North Island Farm Walks

Kawakawa Station on Dust {Event Planning}

Pristine native bush, 360 degree views of the countryside, delicious local produce and waking to nothing but birdsong… These are just some of the highlights of a New Zealand farm walk.

For people that love hiking, there’s no doubt that New Zealand has some of the best scenery in the world. But for many of our more popular walks, it’s often hard to book a spot in the first place, and then they can be very crowded – from queues on the tracks to huts packed with snorers.

Farm walks are a great alternative for those wanting to retreat to nature, plus visiting someone’s property is a great way to experience Kiwi hospitality. You can enjoy superb views and vastly different landscapes (coastal tracks, native bush) in a single walk, stay in an array of accommodation, from tents to renovated huts, and feast on home-cooked meals starring local produce.

Kawakawa Station. Photography credit: Chris Burks photography

There are loads of different farm walks all over the country – some perfect for a romantic getaway with luxurious touches, others are more rustic set ups; some offer total seclusion, while others give you the chance to get up close to the action of a working farm. Here’s a taste of what the North Island has to offer.

Kawakawa Station

Kawakawastation.co.nz

The picturesque Wairarapa has numerous farm walks and Kawakawa Station’s three-day walk is a recent addition. One of the region’s oldest sheep stations, it’s situated along the South Wairarapa coastline, 40 minutes from Martinborough.

Even the most seasoned hikers will be wowed by the spectacular scenery on this farm – you can look across Cook Strait, out to Kaikoura and beyond, take in the sweeping coastline of Cape Palliser, as well as the high country, native bush and sparkling braided rivers.

It’s fully catered and the accommodation includes a former shearer’s quarters with sea views and a cabin nestled in native bush. Or if you want to take in nature without committing to a three-day walk, the ‘Star Gazer’ Lotus Belle Glamping Tent is on offer, which is self-catered.

Haurata

Haurata.co.nz

Haurata High Country Retreat is 65km from Gisborne, on the way to Opotiki. The beauty of this property is you can walk mere minutes and experience a bush with silver fern, native birds, swimming holes, long-finned eel and glow worms (so it’s good for kids). Other Haurata walks take in waterfalls, sandstone formations, giant boulders, bush protected by the QEII National Trust, superb panoramic views and maybe even wild goats and deer.

Kawakawa Station. Photography credit: Chris Burks photography

The walks can be as leisurely or as intrepid as you fancy, and guided walks are an option – there’s plenty of history to hear about. There are two types of accommodation, The Farm House and The Backpacker Cottage, which can be fully catered. And we’re happy to report there’s a hot tub for tired legs at the day’s end.

Ridge Top Farm Walk

Ridgetopfarmwalk.co.nz

Ridge Top Farm Walk is situated on a 1500-acre sheep and beef farm in Tapuae (near Fielding, halfway between Wellington and Taupo), which boasts panoramic views of Kapiti Island, Mount Taranaki and Mount Ruapehu.

Kawakawa Station. Photography credit: Chris Burks photography

The two day/two night package offers two loop walks that bring you back daily to your glamping set up, featuring a luxury tent and hut, camp kitchen and bathroom, and a campfire area (where you can toast marshmallows with the kids).

The farm is off the grid, but uses alternatives like solar and gas to provide everything you need, including top-notch food and even a pair outdoors bathtubs, complete with a drinks ledge between them.

You also have the option of going there just for the day for a gourmet picnic and farm walk, plus they host corporate days too.

By Sarah Nicholson
September 2020

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