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The Flying Fox

3081 Whanganui River Road, Whanganui 4576 New Zealand
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Traveller (63)
Room & Suite (32)
Dining (3)

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About

#1 of 1 ranch in Whanganui
Location
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Service
Value
Two rustic self-contained, hand-built cottages are nestled in a garden and bush setting overlooking the Whanganui River. These are complimented by an off-grid tiny house, a treetop studio and a 'Glamping' tent. A small number of camping pitches complete the accommodation choices, meaning there is something for everyone. This piece of paradise has been lovingly developed into a truly unique place to stay. Access is only by aerial cableway or via the river by canoe or river taxi, making it the ideal 'get away from it all' retreat. All the units (except glamping tent) are fully equipped with bedding, towels, kitchens, music and book collections. For campers there is are showers, toilets and a kitchen shelter along with a fire pit for communal use. There is also free wi-fi access for those who need to keep in touch with the outside world. Halfway between Pipiriki and Whanganui along the Mountain to Sea Cycle Trail and Te Araroa Walkway , this is a welcome overnight stay for cyclists, canoeist and walkers. Dinner and breakfast can be provided with advance notice, and our small onsite shop has provisions for self-catering along with local artwork and other products. Organic, in season fruit/vegetables are often available from our gardens and free range eggs may be on offer from our flock of chickens.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Breakfast available
Canoeing
Hiking
Books, DVDs, music for children
Meeting rooms
BBQ facilities
Car park
Wifi
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Special diet menus
Fishing
Baggage storage
Convenience store
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Sun umbrellas
First aid kit
Umbrella
Private check-in / check-out
Clothes dryer
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Washing machine
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Room features
Dining area
Fireplace
Seating area
Sofa
Kitchenette
Oven
Walk-in shower
Complimentary toiletries
Private bathrooms
Refrigerator
Stovetop
Electric kettle
Kitchenware
Hair dryer
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Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Family
Languages Spoken
English

Location

3081 Whanganui River Road, Whanganui 4576 New Zealand
The Flying Fox
Getting there
Wanganui Airport
35.6 km
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Wellington Intl Airport
187.3 km
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84Reviews0Q+A20Room tips

Reviews
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Curlichef wrote a review Mar 2024
Liverpool, United Kingdom32 contributions32 helpful votes
Kia ora to Jane and Kelly. What excellent hosts, very attentive and knowledgeable. They made my daughter and I very welcome, sadly we only stayed the one night but could have stayed longer :-) A great experience and we could not recommend it enough. The accommodation is fully set up with bedding, towels, and all kitchen equipment, but you need to be prepared with food, drink etc but on site they have set up a fantastic shop, so should you run out of anything or forget anything it is all there, and if not I am sure Jane and Kelly would go out of their way to sort it for you, for instance the young lady that lost her trainers in the river, Jane only to happy to lent a pair. We stayed in the Tree top studio experiencing the toilet and shower outside, just great fun. Fully electric and great wifi. We will certainly visit and stay again a little longer. Job well done Kelly and Jane.
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Date of stay: March 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Take your own food, drink etc, but there is a fantastic little shop set up. Book the Tree Top...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 3 weeks ago
Thank you so much for the lovely review. We are glad you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you next time you are in NZ!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Ian G wrote a review Feb 2024
6 contributions
We stayed at the Flying Fox lodge during the Mountains to Sea cycle trail. Jane and Kelly were exceptional hosts. The accommodation was unique and comfortable. The food was exceptional and comes from local game caught around the property along with extensive vegetable gardens and orchards. Ringing a gong to cross the river in a flying fox gondola certainly added to the Wow factor. Would highly recommend this accommodation.
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Date of stay: February 2024Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 1 Mar 2024
Thank you for the lovely review Ian. Your group was a pleasure to host and we are glad you enjoyed your stop-over here. We hope to see some or all of you again at some stage and wish you all the best with your ongoing fundraising!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Johnsotr wrote a review Jan 2024
Sewickley, Pennsylvania362 contributions105 helpful votes
The Flying Fox is a great off the grid place to stay. Start with access only by cable car across the Whanganui River, followed by Kelly and Jane’s very warm welcome. We stayed in the James K cottage which is the most “luxurious “ accommodation. Jane’s breakfasts are great. The peace, quiet and wildlife sounds make for a very restful retreat. The facility is almost completely self sustainable with garden to table and many home made preserves. We would love to come back. J and K have many stories to share.
