Located 45 kilometres north east of Gisborne, the Tolaga Bay Inn is the perfect stop on your journey of discovery around the East Coast.
The Tolaga Bay Inn sits proudly at the northern end of Tolaga Bay’s Main Street and, since 1930, has silently watched as life ticks by in this quiet seaside community.
Your host is Lily Stender, an effervescent entrepreneur who has returned to Tolaga Bay to support her whanau and community. She is quickly building a reputation as a welcoming hostess who ensures every guest has a fantastic stay. In fact, she recently won the Westpac Gisborne Business Excellence Awards 2015 top award for Tourism Excellence.
About the hotel
It may sound strange, but this is the second Tolaga Bay Inn. The first was built in the 1880s but was destroyed by fire.
In 1930 the inn was rebuilt – a testament to the community’s commitment to manaakitanga (hospitality) and whakawhanaungatanga (the process of building relationships).
The Tolaga Bay Inn is one of the last remaining historic hotels on the East Coast, with a history of caring for locals, traders and travellers for over 130 years.
Architecturally designed by French-Canadian architect Sholto Smith, the Tolaga Bay Inn is a classic example of the Tudor House design he became famous for. The Tolaga Bay Inn is one of just 100 buildings the celebrated Smith designed in New Zealand, and one of just two commercial buildings he designed in this style.
About Tolaga Bay
Tolaga Bay was named by Lt. James Cook in 1769, but the original Māori name is Uawa Nui A Ruamatua.
Our region is rugged, remote and absolutely stunning.
Tolaga Bay boasts a number of world class swimming and surfing beaches. These come alive over the Christmas and New Year freedom camping period. But, those looking for a more secluded getaway can always find their own pocket of paradise. The Tolaga Bay Inn provides sanctuary to campers and beach goers – whether it’s respite from the heat and a cold ice-cream on a scorching summer’s day, or a decent coffee for those with a craving.
Tolaga Bay is also home to the Tolaga Bay Wharf - the longest in New Zealand at 600m. It was built in the 1920s to accommodate visiting vessels and the last cargo ship to use the wharf loaded a cargo of maize in 1967. By 1998, the wharf had deteriorated and was in danger of being closed. In response, the Tolaga Bay Save the Wharf Trust raised funds and gained technical help to restore it. The wharf has now been completely refurbished and is a key visitor attraction for the town.