of these attractions are within 1 hour’s drive from your Taupo accommodation.


Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park

Orakei Korako is Bella Vista's top pick and arguably the best geothermal attraction around Taupo Region.  Considered as “off the beaten track” it is only 25 minutes’ drive from Taupo. To access the park, you need to drive for 30 minutes from the motel along state highway 1.  Once parked you can hop on an on-demand boat (included in the admission fee) which crosses the mighty Waikato River.

A boardwalk from the jetty leads you to the centre of the park where many geothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and massive silica terraces can be found. Do not miss the Ruatapu Cave. It takes average 1 hour to complete the self-guided walk.

Bella Vista Taupo Orakei Korako


Crater Of The Moon

Less than 10 minutes’ drive out of Taupo town centre is a lesser known geothermal area.  This area resembles lunar landscapes, features bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils. The walkway is mostly level and accessible to both wheelchair & pram (free for loan).   The entrance fee is good value at $8 for an adult. It takes a leisurely 45 minutes to complete a self-guided loop.

Craters of the Moon Bella Vista Taupo

Tokaanu Thermal Walk

Located at the southern end of Lake Taupo in the village of Tokaanu near Turangi, is this family-friendly walkway. You can complete the loop walk in around 15 minutes. All the features of the walk includiong steaming pools and spluttering mud pots are set amongst attractive native bush. Access is free, but do visit the thermal pools right next door which draws its mineral rich water from the hot streams. The people of local M?ori tribe have lived around the thermal area since the 16th century. 

Tokaanu Bella Vista Taupo

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Located off SH5 between Taupo and Rotorua lies one of the youngest geothermal area in the world, Waimangu Valley.

Not only does the park have some spectacular volcanic features such as craters, geysers, and hot springs, there is also the stories of the Mt Tarawera eruption. The volcanoes explosion not only resulted in this dramatic landscape, but also changed the lives of many.

You begin this unique experience by descending into the valley from top of a hill where you can see a range of geothermal activity and features. The highlight is the brilliant blue Inferno Crater. Continue your walk to Lake Rotomahana, or hop on the free shuttle back to where you started. If you choose the former, you have the option to join the lake cruise and learn more about the nature and human history of the area.

Depending on your schedule, allow 1 – 3 hours to explore and experience this amazing piece of the world.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley Bella Vista Taupo

Bella Vista Taupo is situated just a short walk from both Lake Taupo waterfront and the town.  Handy for shops and attractions it is a perfect getaway spot.  


Great Beaches in Whangarei

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Whangarei is becoming an incredibly popular destination for Aucklander's looking to take a couple of nights away. You can enjoy a range of activities and attractions during your stay and that includes, of course, a trip to one or two of the local beaches.

A relatively easy 150km drive from Auckland, Whangarei is a vibrant town with plenty to see and do, great restaurants and the popular town basin is a destination in its own right. The city is a great place to base yourself and of course, a perfect Whangarei accommodation option is 4 star rated Bella Vista.

Here is our rundown on the best beaches to visit in and around Whangarei.


Ruakaka Beach

Ruakaka Beach is just a 30 min car ride south of Whangarei.  The beach at Ruakaka is a great swimming beach with surf life guards on duty during the summer months and it is popular with locals, visitors from Whangarei and tourists alike.

Ruakaka is an open easterly facing ocean beach that does have rips and with a moderate gradient and usually one sandbar, it is sheltered from Northerly swells by Bream Head. Lots of people also surf fish along this beach as well. 

Ruakaka Beach


Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is 35km from Whangarei and it will take you about 40 min to drive there.  One of Whangarei’s premier surf beach. The beach is patrolled by life guards in the summer months.

There are oads of sand dunes to run up and down, rock pools to explore and maybe gather some sea food (Kai Moana).

With its beautiful white sand and views of Bream Head what more could you ask for from a beach. Park in the car park above which has toilets and walk down to the beach for a swim and picnic if you desire. Lots to explore along the coast.

Ocean Beach



A 35 min drive east of Whangarei and 36.5 kms along the Tutukaka coast, you will find this magnificent beach, our favorite beach.

Matapouri Bay has spectacular white sand and an estuary that you can swim in, this is one of the safest beaches to take the family swimming.  There is a small local store for that ice-cream at the end of the day for the kids.

You will also find a playground for the kids and tennis courts for adults and kids to play, at Matapouri Bay.  There is ample parking for everyone and also public toilets.

If you are feeling adventurous, why not take the walk to Whale Bay, which will take you 40 min one way. You will see spectacular views of the coast along the way.

Matapouri Bay


Whale Bay

Whale Bay is a short drive north past Matapouri Bay to the north, or just over the hill if you are walking.

