A wonderful stay in Honikiwi


After a lovely week in Whangerai we packed up from our house with the pool and took the 4 hour drive south to the Waikato area to our next Airbnb.

I had booked the rustic barn near the town of honikiwi mainly for its position, not far from the Waitomo glow worm caves and because it also had a cabin for my parents and sister, so we could all fit in. 

Well boy did it turn out to be a hidden gem, and if you’re ever nearby I would HIGHLY recommend booking a couple of nights here! I so wish we had booked longer.

After leaving the main road and driving along some country lanes with rolling hills covered in sheep and areas of bush woodland on either side we eventually came to short gravel road leading down to the main house.

On driving down to the house we were greeted by Maggie the farm dog, who initially Daisy was a little unsure of, but soon came to love.

Rowena our host welcomed us and told us to pop our overnight bags in the back of her little 4×4 as we needed to go further down stream and across the meadow to our barn not accessible by car! Ok the girls excitement levels just ramped up to another level as the climbed into the back of the little truck and we sped off down the bumpy path with Maggie barking along excitedly beside us.

We zoomed down the gravel pathway, through the rocky stream and up the sunny meadow to the barn, there were chickens, ducks and a big white goose wandering happily around. The girls were running around squeaking with excitement!

Rowena showed us around our new home, an actual barn with hay bales on the ground level, along with a nice rustic bathroom, and an outside composting toilet (lots of smelly candles so didn’t smell too bad).

Upstairs we had two cosy bedroom areas with lots of pretty sheets and cosy blankets , a sweet little kitchen complete with fresh eggs and milk from the farm, oh yes and a wonderful wood burner in the centre to keep you cosy at night! We were all grinning from ear to ear, and so excited to be staying!

Outside the views across the meadow were just beautiful and so peaceful, no neighbours for miles and miles! And there was even poohs house built in a tree in the field behind much to the girls amusement.

My parents had the cabin similar in style but up near the main house, so to get up to them we had to cross our wooden rope bridge over the stream, and up the gravel hill! A good way to work up an appetite for dinner.

At their cabin they had a stone pizza oven outside, so we lit the oven and Den dashed to the nearest shop (20mins away!) to get a stash of pizzas for tea, and a few drinks to enjoy the evening. Such fun!

After a yummy dinner we all enjoyed sitting out under the late evening sun, the girls running around happily with Maggie the dog, I think we were all pinching ourselves at how lucky we were! (Even if the outside shower and toilet was pushing my mum well out of her comfort zone!)

As darkness fell we took the girls back to the barn to bed and well what a sight the sky was as we walked up the meadow in darkness. I really have never seen such a sight, hundreds and hundreds of twinkling stars filled the sky, so bright and beautiful, I have tried my best to lock that moment to my memory! Amazing!

When we finally got back to our barn we lit the wood burner and all snuggled up in our cosy beds for a story and to fall asleep.

In the morning we awoke to bright sunshine, the girls pulled on their clothes and pumps and were out first thing to play with the chickens and check for eggs! Two little lambs had wandered down the hill and were quite interested in saying hello to happy little farm girl Molly!

Rowena had made us a breakfast of fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, homemade jam, and croissants, Den cooked up the eggs and some bacon and we all enjoyed a lovely breakfast feast! What a way to start the day!

After breakfast we had to pack up as we had the glow worms at Waitomo to visit, I think we all would have loved to stay another night and explore the farm more…..next time 😉

So off we set to Waitomo, thankfully we had pre-booked as when we arrived it was very busy and all tickets were sold out for the day. We joined our small tour group and headed into the caves with our lovely guide Steven. We slowly worked our way into the caves with Steven pointing out and telling us all about the incredible stalactites and stalagmites as we went!

Here and there you could see a glow of tiny blue light as glow worms began to appear, and as we got deeper and the lights were turned down low we could see more and more. We learnt all about their life cycle, how they catch food with their sticky lines and also about the first explorers who found the caves over 100 years ago!

The best was saved for last though as we climbed aboard a boat on the underground river and floated our way along the water to the cave exit, thousands of glow worms shined above us! Another twinkling sight! No photos were allowed so we picked up some postcards to remember just how fantastic it was!

A great trip!

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