Cloud 9 – Life stands still at one of New Zealand's secret romantic hideaways

Kip Brook

Kip has been involved in the international media industry for more than 20 years and has won three NZ journalist of the year awards, Kip’s firm Word of Mouth Media can provide substantial publicity for companies and organisations. Contact him at:

The staggering view walking into Cloud9 lingers forever. This $1700 a night four-bedroom holiday haven is one of those must-stay-places before you die.

Cloud9 is as close to heaven as you can get: A hilltop house above the sleepy village of Russell overlooking the Bay of Islands; looking down on to dreamy golden sand Long Beach.

Some experiences in life swirl happily around the mind. This is one of those. When I was ushered into Cloud9 by my accommodation hostess Lesley Joy, we stepped down into the soothing lounge and onto the whitewashed floorboards. Lesley explained how to work the flat screen DVD, the wi-fi internet and how to ‘drive’ the kitchen.

I didn’t hear a word she said. I was gaping like a stunned goldfish at the priceless view across the glistening Pacific Ocean and the Bay of Islands.

Lesley took me outside to the edge of the infinity pool which seemed to blend in with the ocean as one. The property was given the name Cloud9 as it appeared the nearest place to heaven.

This place must rate the most welcome destination in this part of the world. All the bedrooms have a cedar patio or deck that have panoramic unobstructed views to the islands and the ocean.


I lay in my cosy king sized bed that night with the doors opened and heard the flightless kiwi bird – the famous New Zealand symbol – scurrying around in the bushes among the ferns and nikau palms.

The next morning I rummaged through the kitchen and Lesley had left me bacon, eggs, mushrooms, yummy MacKenzie Country fresh bread, fruit juice, fresh fruit platter, cereal, tea, coffee and just anything else I would have wanted for breakfast.

I walked down to the beach. The water was so warm and I swam in the still Pacific Ocean before laying on the sands under the sun before striding back up the hill to Cloud9.

The sky cable television had all the movies and channels you could wish to watch. I never turned it on. There was too much natural beauty to soak up. I cracked open a lovely bottle of award-winning Spy Valley sauvignon blanc and sat out on the deck to watch the sun set. I could hear the waves crashing, the native birds scurrying above the bush – and nothing else. It was like being in a movie in privacy and almost in silence.


The next day I strolled slowly through the Russell township. By now my pace of life had slowed to such a lazy gait I had completely unwound. I popped into Janet’s South Sea art gallery which was the most earthy and welcoming of the three galleries in the street. Helena Blair’s iconic Kiwi beach scenes were eye-catching and commercially very appealing.

But I didn’t want to stay away from Cloud9 too long. I bought some fresh groper from the local shop to take ‘home’ and cook. Another night of bliss out on the deck among the palms: not a ripple across the infinity pool, the gentle crashing waves on the empty beach. I lay back wearing only a smile of contentment. For a time life stood still.

I headed off the next morning, promising to spread the word and to return to Cloud9 one day.

The lodge sleeps eight people in three double bedrooms and one twin room. Two of the doubles have ensuite double shower rooms while the other double shares a bath/shower room with the twin room. All bathrooms have double basins. The lounge is superbly fitted-out and so relaxing but the breathtaking views are unbeatable.


Cloud 9 in the dreamy Bay of Islands of New Zealand is the real natural piece de resistance but like an upmarket Kiwi bach (holiday home).  It’s the best of the best. Ironically, the only cloud in sight when I drove away was Cloud9 which still taunts the happy side of my mind.



t: +64 9 403-7188

m: +64 9 274 416378




Jucy cars - campers





bg6.jpg,sunrise over the bay

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  • Wice says
    I love the way Kip writes. He certainly made me want to see more of Cloud9. I had a look at the Cloud9 website and there is a video there showing a little more of this holiday home. There is a shortened version of the video on youtube too (see below) which shows some of what's on the one on the website.

    I also discovered another article by Kip on Cloud9 on getfrank. This has more pictures (

    Although Kip mentions a price of $1,700 a night, if you look at the tarrifs on the website booking page, in the low season, they start at $700 for 5-6 persons, which I think would make this viable for a group (I know hubbie would disagree with me though!) One problem if you went with a group, however, is that most of the decor is white - something that doesn't go well with guys when they want to relax. They certainly don't want to be constantly looking to see if they have made a mark anywhere! However, this aside, the location is truly stunning and the house looks pretty good too without being over the top.

  • flowery3 says
    It does look lovely, and thanks for the advice on price, wice!!
    However, I do think that for totally luxury, I would want not to be cooking for myself!! What do you other girls think? Not cooking is one of the perks of being on holiday for me!
  • Mellow says
    This destination would be an ideal 'prize' by the sponsors. Otherwise that 2nd honeymoon is needing serious saving.... [start now?]
  • Wice says
    This is quite an old post but I just checked the prices on the Cloud 9 website and they haven't gone up. It still looks like a beautiful destination What I did notice when looking through the gallery of pic, is that the decor is no longer predominantly white but now a much more practical - no more so feeling afraid to leave a mark!
  • New Member says
    Cloud 9 is a heavenly place and very close to nature. The lifestyle in this place is more stylish and the best essay which you can enjoy the life here in this place. Well, it is costly for the normal people but the people who can afford this trio should spend this place.
  • New Member says
    Crowd still stands at the door for the entertainment and support for the teams of the contest. Yes, the quality of the crowd in order to write my essay for the triumph of the people. The services must be provided for the fulfillment of the goals of my life
  • New Member says
    I would love to stay in Cloud9.I was very upset about ">writing case studies for my academy but i have found assignment writers who offer any kind of wrings like case study,essay writings, assignment writing Etc.Now i wish i could go to the holiday haven.
  • New Member says
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    is truly horrible because they provide very bad service. This service is responsible for my recent academic C grade and I will never use it again. Please never use this service from them anyone.
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    I have gone through many different websites offering writing services but
    is truly horrible because they provide very bad service. This service is responsible for my recent academic C grade and I will never use it again. Please never use this service from them anyone.
  • New Member says
    Actually, I was looking for the video to get more idea regarding New Zealand’s secret romantic hideaways. But unfortunately, the video can’t play now. I thik some files are missing and hope that they can re-upload soon.catalina island inn

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