Old Oak Hotel Today
The fully renovated historic hotel building is surrounded by established gardens. The Old Oak Hotel has sat proud on the Mangonui waterfront since 1861.
The design for the gardens at The Old Oak was inspired by local heritage gardens and our hillside of native bush. Inspiration was taken from the beautiful gardens at the Pompallier Mission in Russell, the Waitangi Treaty House gardens, and the charming colonial garden at the Kemp house in Kerikeri, among others. These gardens were all working gardens – generally formal in design and planted to provide food and flowers for the occupants.
Similarly, our gardens are designed in a formal layout with raised beds for the vegetables and citrus orchard, gravel paths, and flower borders. There is a shell petanque court in the center of the formal gardens and at its end there is a native nikau palm. At the back of the formal gardens, a hillside of native bush encloses and shelters the garden with pongas (native tree ferns), palms, and shrubs that cascade down the hill creating a wall of green and a haven for birds. At the front of the formal gardens, the views are clear to the harbour and the beautiful green rolling hills across the water. All our flowers are cut for use in the hotel.
In addition to the hotel verandas, there are patios around the property with chairs, benches, and tables. A viewing bench sits behind the petanque court with views across the harbour. Behind the building, the back patios and gardens are surrounded by the native bush hillside. There is a natural cave there that is reputed to have once been a hiding place for whalers who jumped ship.
We like to think of the gardens as outdoors rooms. We hope that you will enjoy them!