Kawatea Farm stay
Friends from the UK found the website to Kawatea Farmstay and were keen to book and, having never tried a Farm stay before, we were up for it. Up over the hill from Duvauchelle, 20 kms from Akaroa, the grand Farmhouse Villa dating back to 1900 stands in beautiful gardens.
Our hosts, Kerry and Judy, came out to give us a warm welcome before we were out of the car and showed us the rooms we would occupy for the two night stay.
Large Kauri room
We were in the Kauri Room, a massive room with a queen bed and sofa as well as whicker chairs in the bay window and French Doors out to a porch with views down the valley to the beach. We shared the bathroom, which was down at the other end of the grand hallway, with another couple staying in a room two doors down from us. Meanwhile our friends were in the Rimu Room, an annex above the garage which was a relatively new addition and had the benefit of an dinky en-suite bathroom and a deck out from the French Doors.
It is a beautifully restored but old house so the floor boards creak and when you need to take a walk to the loo in the night it is rather daunting as you feel you wake up the whole household! There is a separate loo from the main, lovely period bathroom so at least you don’t have to wait around too long for other occupants to vacate the facilities, but certainly sharing the facilities and their location at the other end of the long hallway is a consideration. I believe that Judy doesn’t accept bookings for the third room which shares the facilities if it’s different parties making the booking, to ensure that there isn’t too much issue with sharing.
There is a stunning lounge area for guests to use, as well as being free to wander around the gardens and sit and enjoy the country air and peace and quiet (when the Bull isn’t being grumpy!). One of the Thacker’s sons was shearing sheep one morning, so after breakfast we took a wander over to see sheep shearing up close and chat. Breakfast is served in a lovely conservatory, a nice selection of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast and home made preserves as well as cooked options.
We decided to stay for dinner one evening, and all guests staying were seated at the family dining table with our hosts to chat and, as seems to be Kerry’s favorite passtime, debate life and philosophy. Judy made an interesting dinner of Paua fritters (Kerry having collected the Paua fresh from the beach) and veges with schnitzel then dessert of Judy’s home made brandy snaps. It was very pleasant, but for $40 I felt it was a little on the steep side for ‘home cooking’, keeping in mind the meals we ate at Sans Souci Inn for $32. Also, one glass of wine is included in the price, but should you accept the generous offers to top up you will end up paying $20 for the bottle. A compromise was made when the Kiwi noted that we would have consumed our own wine had we realised.
Kerry was born and bread in this home and has abundant knowledge of the area and stories to tell and Judy is interested in her guests plans and has helpful suggestions and advice to give to ensure guests make the most of their trip and onward journey. He and Judy make fantastic hosts and Judy is somewhat of a Super woman and easily won our admiration, although Kerry’s search for a debate got a bit wearing at times.
The Farmstay is a lovely, homely and comfortable place to relax. Okains Bay down the road is a lovely stretch of beach offering nice walks and a great place to eat some fish and chips. Being over the steep hill from the cute town of Akaroa Kawatea has a lot going for it and I am sure we may visit again.