Hapuku Lodge is one of our favourites in the country, with edgy treehouses, noncomformist design and one of the best kitchens in New Zealand. Relaxed, superb views, and a place you want to find excuses to keep going back to. At a lower price point the Hapuku Factory is tastefully quirky and hosted by a lovely couple.
We've done some interesting things with seafood here in the past, but as the earthquake played havoc with the seabed we're regrouping and relaunching. Whales, dolphins and seals are the main focuses for activity. If your budget can stretch, bring down Ingrid Visser from Northland (NZs top marine mammal specialist) for a bit of depth and passion.