With a bush fringed beach and white sand this is a great beach. Sorry but you will have to park on the road and walk down the hill to this beach but the walk is worth it, you will be walking through an ancient grove of Puriri Trees.

Take your snorkel gear with you for some great snorkeling and it's a great spot for picnics and safe swimming.  Whale Bay provides basic public toilets.

Whale Bay


Sandy Bay

A little further north from Whale Bay you are going to find Sandy Bay which is very popular for its great surf breaks.

More suited to all the surfers, but still a great beach to enjoy.  Parking is available off the road and there are basic toilets available. This is the furthest beach from Whangarei  - about 50 minutes away, but is worth the drive to see it.



Sharon, Jo and the whole team at your chosen Whangarei accommodation, which is of course, Bella Vista Whangarie are looking forward to hosting you.


Top Five Walks in Wanaka

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Wanaka is a walkers dream and there really is something for everyone.  Whether it be a steep, challenging upward climb, or a gentle amble alongside Lake Wanaka, you can take your pick depending on your mood.  Of course it is often those harder tramps that bring the rewards such as the view from Mount Iron that takes your eye across the lake to the peaks of the Southern Alps and Mount Aspiring National Park.  Whatever direction you head, you can be certain that you have made the right Wanaka accommodation choice with Bella Vista, quietly nestled in the heart of Wanaka township and a stone's throw from the lake.

Here's Bella Vista Wanaka's top five Wanaka Walks:


Roys Peak Track

A must do in New Zealand and an Instagram favourite, this day walk will give you magnificent views of Wanaka, the lake and the Southern Alps.  This walk is a 16km return walk which would take an average walker between 5-6 hours. This is a popular track and one of Wanaka's best day hikes.

Roy's Peak

Isthmus Peak Track 

A long, steady climb that rewards walkers with spectacular, panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea as well as the mountains of the Southern Alps.  The peak summit sits at 1,385 metres and this advanced walk will take somewhere between 5-7 hours.

Mt Iron Track

Mount Iron is one of Wanaka's most popular short walks with spectacular views. This walk is a 1.5 hour loop so is perfect if only stopping over in Wanaka for one night. The walk is suitable for all ages and abilities and whilst a little steep in parts, it is incredibly rewarding once you reach the top.


View from Mount Iron

Blue Pools

The Blue Pools track and the Young Link Track are located just outside of Makarora and snake through beautiful beech forests to the famous Blue Pools site.  This walk offers a perfect break to your journey if you are travelling between Wanaka and the West Coast.  The  Blue Pools track take about 1 hour return, is 3km long and walking through the mature beech forest across swing bridges to the pools.  The Youn Link track is a longer walk extending from the Blue Pools track which adds a further 4km to your tramp.


Wanaka to Albert Town

This walk takes you right from your room at Bella Vista Motel Wanaka along the edge of Wanaka to the Clutha River Outlet.  Then continue walking along the edge of the river to Albert Town.  Take your time and enjoy a cup of coffee at the famous Pembroke Patisserie.  You can then return the same way you came, or return to Wanaka via the Mount Iron Track.  Finish the day with an ice cream at the very popular Patagonia Chocolates lake front store.


Tom, Melissa and the team look forward to hosting you

Journey to Edoras

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Sir Ian McKellen helped blur the distinction between a fantasy land and New Zealand’s very real rugged landscapes. “Middle Earth is a real place and it is New Zealand ,” he would say:

This stunning location in Mid Canterbury is the backdrop for Edoras, the capital of Rohan and New Zealand is home so come and see it for yourself! You will feel the stress unwind as you make your way into the hills and simply let the vista blow your mind away.


Hakatere National Park


Take a one and a half hour drive from your Ashburton accommodation, take a picnic, climb Mount Sunday, a low, rounded hill shaped by a glacier, and you have arrived.  This was the site of Edoras in the Lord of the Rings movies.  Feel the awesome power of the landscape, and imagine how the fantasy unfolded in front of these amazing vistas. We can’t recommend it enough.

The road to Mount Sunday is well signposted from Mount Somers on State Highway 72. This road takes you directly to the small settlement of Lake Camp and Lake Clearwater and then further onto Mount Sunday. The last section is a well maintained gravel road and be aware you will lose cell phone coverage just after Mount Somers.  Perhaps that's not a bad thing . Make sure your car is filled with gas and you have supplies with you for the day as there are no shops of service stations from from Mount Somers onwards.

If you are travelling up this way in summer, you might also want to consider taking a dip in Lake Camp on the way or upon your return from your tramp. The lake has a roped off area and beach for swimmers and is a perfect spot for your picnic. In the winter these lakes can freeze right over and the locals go ice skating.  Whatever the season, you will be stopping every 10 minutes to take another photo.

