When we were planning our time in New Zealand, I thought it wouldn’t be complete without us experiencing some of the rural farm life. New Zealand first established farms for cattle and sheep when the first settlers arrived here and today its big business and there’re about 4 times more wollies than people!
We drove the long journey down from the sunny beaches of the coromandel through rolling and bumpy green hills, small towns, eventually reaching the mountains of Tongariro. We then drove west along the winding dusty dirt roads down into the green valley eventually reaching Riverbend the working farm we were staying on.
We were all looking out the windows of the car with big grins on our faces as we got closer and the valleys and rivers got more and more beautiful! New Zealand you really do have it all!
We were greeted at the farm with great big smiles from the family we are staying with, some scrummy chocolate brownies, and after a quick tour were then left to settle into our very sweet little cottage.
The windows and doors were wide open letting in the bright sunshine and a cool breeze ran through. Out of every window a beautiful view of the valley lay before us! Horses in paddocks, cows and sheep on the grassy hills, and a beautiful winding river…. deep breath of fresh air ….what a place to unwind!
Whilst we’ve been here, we’ve been out on a jeep tour of the farm with John and he’s told us all about how the farm runs, showed us all the animals and driven us to the gorgeous view points within the many acres of land they own. Such fun, and the girls loved riding in the back of the jeep!
We’ve also watched John and Meagans amazing daughter Lucy working with the horses. She breaks them in and also works as a sort of horse whisperer helping horses with problems. So fascinating to watch and for her to explain what she’s doing to help them.
Daisy has become totally smitten with their horse called Legs that lives in the paddock next to us! If ever we can’t find her, we know where she’ll be, cuddling him, feeding him grass or popping Daisys in his mane! She’s totally in Love!
We’ve taken walks in the fields and even been down to the river to have a swim! Cool but refreshing!
Today we have also been over to see the mountain and took the summer ski chair lift up Mt Ruapehu! Another very different landscape! The area was used for the filming in lord of the rings and is well known as Mordor and Mt Doom! Totally covered in black volcanic rocks and jagged boulders, the volcano hasn’t erupted for many years although Molly was willing it to happen today, so she could get a good shot!😳
Luckily when we arrived at the mountains the morning clouds burnt off to reveal bright blue skies and we saw some great views. After some lunch and a hot chocolate in the restaurant we decided to take a short walk up to the snowy area and a walk on the glacier! Well there’s another moment that will stick with me forever!
As we were climbing over some rocks and onto a soft patch of ice I accidentally stepped onto thin ice and a second later I was falling through into the freezing water below!!!! I grabbed onto the snowy sides and thankfully Den was an arms distance away and managed to pull me out! In all honesty it happened so quick I’m not quite sure how it all went down, but Molly says I was there one second and gone the next! At the time I nervously laughed and walked away thinking, golly I’m soaked and cold, let’s just get off here quick! But think it’ll be a while before I go walking on a glacier again!
Tonight we are back on our farm, watching the sun set over the fields, the girls are feeding the animals and I’m having a much needed glass of wine!
Tomorrow we say goodbye again as we move on back to Auckland.
- Where we stayed: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/4493843