Old Forest School. The Ultimate Bay Of Plenty Wedding Venue…

When I stumbled across this unique Bay of Plenty venue, I instantly fell in love. Having always dreamt of converting a piece of New Zealand history into a homely yet quirky home, the Old Forest School mesmerised me like a school girl holding hands with her first ever crush. Shucks.

school house 1

The Old Forest School is conveniently located a pleasant 45 minute drive from Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatane at 795 Rotoehu Road in Pongakawa. This originally derelict rural school in the Rotoehu forest, was built many years ago in 1930 for tobacco farming. Six years of hard kiwi slog, and these beautiful buildings have finally been restored to their former glory, while retaining their character and school house charm.

jen spence schoolhouse

Couples can say I do in either the  authentic school house or under the enormous trees (planted on Arbour days 80 years ago), and while the bridal party pose for photos in many of the idyllic  locations, guests can enjoy tennis, pétanque, croquet and lots of old school court games.

school house2

Ready to party? The Redwood Stables are the perfect location for a unique reception. Did I mention the free use of vintage props? With 3 acres of prettiness and privacy, guests can spend the night in the cabins and enjoy a big breakfast together in the morning.

schoolhouse maree

If the school can hold its own financially never again will a piece of NZ paradise and custodian of over 1000 histories almost disappear.  Besides being a truly gorgeous wedding venue, the Old Forest School has been restored to be loved and shared. Built from a humble community and available to anyone wanting to share in its magic, the Old Forest School is an affordable, yet unforgettable place to marry the one you love.

school house 4

And if the venue wasn’t enough to sweep you off your feet, the amazing Su-an from Old Forest School has put together this 12 page Free vintage wedding ideas EBOOK just for you!

school house 3

To find out more about this fabulous wedding venue click here. And follow them on facebook here.

Thank you to the following fantastic photographers for allowing us to share these beautiful pics. Photo credits (groups top to bottom):

Claire Mossong
♥ Jen Spence
♥ Taken by owner
Maree Wilkinson
♥ Taken by owner
♥ Taken by owner

Want to check out some more fabulous venues? Visit the Little Black Book here ♥



  1. Jax

    December 6, 2015

    Hi Crystal! Apologies I am not sure why the link no longer connects. I am away on Maternity leave but Im sure if you emailed Su-an at [email protected] she would be happy to send you the updated link! 🙂

  2. Crystal

    December 4, 2015

    Hiya! I cant seem to get the link to work for the e-book, when I click the link it just takes me to the OFS homepage…

  3. paper and lace

    May 21, 2013

    Hi Cathy, Thank you for your comment and recommendation xx

  4. Cathy

    May 21, 2013

    Agree. This is an amazing venue. Would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone. The owners are also great people, and only too willing to help and make your dreams and ideas a reality.

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