November 28, 2018

Time marches on – Katalina had a total knee replacement in March accompanied by post-operative surgery in the following months and in June, Mila, a new little angel and my new granddaughter was born, for a total of four granddaughters to date and here we are now with what looks like another busy summer season. 

In May this year we received a review from a guest who made the following comment: “Would have preferred the hot tub & balcony to be more private & segregated better from other rooms”.  As you can see from our reviews, we rarely get any recommendation for improvement. Nevertheless, our guest was right.  I already had it in mind to increase the privacy of each rooms’ terrace by extending the walls on the terrace which segregate the rooms.  At the end of July and early August I extended these walls which has made each room’s terrace and spa significantly more if not totally private and exclusive without any narrowing of the existing ocean panoramic view.

At the end of October, we had another suggestion which we acted on.  That suggestion was that the breakfast coffee could be improved.  This puzzled me as we serve very strong Italian style drip Caffe Aurora Medaglia D’oro and use a plunger style coffee maker.  Being a bit of a coffee aficionado, having lived and worked in South America and Turkey, I always served generous portions of coffee to ensure each guest not only gets a strong brew, but as much strong coffee as they need to ensure they kick-start their day.  Recently we have been testing other blends of coffee and have settled on a new one which Katalina swears is an improvement.

Other improvements were new curtains and cushions in each guest room; reorganization of the small gardens facing each room – uprooting and replacing vegetation which was blocking the view from your seat in the spa; replacement of the fence on the north-west side of the property which blocks out the adjoining property and more…

From the middle of August until mid-September, immediately after all the work on Tarltons Lodge, we shut the Lodge down and went to Fiji for six weeks.  We have a rental property there which requires annual maintenance.  We didn’t get much rest as termites had gotten into one flat destroying the kitchen cabinetry. The flat had to be gutted and rebuilt, as well as all the other annual maintenance issues.  Now added to the annual risk of damage from a hurricane, we are faced with the risk and damage from a termite infestation.

We have already had several honeymoon and anniversary couples.  One anniversary couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!  It was an honour to be part of their special occasion. Last Sunday night was a clear sky and full moon which cast a moonglow on the water in the channel below, that was indescribably beautiful. Today guests from Bavaria just arrived for a five-night stay and the weather could not be improved.

We do much enjoy swapping traveller’s stories, with our guests, but most of all enjoy seeing their initial stress on arrival dissolve into relaxed contentment after a few days spent in the relaxing setting of Tarltons Lodge, where a tranquil silence pervades, and a complete absence of any traffic noise exists, interrupted only by bird song.

We look forward to meeting you all, our new guests when you arrive on our doorstep.

June 25th, 2017

Tarltons Lodge B & B is a family business, which is why you will see various names associated with its management: Natasha, Dan, Peter and Katalina.  The Lodge had been managed by Natasha and Dan for two years, 2014 to 2016.  At the end of October, 2016, Peter and Katalina, Natasha’s Mum & Dad, took over the day to day running of Tarltons Lodge from Natasha and Dan who moved to Auckland. 

Our last 2016 – 2017 summer season was very rewarding for us. Our guests were very interesting people from many different countries who all had interesting life stories to share.  We enjoy very much swapping stories with our guests.  We have travelled overseas extensively both in Peter’s work and on our sailing boat, and now get itchy feet when we stay in one place for too long.  While employed in the Oil & Gas Industry, we have experienced many 5-star luxury hotels, in many different countries. Following this experience, we know, what for us, constitutes the ideal accommodation when away from home.  When searching for accommodation in a foreign country, Katalina and I look for specific requirements.  Here at Tarltons Lodge we provide those preferred requirements and services for you, to make your stay more than just an overnight bed.

  1. Tarltons is near the centre of activities in Paihia

Tarltons Lodge & Laundromat Location.jpg

2.   Tarltons Lodge provides a selection of tasty and filling breakfasts at no extra cost

3.   Tarltons facilities are 5-star and world class. The services are meticulous and invariably exceed the guest's expectations.

4.  The stylish furnishings in all three guest rooms display an elegant intimacy, with King and Super-King size beds and quality linen.

5.  Tarltons provides fast and unlimited internet

6.  Each Tarltons guest room commands a spectacular ocean and island view

We hear from our many satisfied guests, and read in their Trip Advisor reviews, that  the two overall memorable aspects of our Lodge are the awesome panoramic ocean view and the tranquil silence and absence of any traffic noise, yet still only a 7-minute walk to the town.

