Arcadia Lodge in Russell is the only Qualmark Gold level accommodation in the Bay of Islands.
Trip Advisor applauds Arcadia Lodge
Arcadia Lodge, the boutique BnB accommodation in Russell, has received two top accolades on Trip Advisor.
They are #2 for New Zealand and #4 for Australasia. This is
lots of praise, but there is precedent.
When Greg Hoover and Peter Gillan took over ownership of Arcadia Lodge five years ago, it was previously listed in Trip Advisor’s Top 10. They steadily rose through the ranks.
The pair had a circuitous route to ownership of BnB. Peter has been a chef for 20 years, focusing primarily on outdoor dining. He then became a nurse for 40 years in the emergency department of Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, before moving into primary care and mental health.
Greg sold classified ads for a Dallas-based publication for 20 years before deciding he wanted to go sailing. He teamed up for other people, then sold his house and car and bought his own boat, something he vows never to do again.
For four years he crewed for other people, ended up in New Zealand and met Peter. The rest, as they say, is history, but it was not without challenges and hard work.
“We specialize in small groups. We had eight lawyers from Auckland the other day. They were on a fishing trip, so we got up early to serve breakfast and gave them a lunch with appetizers. -mouths they could take on the boat. They wanted something a little better than what you would normally get,” says Peter.
The lodge houses six separate suites, including a cottage, and was built in 1902 by the Reverend Bolar who was New Zealand’s first resident minister. It was built on a clay base with whalebone foundations. A few bony foundations have shifted, making the ground slightly undulating in places.
“It’s weird,” Greg said. “But I love him, that’s what makes him unique.”
Throughout there is period furniture, an eclectic range of photos, memorabilia, fine art and collectibles which together have earned them a Qualmark (NZ Tourism) 4.5 Gold stars, the only Gold level property in the Bay of Islands under the Lodge & Boutique Category.
Police in Russell
Following a public meeting in January that was called to discuss the future of the Russell Community Police, a 300-signature petition and accompanying letter was sent to various police officers and the local MP.
In response, local area commander Riki Whiu said he would consult with the community of Russell ‘at the appropriate time’ and said police would conduct a review which may require the development of a business case. . Factors that would be considered, he said, included the low crime rate in the Russell area.
Bob Drey, president of the Russell Protection Society, pointed to the low crime rate as a result of the presence of an effective and resident community police officer in Russell.
‘Commander Whiu dismissed concerns about Russell being isolated after hours by saying a police officer based in Paihia could be in Russell using the unsealed Waikare Rd within half an hour.’
Bob Drey said the general impression given was that a decision had been made to relocate the community constable from Russell to Paihia and it was seen as a police operational matter. Offers of community assistance for the upkeep of the Custom House (where the Community Policeman resides) included hosting a musical fundraising event. This has now been rejected on the grounds that there is no point in providing Russell with longer-term accommodation for the policeman.
The Russell Protection Society intends to write to the Minister of Police and Commissioner of Police requesting that representatives attend a public meeting in Russell over the next few weeks. In the meantime, the company urges the community to write or email the commissioner to highlight these concerns.
Bay of Islands Running Event
A Walk-Run event, organized by Sport Northland, will take place around the Bay of Islands on June 12. It is now sponsored by Hotprintz.
It comprises three distances – 6km which is a walking event, an 8.7km distance and the 21.2km half marathon which are both running events and all start and end in Marsden Rd adjacent to Paihia Village Green.
The courses offer views of the bay as participants cruise along the Paihia waterfront and admire the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Waitangi Mountain Bike Park.
The dress up theme is “hot” this year and is back by popular demand.
Paihia firefighters will be on hand to liven up the BBQ and there is a band, A2stix, to keep everyone relaxed after the event. Prizes are awarded to the first three men and women in the half marathon and the 8.7 km event.
The event is expected to attract around 1,000 people. All participants will have the chance to win a 2019 Suzuki Swift donated by Pacific Motor Group, and it can only be won by an adult Northlander.
There are seven events in total in the Sport Northland series, starting with the Parihaka Trail Run and ending with the Kerikeri Half Marathon and 5K Walk on November 19.
Transport Minister Michael Wood has called for more people to use public transport. He also called on people to buy electric vehicles, saying both are essential to reducing greenhouse gases.
Clearly he hasn’t been to the eastern Bay of Islands recently as there is no public transportation. He did not go to the Russell Peninsula where there is no bus service or public EV fast charging unit.
If you live in Russell and need to charge your electric car, you have to drive 7km to the ferry, cross over to Opua and then drive another 6km to use Paihia’s only fast charging station. The nearest charging station to Paihia is in Waipapa, 27 km away or Kaikohe, 34 km away.
You can do trickle charging at home where a proper battery charge can take eight hours or more from an apartment. Or you can install a faster charging unit in your home at a cost of around $900 for a decent unit, to $5,000 for the “booster” unit.
There is no bus service to Russell, Rawhiti, Haruru Falls, Puketona, Opua or Paihia, not even a minibus. The nearest bus service in Kerikeri does not serve any of these places.
There is however a bi-weekly FNDC bus connection on Tuesdays and Thursdays which departs from Kaikohe, stops at Ohaeawai, Moerewa, Kawakawa, then leaves Opua at 10.50am, travels to Paihia, Waitangi and stops at Waipapa before continuing to Kerikeri . where it stops for about an hour, then runs in reverse in the afternoon.
It’s basically a supermarket bus. There was a race on Saturday, but that has since stopped.