Once you have arrived at the Mount Sunday car park, it is a short walk on the well formed Mount Sunday track, but still a good pair of shoes is our advice. You’ll eventually cross a walking bridge as your ascent begins. It is a short sharp climb but is easily manageable for most people. Once at the top the views are awesome and you will get a wonderful Bella Vista (beautiful view) of the surrounding snow caped mountains and the tussock valley floor.

Upon your return back toward the Ashburton Lakes, there is another hidden gem you will be glad you discover.  Look for the Hakatere Heron Road and follow it to the The Hakatere Conservation Park.  This is a beautiful part of New Zealand and we encourage everyone to come and explore. It’s more of the beaten track, but the scenery is every bit impressive.

There is so much more to see  including a historic building at Hakatere corner, several picturesque lakes and heaps of mountain views. There are many walks and mountain bike tracks to explore and if you love fishing, a brown trout or rainbow is yours to take from many of the lakes.

Are you excited to visit our backyard? Book Bella Vista accommodation Ashburton as you enjoy this very local Middle Earth adventure. Michelle is more than happy to give you a map and send you on your merry way with all the advice you need.

Bella Vista Motel Ashburton looks forward to hosting you and showing you our local Lord of the Rings country.


Edoras Lord of the Rings





Walking in Whangarei

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Do you love walking or need to take some daily exercise when you are traveling, whether it is for work or pleasure? We have great walks just a few minutes from Bella Vista Whangarei that are very enjoyable.  Please note that some walks may require a higher level of fitness.


Hatea Loop Track

The Hatea Loop walk is 4.2km and takes in all the sites of the Whangarei Town Basin including the Whangarei Art Museum, and the Hundertwasser Art Centre.  Called Huarahi o the Whai (Pathway of Opportunity), along the way you can read the heritage panels and view the sculptures along the trail. Travel over the Te Matau Pohe (Bascule Bridge) and enjoy this picturesque setting. Once finished enjoy a nice cup of coffee along the water front viewing all the yachts.  The walk can accommodate wheelchairs and is perfect for small children.


Whangarei Town Basin


Hatea River Walk to Whangarei Falls

Follow the Hatea River through the highlights of Whangarei city including the Town Basin, Mair Park, the AH Reed Kauri Park, and Whangarei Falls. There’s a mix of pleasant bush walks and urban landscapes to enjoy on this 6km walk.

You can’t visit the Northland region of New Zealand without seeing a kauri forest! Kauri are the largest trees in New Zealand and can only be naturally found in the north of the North Island. The AH Reed Kauri Park gets you up-close to the forest giants on a tree-top boardwalk taking only 25 minutes to complete. The AH Reed Kauri Park connects to the Hatea River Walk and Whangarei Falls making for a longer walk of two and-a-half hours.


Whangarei Falls

Mt Mania Walk 

Fancy something more challenging? Walking up Mt Mania could be the challenge you are looking for.  Located in the Whangarei Heads area, the walk is a short 45 minute drive from BV Whangarei.  The total walking distance to the top is 3.5km and the round trip will take two hours climbing to 420 metres above sea level.

From the carpark, the track climbs steeply through native forest to the summit with breathtaking 360 views of the Whangarei Harbour. 


Bream Head – Te Whara Track

For a real hike in the Whangarei area, make sure you hit the Te Whara Track at the Bream Head Reserve. This six hour one-way hike goes through protected kiwi habitat to deliver some sensational views at the end of the Whangarei Heads. There are also shorter walks in the reserve like the 3-hour return Peach Cove Track which links with the Te Whara Track and provides an overnight option at the Peach Cove Hut.


Whangarei Heads View


Whangerie is a marvelous destination and there is plenty of attractions and activities on offer including these walks enabling you to enjoy using Bella Vista as an ideal option as your preferred Whangarie accommodation choice. 

Sharon and Jo look forward to hosting you.


Mountain Bike Canterbury

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There are so many mountain biking options, for every level of confidence and expertise in Mid Canterbury, you can stay and play for days on our trails.

Hi, I’m Michelle, owner/ operator of the Bella Vista Ashburton along with my husband Paul and daughter Stella. I am an avid mountain biker and love nothing more than riding the local tracks with my family and friends.  

I’ve lived in this district most of my life and worked in the Outdoor Education sector for years and I just love being in the outdoors. I enjoy promoting a positive culture of mountain biking in the community and I’m happy to share my knowledge with you, to help you discover and explore the best places to go for a relaxed and easy ride with the family, and the more adventurous or adrenalin fuelled fun rides in Mid Canterbury.

