Northland has five contenders for Bookabach Bach of the Year 2019 titles, more than any other region, and one of them is at Mill Bay.

Mabel's Cottage, on Mabel Thorburn Drive, just below the Mangonui police station, is billed as "a little honey ... they don't make them like this any more! Mabel has been round a bit and can tell a few stories. Recently updated and beautifully furnished, she is ready to start her next era."

The almost 150-year-old cottage is a finalist in the pet-friendly category, but while two double bedrooms, one bathroom and two toilets might be reasonably standard, it has one outstanding feature — from the door to the water is just seven steps.

The other Far North finalist, in the design category, is Oke Beach House, at Rawhiti, which is at the other end of the luxury scale, and is billed as an ideal (and intimate) wedding venue. With panoramic views out over the Bay, but just three minutes' walk from Oke Bay Beach, it sleeps 12 and boasts five bathrooms.


A night there costs an average of $2242, while Mabel's Cottage commands a more modest average of $219.

The other Northland finalists are Harbourfront Bach at Whangārei Heads (family-friendly), McLeod's Funky Bach at Mangawhai Heads (family-friendly), and Mangawhai Bach (pet-friendly).

The public can get involved by voting (at for the People's Choice award, everyone who votes going into the draw for a $1000 travel voucher towards their next Bookabach adventure.

"We'd like to congratulate all of the property owners whose amazing baches have made the list of finalists for 2019," Simone Scoppa, head of PR for Bookabach, said last week.

"With over 11,000 properties across New Zealand available on the Bookabach website, it's no mean feat making it to the top 24, so they should all be very proud."

The finalists were selected based on criteria including the quality of images accompanying their Bookabach listings, descriptions and guest reviews.

The winners will be announced on on October 23.