Very few if any other Bed and Breakfast accommodation venues in Paihia can boast of such an awesome sea view from each guest room. With respect to this commanding sea view, from the moment you enter Tarltons Lodge and walk out onto the lower terrace or the upper balcony, the 170-degree ocean panorama owns you. Every guest room is on the north and ocean facing side of the building and has floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, through which this expansive and spectacular view is visible from your bed, from your private spa and from your breakfast table. When you wake up in the morning and look out, the view is there.  Additionally, throughout most of the year at dawn, the sunrises erupt in a kaleidoscope of riotous colour which floods into your room and assaults your vision.

Our guest rooms' sliding glass doors open onto a terrace.  The only sounds you will hear is the throaty bird song of the “Tui” bird in the morning (Click here for Tui Bird Song ), the rhythmicsound of waves lapping on the beach below and the muffled put-putting of boats motoring up Veronica channel to the port of Opua. Access to your private section of the terrace is by a staircase, exclusive to your use, where similarly you will find your own exclusive and personal Jacuzzi/hot tub, breakfast high table and chairs and small garden full of unique New Zealand flora and fauna.

Many accommodation providers in the Bay of Islands advertise sea views.  Be cautious, because in many cases what the guest ends up with, is a glimpse of ocean between two buildings or a distant view of the ocean over and beyond a sprawl of rooftops comprising Paihia town.   Their advertising photographs don’t match the reality the guest faces.  Our guests repeatedly say that the photographs on Tarltons Lodge website don’t do justice to the spectacular view and calming tranquillity of Tarltons Lodge.

Our check-outs can be emotional experiences as most of our guests are reluctant to leave, wishing they had planned a longer stay at Tarltons.  Often, they write hand written thank you notes:

Tarltons Lodge guest’s farewell photo album


Now I have told you about the Lodge and the last summer season,  I will introduce ourselves, and tell you a little of the story of our life together for these past thirty-six years, a long road which has lead us here to the Bay of Islands and the management of Tarltons Lodge.

In the 1970s when I was in my early twenties, I had a dream of sailing offshore to the tropics. In August, 1978, after several year’s preparation, I sailed out of the Juan de Fuca Straight southbound and singlehanded, on Kainui, my engineless 25 foot Vertue Class sloop.

I had sailed down the California coast stopping a Moro Bay, San Francisco, San Pedro, and San Diego.  I returned to Canada to work on two occasions leaving Kainui in a marina in San Diego and later in Keehi Lagoon in Honolulu. So, it was almost a year and a half later that I was in the Hawaiian Islands, provisioned and ready for the long passage to the equator and beyond.

Peter at sea, sailing south, single-handed

My final port of call in the North Pacific, on the voyage south, was at Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  There at the Lahaina Yacht Club I heard about good fishing and the low cost of living in the Tongan Islands.

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Tied up in Lahaina, Maui

From Maui I sailed south, stopping at Palmyra Atoll, then Pago Pago in American Samoa. I was running short of cash, so in Pago Pago I bought a fishing net and decided to spend a couple of months in Tonga, before continuing on to Australia.  At that time, I was dreaming of blond Australian girls and my plan was to work in Australia when the money ran out.

On July 9th, 1980, at 06:40 am I sighted the bold, high cliffs on the north side of the island of Vava'u in the Kingdom of Tonga.  This was pre-GPS so I was relying on my sextant and chronometer. The ship’s log reveals that I had had made a flawless and accurate landfall:

"I am feeling pretty edgy as I always do at night, before a landfall.  I'll be glad when dawn comes and I can see the island. I had, the more tired I got all evening, an ominous feeling something was wrong.  I stayed up all night, listening and looking into the darkness ahead.  I had a knot in my stomach.  I was repeatedly going forward straining my eyes to see the white phosphorescence, marking the surf line on a reef.  Turns out I could have slept all night!  06:45 hrs. Land Ho!! Right on the money! I was steering 245 degress magnetic to avoid an unexpected landfall, in case I was closer to land  than my calculated position on the chart.  I figured I would sight land bearing 205 degrees Magnetic and there isVava'u bearing 205 degrees magnetic!"

The first night in Vava’u Peter’s attention was drawn to this girl, Katalina, at the Paradise International Hotel

The first night in Vava’u Peter’s attention was drawn to this girl, Katalina, at the Paradise International Hotel

The next day I saw Katalina again at a beach front traditional dancing show. I was stricken. From that moment, Katalina became the centre of my world. That was the end of the dreams of blond Australian girls. Anchored off Katalina's Village, setting the fishing net each evening with her brothers and picking it up at dawn became our routine.