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Date of stay: January 2024Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The jet boat on the river and hike to the bridge to nowhere is definitely worth it.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane McCall, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 27 Jan 2024
Thank you Tom, it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you both and we were sad to see you leave, We hope that you enjoy the rest of your journey through Aotearoa and that are paths cross again some day. warm regards Jane and Kelly
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Emeline wrote a review Jan 2024
Auckland, New Zealand3 contributions
Place to avoid absolutely! These hosts have no sense of hospitality, are dishonest and disrespectful! Yes, if you're super lucky they will maybe be kind to you but if you come in their bad days, they will be super rude. And we wouldn't want anyone to be greeted this way, which is why we've decided to warn as many people as possible via this review. We arrived already a little stressed after passing their steep access gravel road, wondering how we would get through it again the next day given how in bad condition it is... But this accomodation was a surprise for my partner's 30th birthday, so we thought we would wait and see till the next day... We arrived in what they defined as a "Place of peace and relaxation". And what a disappointment it was! We've been travelling for months in NZ and we've never had such a bad welcome, even though we've been on Airbnb for 7 years and we've stayed in dozens of places and in many Kiwi homes. Not even a hello, very cold welcome. No attempt at a friendly chat. Nothing like the usual Kiwi friendliness. They immediately blamed us for having to leave "early" (7.30am, is it that early?) because they have to get up to get people through the gondola (but that's their job, isn't it?). What's more, they send you a summary email before you arrive but there's no mention of the gondola check-out information (yes, you can find it in a lost section on their website but it's not difficult to inform people correctly beforehand...). They do not give any prior information about breakfast times either (not even on their website or email!), then make a scene because they can't give it to you early and the food has already been bought. Instead of trying to find a solution, they only replied that they would graciously and kindly cancel it. We definitely don't have the same definition of kindness and hospitality. Our early check-out wasn't out of our own free will, it was due to a last minute work obligation... Also accused us of walking in the room in dirty hiking boots although we had been there for 2 minutes, simply dropping our stuff on the doorstep. Firstly, just because you're wearing hiking boots doesn't mean they're dirty! (They were perfectly clean and one of us wasn't even wearing any) Secondly, we have been to many Kiwi houses for our work and have never been blamed like this (luckily not all Kiwis are this unpleasant). They aggressively asked us to take them off by banging on the door several times (there's a sign "remove your shoes" but the door was completely open when we arrived, so this wasn't clearly visible and we were still in shock at being given such a bad welcome). What's more, people could be asked in a much more respectful and polite manner to do it instead of the very aggressive "In NZ we keep our shoes off". "It's the way we do things in New Zealand" they added but, again, we have stayed with many Kiwis who keep their shoes or sandals inside and even in our house in Belgium we usually take off our shoes. No one should be patronised in such a rude way. Afterwards, we were criticised by email for being aggressive on their doorstep, never mentioning the extremely bad welcome we received ourselves. Apparently a guest is considered aggressive when he wants to highlight a fundamental problem in their hospitality. Indeed, in order to discuss the problem, we preferred to talk to them directly instead of writing them a rude email afterwards (what they did with us and it's their habit apparently, as other people have mentioned). Besides, who would let themselves be shouted at and disrespected as soon as they arrive, or staying in a place where they don't feel welcome at all and where everything pushes them to leave? Nobody should be welcomed like this either! We absolutely don't understand how this could have happened. Moreover, it's not a cheap accommodation! Given all this negativity, we decided to leave without spending the night, because we didn't feel at home staying there. So we looked for another room by ourselves at the last minute and struggled to get out of their steep gravel road, which is in a disastrous state. And it's only when you're downhill that the owner tells you that you have to keep your foot all the time on the accelerator to try to go up, otherwise you might get stuck. When we announced our departure and the reasons for it, of course the tone suddenly changed to be accommodating and gentle. Moreover, they will certainly respond in a courteous manner under this review. But it's only a front. In the meantime they actually sent us an email saying that they have never been unpleasant, that we are aggressive people and threatening us to pay the night "according to NZ law" and "to avoid incurring further dept recovery costs." The money had already been transferred, as we are no thieves. Any business has to look after its reputation. It's always easier to say that they've done everything right and that it's only the customer's fault when you're not trying/wanting to improve! Other things we want to highlight: 1) Their cheese and wine basquet is billed at $60, even though it's a very small basket and most of the products are at the lowest price at Countdown. It's clearly not worth it! (Bottle wine worth $10, shop brand crackers...) 