About Moon Gate Villa


Original concept drawing

Designed in the shape of Cupid’s bow, you can spot Moon Gate Villa’s unique shape from the air, and on Google maps.

All guest rooms have doors leading from the dramatic atrium, and private access into the north facing gardens where they enjoy day long sunshine.

About Your Host

Originally from the East Coast of the North Island, your host Lionel is native Maori and is delighted to share his culture and stories with guests.  More about Lionel, your host

The Villa

Aerial Moon Gate Villa

Moon Gate Villa from the air.

Built in 1990, the house was commissioned by a successful Bay of Islands ‘Mills and Boon’ romantic novelist, and designed by Martyn Evans, an architect with a reputation for designing curvaceous and unusual buildings throughout New Zealand and Europe.  It was intended as a place to inspire the author’s literary muse.

It was substantially updated during 2011, with the cottage receiving a gentle face-lift during winter 2013. The gardens were updated with the additional of a new native fernery and outdoor entertaining area during 2015-16.

The Far North Turner Centre arts and entertainment complex in Kerikeri Village, and the Marsden Estate Winery are among some of the architect’s well known local landmarks.

The Gardens

Moon Gate

Concept sketch of the Moon Gate pond.

The large 1.5 acre gardens surrounding the villa have featured in a number of Kerikeri’s famous annual ‘Garden Safari‘ the last appearance being spring 2015. Moon Gate Villa is named after its exotic Moon Gate, suspended over one of the two elegant ponds that grace the formally landscaped grounds surrounding the main house.

The gardens feature an eclectic blend of native New Zealand, Australian, sub-tropical and European trees and shrubs. As well as the native ferns and flaxes, there are year round blooms from Hibiscus and Lilies during summer, Rhododendrons, delicate Camellias and Daphne in winter, to Magnolias and bulbs flowering in the early spring. It’s not unusual to find our guests enticed to stroll through the gardens in the early morning light.

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The Great Front Door

Standing at 2.3 meters tall, and 2.5 meters wide, the solid oregon timber door was the largest single door in New Zealand at the time of building, and took 6 men to manoeuvre into place.

The door handle is made of solid brass and is the shape of an eel, for reasons that become apparent once you pass through.

Yes, it does open!  It pivots on an axis point one third of the way across its width.

Atrium and Entrance – beyond the door.

Atrium hallway and waterfall

The entrance door opens to reveal a small stream running through the length of the atrium.  Native ferns and plants provide a lush ambiance, and the sounds of running and splashing water immediately provides a sense of serenity and relaxation.

All Villa rooms have their interior entrances from the atrium, and the guest lounge overlooking the pond is immediately on the right.

All guest rooms have doors leading into the north facing gardens and heated swimming pool area, where they enjoy day long sunshine.

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The guest terrace

The guest terrace

Bi-fold doors and windows stretch all around the house, from north-east to north and northwest, capturing light and sunshine all day long.  The guest lounge and dining areas open completely to the gardens, creating a unique indoor – outdoor ambiance. Light playfully reflects from the ponds onto the ceilings of the living areas, and all throughout the house are soothing sounds of flowing water.

Moon Gate Villa was substantially updated in 2011 & 2014, to include expansive king bedroom suites with dedicated bathrooms.

The original orchard cottage (The Summer Cottage) is also available for guests who require a ‘light catering’ solution.