We left Omri and Lucy’s house in Muriwai and drove to a quaint farmhouse in Kakahi, New Zealand. We were ready for a week of catching up on writing, getting some rest, and having no specific plans or agenda for a while.
Quiet Times in Kakahi
Dirk found this great property on Airbnb. It’s located in a part of New Zealand where time has stood still for decades. You can learn about this once-bustling town here.
It’s in the Book of Words
The friendly owners of the farmhouse greeted us when we arrived. They gave us a quick tour of the house and described the surroundings and best route for a hike. They also showed us the “Book of Words,” a helpful guide that included more detailed information about the farmhouse and its surroundings. One section of the Book of Words explained what to do in case of flies. There were lots and lots of very large and noisy horse flies buzzing all around us in the house. The solution, according to the Book of Words, is to kill them with bug spray. There were about eight cans of bug spray set out throughout the house.
“Burn as Much as You Want”
Before they left us for the week, the owners showed us the giant stacks of firewood and bucket of coal and told us we could burn as much as we wanted. They also provided instructions on how to obtain more coal from the Kakahi General Store and put it on their tab. Music to Dirk’s ears. There was a great coal-burning stove in the kitchen and a fireplace in the living room.
No More Flies
We didn’t love the idea of constantly spraying and breathing bug spray throughout the house all week long, so we kept the windows closed. Fortunately, the temperatures here were cool enough to do this, even though it was summertime in New Zealand. But then we noticed the flies were still getting in. Dirk discovered they were entering through the chimney. To keep the flies out, we kept a small fire going almost the whole time we were there. We could never tire of that homey, crackling sound emanating from the fireplace anyway. Everything was perfect for the rest of the week.
It’s a Big, Relaxing Place
This old homestead was way too big for just the two of us, but it was nice to have the space to spread out for the week. It had a huge kitchen that was fun and easy to cook in. The master bath included a bathtub – something we haven’t seen very often during our RTW. It provided a nice, relaxing place to soak. Throughout the house were shelves of books and stacks of magazines, as well a variety of board games. The Da Vinci Game sounded more fun than it actually was, but playing it gave us something different to do.
Come for the Glow Worms
On about the third day there, Dirk decided to go for a hike along the nearby Whakapapa River. During his hike, he discovered where the glow worm “tunnel” was located. It’s now the terminus of a road ending at the river. It was dug out for a railway that was never completed. We grabbed our headlamps and walked down there together another time at night, and it was really amazing. It’s too bad glow worms don’t make for good photography (at least with an iPhone) because they are so beautiful to see in person. Like thousands of little twinkling lights on the sides of the tunnel. Along with trout fishing and canoeing, these quiet, unassuming creatures are a major draw of visitors to this area. And they are worth it.
An Ideal, Uneventful Week
Our week at the farmhouse was mostly uneventful, and that’s what made it just right. Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to the sheep, take the trash to the Kakahi General Store as instructed, and head out. There’s much more to do in this part of New Zealand. When we go back, we definitely look forward to more trekking, canoeing, and learning more about all that this area still has to offer.
Good Thing We Rested!
We loved our week in Kakahi, but it was time to depart for Rotorua, where we’d meet Emm Cee and Jeep. Good thing we got some rest before discovering Rotorua!