2) Again, their accommodation access is a nightmare with a car! OMG!! It was so scary to get out of there! Their road is signposted as not suitable for Campervans. So be it, but we have a 4x4 Honda Crossroad and we've driven on a lot of gravel (and remote) roads in NZ (North Island and South Island). We've never had such a bad road! We nearly got stuck and our engine had a strong burning smell at the top of the road as we set off. We're not the first to report this (another person even had to be towed off their path and they also received very unpleasant and rude messages from the owner afterwards). It's a real shame to be running like this what could be a wonderful place (the setting is superb and the studio room is also nice). We are very surprised by the many rewarding reviews... (most people come by canoe as well, which certainly contributes to the fact that they will never renovate their gravel road). In the end, we paid them their night (even if we have left only a few moment after beeing arrived) and we also had to pay the other accomodation night but we consider this situation as totally unfair and the money we paid them as dirty money! We're shocked and we will definitely need some days to recover from this extremely bad experience... and because of these terrible hosts, my partner will remember this stay for a long time for his 30th birthday... We don't like to publish this kind of review but you've been warned now...
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Date of stay: January 2024
Value
Location
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 27 Jan 2024
Most of this review is blatantly untrue and we will not waste our (or the readers) time responding in detail. Rather we will leave it to readers to make up their own minds comparing this with other reviews. We will however make the following brief points: 1) Our driveway is not in the best condition at present as we are waiting on the contractors list for repairs. This is out of our control. However, most guests successfully navigate it, even in two-wheel drive cars and we are always happy to assist if people are finding it difficult. Most visitors see this as part of the adventure of staying somewhere 'off the beaten track'. 2) At no time was anyone rude to this couple. In fact, when it became clear that they had mis-calculated the time it would take them to get to their house-sitting appointment in New Plymouth the next day, several compromises were offered in an attempt to make timings work for everyone. 3) Having seemingly accepted these compromises, this couple then appeared on the doorstep of our house a short time later, with the male screaming and shouting abuse at us as we were serving dinner to other guests. He displayed high levels of uncontrolled anger and aggression and was found to be very intimidating. We were very mindful of our, and other guests' safety, and consequently facilitated his request to leave our property immediately. Our isolated location means that it would take police an hour to reach our property. However, the behaviour of this male guest was so concerning that, had we been closer to town, the police would have been called. Under no circumstances is this type of threatening behaviour acceptable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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KazG-UK wrote a review Dec 2023
Manchester, United Kingdom13 contributions
Just the most amazing, magical place ever. Jane and Kelly really are incredible and cannot do enough for you. From the minute we arrived, we had an incredible feeling of wellbeing and peace. We will carry our memories of this place in our hearts forever
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Date of stay: December 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane McCall, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 1 Jan 2024
Thank you Karen. It was an absolute pleasure to host and get to know yourself and Doug. Glad you enjoyed your stay, I'm sure our paths will cross again at some time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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peterrM6374WL wrote a review Apr 2023
Auckland Central, New Zealand206 contributions14 helpful votes
Jane and Kelly have really put their hearts and souls into this jewel of the whanganui river retreat park. The cooked breakfast and packed lunch really gave my mountains to sea cycle tour a massive lift. Great mountain views from the penthouse suite and a decent library, record collection and myriad of bush walks to keep everyone happy.