February 2nd, 1982, Nicholas was born in the Hospital in Vava'u

Anchored off Katalina's Village, setting the fishing net each evening with her brothers and picking it up at dawn became our routine.

We built a house on family land at Hangakikapa, overlooking Kainui’s Vava’u mooring, with the intension of expanding it into a Yacht Club.  Unfortunately, we ran into insurmountable obstacles in Vava’u and the Yacht Club never came to be.  We made plans to return to Canada on “Kainui”

Preparations were made, while on Kainui’s mooring, to make room for Katalina and Nicholas during the long voyage north.

At 2:30 pm on June 16, 1984, we set sail for Fanning Island at the equator.

On July 9, 1984, Kainui’s log reads:

10:00 pm. It's night now and I am drinking tea to stay awake. I have Kainui on a course parallel to the shore of Fanning Island which is about 5 miles off. We are waiting until the morning to locate a suitable anchorage… we slowly approached the island under full sail and light winds. The scraggly coconut fronds slowly revealed a solid grey base of land that gave way to lush tropical greenery as we got closer and closer…

After several weeks at sea, Katalina & Nicholas are very happy to see Fanning IslandAtoll

We anchor in the lagoon, then 10 days later we set sail north for Hawaii.

August 5th, we make our landfall off Oahu, Hawaii and receive the customary and outstanding hospitality of the Hawaii Yacht Club.

August 5th, we make our landfall off Oahu, Hawaii and receive the customary and outstanding hospitality of the Hawaii Yacht Club.

The Log reads: "We got a few stares at the Yacht Club restaurant, even in that place, accustomed as it is to seeing sailors arriving from offshore. It must have been a combination of my tall, bony, gaunt body, plastered in numerous white boil dressings, Katalina's striking Polynesian beauty, and our overall bedraggled and wrinkled appearance."

For a sailor, after a long ocean passage, an endless stream of fresh water is a luxury which evokes pure joy.

Back in Canada, in 1985 Peter started construction of a 50-foot steel cutter:

In 1986 Natasha was born.

 Ten years later our new boat “Tavake” is launched.

After a long process of preparing the boat for sea, we opened our offshore Adventure Sailing business, “Tropic Bird Sailing Adventures” and depart south with our first paying customer, stopping in Honolulu, Fanning Atoll, Pago Pago, American Samoa, Vava’u in the Tongan Islands and Fiji.

Following our arrival back in the South Pacific, we spend 7 years running Sailing Adventures Fiji, specializing in honeymoon, kite-boarding and back-packer cruises, based out of Vuda Marina on the west coast of Viti Levu in Fiji…

During these 7 years Katalina managed a South Pacific Traditional Dance troupe in which Natasha participated

…following which we passed nine years working in numerous countries, overseas in the Oil & Gas Industry, traveling extensively for work and maintaining Fiji as our home base.  

Our travels have taken us to many overseas locations, not limited to the following locations:


Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ephesus, Turkey

Republic of Georgia

Istanbul, Turkey

Kota Kinabalu, Sarawak


Baku, Azerbaijan

Boracay, Phillipines


Langkawi, Malaysia

Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland

Berlin, Germany

Lima, Peru

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nice, France

Venice, Italy

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Paris, France

Octoberfest, Munich, Germany

Palma, de Mallorca

Helsinki, Finland

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bratislava, Slovakia

Barcelona, Spain

Monte Carlo

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ao Nang, Krabi, Thialand


Langkawi, Malaysia

London, England

 Katalina and I have spent the last ten years traveling through many countries, often staying in 5 Star Hotels.  Now we are content to live in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, looking after our guests, who arrive on our door step from all over the world.  


From Dan & I here at Tarlton's Lodge we hope you had a wonderful christmas and a great start to the New Year! We are so thankful for all the positive feedback and reviews we have received from you all. Running a Bed & Breakfast is one of the best ways to meet a myriad of people from all walks of life sharing unforgettable moments together. From bee keepers to NASA rocket engineers, marriage proposals to 50th wedding anniversaries!! Its been a fabulous year.... Speaking of marriage, Dan proposed to me on Christmas day! And I said yes. 

So once again from Dan and I to you and yours, thank you, thank you, thank you.


Back for Summer!

