I am a bit of a book a bach guru, I love it, and I do my homework, so I know it’s good for my dogs and good for me. When I am booking I always use the filter “pets allowed” and the general area I want to stay. Firstly, I know that kennels cost at least $25 - $35 per day per dog, so having 2 dogs in the kennels for 3 nights (4 days) costs between$200 - $280.
I never book on the high season and I avoid the school holidays, there are many reasons for this including, dogs not allowed on most beaches during the summer months, and I prefer not to be on holiday with everyone else, not to mention the traffic. Also, if we take our dogs with us, we want to leave them in the car when we stop at a café or the shops, so it must be a bit cooler. (we now have a lockable cage door in the back of the car, so it’s not such an issue as it used to be, but we like to be careful).
So back to the cost of accommodation, I look for anything from $80 per night, and try to stay under $150. This means if I can get a long weekend 3 nights for an average of $120 per night, it costs me $360. Now take of the kennel costs, of maybe $280, its now cost me $80 for 3 nights!! Well close enough to make the planning and the holiday totally worthwhile.
When booking I always write a personal profile about myself and my dogs such as "We own our own home and have two registered and microchipped well behaved, medium breed, social dogs. We take our dogs on all our holidays. If you need anymore information please feel free to contact us". I feel it always pays to add the personal touch.
I live in Auckland, in the Rodney District, because of this I prefer to travel North (less city driving, less traffic if you plan your travel times).
These are my Top Picks ...
BAY OF ISLANDS - Waterfront Bach - Okiato Bach
This Bach is perfect for a couple, though it has 2 bedrooms one with bunk room, and the other a comfortable queen sized bed. It is a small house, made to feel modern, fresh and clean, but not big enough to spread out inside. The outside has it all, if you are there to enjoy the view and somewhere to chill out. For your dog it’s not fenced, so only the loyal trusted pooches should be allowed to stay here.
What it does have is its own private beach, and easy walk about 10 steps down and just a few more metres to the water. The tide hardly goes out at all, so there is always water. Great if you have a small boat you are taking with you as there is so much to explore around the bay. There is a kayak for you to use, or take your own, it feels very safe as you are not out in open water or surf. We took our surf casting rods, and caught snapper right there! Amazing to have your dinner at the bottom of the garden. This place is very private, has a huge lawn, so lots of outside space to play, and sheds and old boats to explore.
The harbour is fantastic to watch the coming and going of boats, and the car ferry working all day. I highly recommend this place. We will be going back very soon. Remember to take your mozzie spay, northland mozzies are very big, and being nestled in bush they thrive. There is also plenty of parking and turning space if you have a trailer with you. From here you are 10mins to Russel, where you can catch the ferry to Paihi, or just go back over on the car ferry right near your door.
You have the option of linen supplied or bring your own, and cleaning is also provided at an extra cost, but it always pays to leave the place tidy, as if it were your own.