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 re-piled 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 could include fresh asparagus on Kerikeri smoked ham with focaccia and grilled cheese; or 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, and fresh-squeezed Kerikeri orange juice, which you can eat on the deck looking over the bay.