Rumor had it that this B&B, perched over Matauwhi Bay, a few minutes' walk from town, had been supported for more than 100 years by whale vertebrae. Sure enough, when it was repiled in 2005 builders found the turn-of-the-20th-century home was virtually being held up by the vertebrae. One of the "backbones" of the house now sits in the lounge. Two spacious suites off the large guest lounge and dining area both have brass beds, sunrooms, and their own decks. Another three rooms are upstairs. The Tautoru Room has its own entrance, with a deck and a view of the bay where you can watch the boats coming and going from the Russell Boat Club (the club's bar is a good place to meet locals). Wake up with an appetite; breakfast is always good and varies depending on what you might have requested or what the hosts have in mind to delight you. It could be slow-roasted tomatoes on pesto bruschetta with pork-and-sweet fennel sausage; or zucchini, Parmesan, and mint fritters served with homemade chutneys. All of this comes with organic fruit from the garden, yogurt, granola, excellent coffee and fresh-squeezed Kerikeri orange juice.