We recently spent an amazing couple of days in awesome Rotorua, and stayed at the equally awesome Hannah’s Bay Cottage. Find out why this lake-front, family-friendly accommodation just won a gold medal in the Bach of the Year Awards.

When we heard Hannah’s Bay Cottage made finalist in the Family Friendly category of Bookabach’s Bach of the Year Awards, we just had to check it out.

We planned on taking the kids on a central North Island roadie, so a couple of days stopping over in Rotorua was a must-do. On this trip we took in Taupo, Rotorua and the South Waikato, and Lake Rotorua was the perfect spot to break up the trip.

When we travel as a family we almost never stay in hotels, we much prefer to stay in family-friendly accommodation. The sorts of homes you find on booking sites like Bookabach are perfect for our family. We use these as a base to travel out to various family activities. And it makes cooking meals, packing lunches and washing kid’s clothes a breeze on the road.

We’ve clocked up a lot of road miles already as a young family. And one of our family roadie tips is to find easy-care accommodation that feels a bit like home. This reduces stress, adding a sense of familiarity at the end of each day.

As we pulled up to this quaint little cottage, we knew this spot was going to be something special, and definitely allow our family to de-stress.

Hannah’s Bay Cottage is an easy-living, mid-century Kiwiana-chic holiday home at it’s best.

The gorgeous, polished wooden floors in the dining room flow into a large, sunny lounge with sea-grass matting on the floors that smells amazing. The lounge is a quirky addition with three of the bedrooms opening into the lounge.

Needless to say the kids had a hoot using the windows as doors into the bedrooms. And with a bunkbed in each room there are heaps of sleeping options.

Hannah's Bay Cottage-lounge

A fourth self-contained bedroom, with it’s own bathroom and kitchenette means there’s options here for extended family. And the dining room even has a daybed where the morning sunshine streams in.

The views of Lake Rotorua are mesmerising from the lounge and dining rooms. And they both open to a great deck, and large, flat section that’s fully fenced to keep the kids in. And the dining room has a clean-burning pellet fireplace that heats up the whole living area quickly.

Hannah's Bay Cottage-lake view

Beyond the house is a large reserve where we ran off some steam playing family tag. And beyond the reserve is the lake where my daughter and I re-energised with a refreshing early Spring dip (the other two chickened out!).

Unfortunately the winds were up on this trip, and the lake was far too rough for kayaks. But the garage has two kayaks and a paddle board, free to use by guests. And we’re definitely coming back to give these a whirl next time we’re up this way!

In terms of amenities, there’s a great playground at the end of the reserve (yes, this was one of our kids’ best memories of Rotorua!), a dairy at the end of the road and a small shopping centre just 2 minutes away.

Rotorua Airport is just up the road, and it’s only 10 minutes to Redwoods, 12 minutes to the CBD and 15 minutes to the Agrodome, Gondola, Rainbow Springs, etc.

With an awesome location, amazing lake views, easy-going but beautifully-presented interior and water toys for guests to use, it’s not hard to see why this property won the gold medal.

Hannah’s Bay Waterfront Family Getaway in Rotorua gets an easy 5 stars from us. Your family will love staying here as much as we did.


Jarrod is a quintessential Kiwi Dad. He lives in the sunny Horowhenua, and works from a home office, overlooking his chickens and the sea. His inspiration and motivation in life come from his wife and two kids.

Write A Comment