We've just re-opened for summer and are looking forward to another spectacular 8 months in this slice of paradise we call home. While we were closed, Dan and I travelled Europe with nothing but our backpacks and a guitar in pursuit of our shared passion for and dream of music. We had such a magical experience from street busking and private backyard concerts to festivals and corporate gigs. It also gave us the opportunity to search out what the secret is behind great holiday accommodation. I think we are both very excited to share what we've learned with you and will continue to strive for excellence.

We are hoping this summer to make some big environmental changes in order to reduce our carbon footprint which although sounds contrary, will start with changes to our breakfast menu as well as our own personal diets in the hope of becoming Vegan. This change will not be solely to ease our own conscience but in the hope of sharing and inspiring each and every one of our guests to do the same. All great things start from small beginnings.

Stay tuned, stay happy and for heaven's sake, stay a night at Tarlton's Lodge this summer!



News from the Lodge

As we posted on our Facebook page back in August, we've recently been removed from the Gay Stay website that promotes safe, gay-friendly accommodation. This was a decision they felt was necessary due to the fact that we are not a gay couple (and the previous owners were). This decision was taken out of our hands as we would have like to stay affiliated with this website. We have met some amazing people through the site, a number of which we can now call our friends. Just to reiterate, we are proud to provide safe and friendly accommodation to anybody within the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community and that will never change. 

We believe its what you give out, that you get back in return. There have been such wonderful guests who have stayed with us just over the last month that we happily jumped hoops for to make their stay as incredible as it could be. Speaking of awesome guests, a big congratulations to Courtney Griffiths who got engaged to her partner during their stay with us earlier this month! As well as Michele and David Buhler, a Canadian couple that mix their love for photography and writing in an honest and mesmerizing travel blog called "Two of Us" .

On to Paihia news, we've got the "It!" Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival that will be held on October 25th from 11am - 6pm. The kiwi icon's "Supergroove" will be playing live with  mouthwatering food and award winning vineyard, beer and cider tents to sample. Lots of fun to be had for the whole family with real kiwi-ana competitions like 'Kina sucking", "Oyster sucking and eating" and "Pie-eating" of course. Tickets are $49 per adult and can be purchased toll free at 0800 BUY TIX (289 849). We'll be down there for sure as the 25th of October marks the beginning of the summer season!

See you then!

Blues & Jazz Festival comes to Paihia!

What a crazy couple of storms we've had over the last few months! Road closures ruined long awaited holidays for some of our guests which I can imagine was frustrating. For the ones that made it I'm proud to say still managed to brave the elements and with ninja resilience, owned those spas. We learned the value of electricity (by a lack there-of), nylon thread, and flashlights. 

What I am trying to say, rather poorly, is that winter isn't half as bad living up North and it certainly doesn't seem to last as long! I could almost say its starting to feel like summer again. Almost.

Whats more, the Blues & Jazz Festival is here from the 8th-10th August! what a great weekend to be had in Paihia with 3 days of music, boasting over 150 hours of quality blues and jazz! $50 badges can be purchased from the Paihia Pacific Resort (#27 Kings Road) which will give you access to all 3 days of toe-tapping fun. This includes discounted ferries to Russell and a free shuttle bus that will take you to all the venues between Haruru Falls and Paihia. If you're arriving later in the weekend, they sell $30 passes too.

If your more like me, your low on cash I'd just go for a stroll down the main drag of Paihia as I'm almost certain there will be buskers playing for the love of it!



New Website!

Yay, our new website is up and running now - we hope you like it.

Big THANK YOU to Richard Brimer for the photos!  He's a modest guy, but between you and me,  he's pretty talented.  Check out his work HERE, or better yet - book him in for some photos.  Also a BIG thank you to Vicki Kinsey for her 'yoda' wisdom and guidance.  Smart cookie she is, yes.

On to Paihia news, we've got the Queens Birthday Weekend from Friday the 30th of May to Sunday the 1st of June. As part of this inaugural occasion is the Paihia Half Marathon. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at Eventfinder: HERE.  Get in fast!

Every Thursday is the Bay of Islands Farmers Market.  Dan and I have made it our regular weekly stop for fresh local produce. Persimmons, macadamias, fig jams and other preserves, veggies galore, olive oil, wine and sweet, glorious, mouth-watering cheese. Check out the Grinning Gecko cheese stand (the Camembert is the best I've tasted, ever!). 

Kick start your Friday evening with the "Friday Social" for the next 2 weeks (30th May, 6th June) at 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar.  Live music starts at 5:30pm! 

Until next time!