Rob Cox checks into the Ramada Resort Reia Taipa Beach.


Right on the tip of Taipa Beach, at the bottom of Doubtless Bay, less than an hour's drive from Kerikeri, in the heart of Northland.

Getting there: I live in Kerikeri so it was a very quick drive, actually quicker than I thought, my phone said it would be 58 minutes but it was more like 45.


Check-in experience: Awesome, the kids were given buggies to wheel their luggage down the world's longest corridor to our rooms, which were all ready and spotless.

Price: From $162 per night.

Room: We are a family of five so were lucky to get the double bedroom suite with two separate bathrooms, modern kitchen and separate lounge. We discovered the next day that it also came with a private spa pool, which was tucked outside our master bedroom. Loads of storage and space to relax — both rooms and lounge had their own smart TV, and 2 bathrooms with kids is a lifesaver.

Bed: We all slept like angels.

View: Our lounge patio looked out over Taipa Beach, very inviting and peaceful. Our bedroom patio had the spa pool, again, very inviting and peaceful.

Bathroom: Large, clean, modern.

Toiletries: Everything you needed and plenty of it; the staff were great at stocking it back up whenever needed.

Facilities: The resort has loads to offer as well as the incredible beach its located on. The grounds have an outdoor entertaining area with barbecue facility, large swimming pool and another spa. There's also a tennis court. Inside the Ramada is a function room, a restaurant and a cafe, which also caters for guests and tourist buses heading to and from Cape Reinga. There is loads of outdoor seating for those endless, winterless north days.


Food and drink: The continental breakfast buffet was great for our family, and the cafe made seriously good coffee. The restaurant had great service and a menu perfect for families and couples. Traffic lights and pink panthers for the kids and craft beers for Dad. You know you're in Northland when the cheapest item on the dinner menu is fish of the day, how good is that!

Wi-Fi: Excellent.

Entertainment: Smart TVs with all the Netflix our kids needed.

Noise: It's so quiet and peaceful at Taipa, the only sound is the waves lapping up on the beach.

Perfect for: Any time you want to base yourself in the Far North. Just before Taipa is Coopers Beach and Mangonui, with its world-famous fish 'n' chip shop.

Half an hour north and you are at Maitai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula, another hour on and you've hit Cape Reinga.