A local gem and one of my favourites is right on my door step - The Ashburton River Trail loop and Skills Park, a really nice place following a single track, designed for fun for all the family and it’s e-bike friendly.  The Skills Park is an area developed by Mountain Bike Ashburton for riders to practice and improve their skills. We have pump tracks, jumps, rock gardens and wooden structures of varying difficulty including for kids!


Ashburton Skills Park


The 11.5 km  river track is mostly Grade 3, with easy or more difficult options around all the nice curves, berms, humps, sweeping dips, bridges, non threatening drop offs, wooden structures and rock gardens.  It  is a wonderful ride for beginners and is interesting for riders of all skills. The trail is well looked after by volunteers and sign posted to guide riders through the named sections in a clockwise direction, with turn around points in serval places to shorten the ride. You can find out more by visiting the Ashburton MTB website  or the mountain bike trail directory, Trailforks 

Other trails close by are Lake Hood and Hakatere Ride to the beach, both making for a very pleasant spin. Cross Country adventure can be found found in the spectacular high country at the Hakatere Conservation Park and an adrenaline rush at the Mt Hutt Bike Park, only a 45 min drive away.


Mountain Bike Canterbury


With your ride completed, return to Bella Vista Motel Ashburton to wash down your bikes, enjoy a comfortable nights sleep, all ready for the next exciting day. If you need some help with gear, check out my friends from Stocked Cycles for advice.

 I can't believe nobody has commented on this at all. This is a really fun spot with fun little jumps and the straight roller section was a blast to work on manuals through rollers. Pump track is super fun. Thank you for building this spot we had a blast.

Ashburton is a great place to base yourself as you enjoy all the local mountain biking adventures. Give me a call to book your next break away with the family - 03 3077505.  We look forward to hosting you.



Mountain Bike Ashburton

Top Places to Eat in Kaikoura

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Mention that you are staying in Kaikoura to friends and family and that you and are looking for local Kaikoura restaurant recommendations, they will invariably tell you to head up the coast for a beautiful 20 minute drive to enjoy freshly cooked seafood at the iconic Nin's Bin.

Nins Bin Kaikoura


Whilst this is great advice and Nin's Bin is an awesome stop, there are plenty of terrific restaurants in Kaikoura town centre that you can enjoy when staying at Bella Vista.  Our Kaikoura accommodation situated just above the town means any night out for dinner is just a mere stroll away.  Here are our favourites.


Pier Hotel

The Pier Hotel is one of Kaikoura’s most iconic places to eat, situated right on the coast looking out over the sea to the stunning panoramic views of the Kaikoura ranges.  Built in the 1800s the Pier Hotel is amazing summer or winter with the view well worth the visit but the food is also amazing in its own right!  Offering fresh seafood and of course the famous Kaikoura Crayfish(lobster) as well as other culinary delights, the menu offers something for everyone. The Pier Hotel is located 15min walk from the town and 20minutes walk from the Bella Vista Motel or a short 5 min drive.


Pier Hotel Kaikoura


Kaikoura Seafood BBQ

The famous Kaikoura Seafood BBQ featured in Lonely Planet as the best place to get Crayfish(lobster). Situated on the beach before Point Kean Seal Colony this long-standing seaside BBQ also does great chowder, fish and whitebait fritters. Definitely a must do on a visit to Kaikoura the BBQ is a 30 minutes’ walk along the coast from town and 35 minutes from the Bellavista motel, well worth making the effort to walk as Point Kean Seal Colony is only 5 more minutes’ walk up the beach!

Kaikoura Seafood BBQ


Coopers Catch

Situated right in the middle of town, 5 minutes’ walk from the Bellavista Motel Coopers Catch is the ultimate place to enjoy good old kiwi fish and chips, hard to miss with the guaranteed huge crowd of people outside Coopers Catch does seafood like no other, their moto is “We don’t make fast food, we make good food as fast as we can” is right on the money.  The best place in town to get seafood like no other.

Coopers Catch


Another great place to eat right in the middle of town, 5 minutes’ walk from the Bella Vista motel.  The Whaler is famous for its steaks and ribs, with a huge fire roaring in the winter and the amazing views of the snow-capped Kaikoura ranges as a backdrop from the deck who could think of a better way to spend the afternoon or evening.

The Whaler Kaikoura


Groper Garage

Famous in town for its pizza and pasta the Groper garage was formally a fuel garage and is also in the middle of town, 5 minutes’ walk away from the Bella Motel.  Featuring two large roaring fires this is certainly well worth the visit for both its food and ambiance.


Groper Garage


If none of these options quite take your fancy, do get in touch and we're sure we'll find some other suitable eating options that you can enjoy in Kaikoura.  We look forward to hosting you.