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Date of stay: April 2023Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Try to get there after 2pm. They have a decent tuk shop if you need to restock on food. Great...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane McCall, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 15 Apr 2023
Thank you Peter, glad you enjoyed being with us as part of your Mountain bike trip.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Lorraine C wrote a review Mar 2023
Northland Region, New Zealand13 contributions1 helpful vote
If you travel up the Whanganui River road then staying here is a MUST! This is my 3rd time staying at the FF and it never fails to delight me with its quirky accommodation and access. I have accessed it both by kayak and by the flying fox itself which gives breathtaking views of the Whanganui River and National Park. The hosts are pretty DTE no nonsense, helpful and knowledgable, they have a great little shop that sells souvenirs, wine, beer and food. Cosy beds, great kitchens and lounge areas. Sit outside at night listen to NZ Mopoke- waken to Tui's. Beautiful Avocado trees, I take my hat off to the hosts Jane and Kelly who must work 24/7 to keep this wonderful place as well maintained as it is. Thanks for another great stay.
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Date of stay: March 2023
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Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Just relax and enjoy!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane McCall, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 24 Mar 2023
Thanks for your lovely words Lorraine. We are so glad that enjoyed your stay again - we love welcoming return customers and sharing what we have been doing (always something new to see here!)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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miriamferg wrote a review Nov 2022
Tauranga, New Zealand44 contributions9 helpful votes
Our group of 7 stayed at the Flying Fox on our Mountains to Sea Cycle. Jane and Kelly were wonderful hosts and worked hard to ensure our stay was comfortable, taking time to show us around and to chat. The garden to plate food was simply delicious, choices of meats and salads and desserts - I don't know how they do it. The croissants and home-made bread for breakfast were a treat. We really appreciated the comfy beds, the lush and extensive grounds, the wonderful ambience of the outside table, the chooks, the trees and the turntable with old LPs! It was one to remember.
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Date of stay: November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 15 Nov 2022
Thank you so much for your review Miriam. We do work hard to ensure our guests have a comfortable stay and it is lovely to know that we are hitting the right mark. We thoroughly enjoyed hosting your group and hope the rest of your Mountains to Sea trip was as much fun.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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annemarie1968 wrote a review Nov 2022
Grimsby, United Kingdom1 contribution
An amazing out of the way location. Lovely hosts Kelly and Jane. Great experience kayaking on the river expertly guided by Kelly. High recommend to experience the more remote part of New Zealand. Getting to the lodge on the flying fox pully is an adventure in itself.
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Date of stay: November 2022
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 9 Nov 2022
Thank you Anne-Marie, it was a pleasure to host you and your group - we hope you enjoy the rest of your tour of NZ. Come back and see us next time you're here!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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LouiseandPeter2 wrote a review Nov 2022
Yorkshire, England8 contributions2 helpful votes
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Everything was amazing from start to finish. The Riverboat cottage was characterful and comfortable and Jane and Kerry were knowledgeable and hospitable. Jane's cooking was fabulous and a stint on the river with Kerry was second to none for excitement and local information. All in all, a magical unforgettable experience!!!
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Date of stay: November 2022Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jane and Kelly Stephens, Owner at The Flying Fox
Responded 9 Nov 2022
Thank you Louise and Peter. So glad you enjoyed your stay with us and that we didn't disappoint after a much anticipated wait! We hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday as much as you did The Flying Fox.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
the flying fox hotel wanganui
LOCATION
New ZealandNorth IslandManawatu-Wanganui RegionWhanganui
NUMBER OF ROOMS
5
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THE FLYING FOX - Ranch Reviews & Price Comparison (Whanganui) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Flying Fox
Which popular attractions are close to The Flying Fox?
Nearby attractions include Atene Viewpoint Walk (7.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at The Flying Fox?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free parking, and meeting rooms.
Which room amenities are available at The Flying Fox?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, a refrigerator, and a dining area.
What food & drink options are available at The Flying Fox?
Guests can enjoy breakfast, barbeque facilities, and complimentary tea during their stay.
Is parking available at The Flying Fox?
Yes, free parking and a parking garage are available to guests.
Are any cleaning services offered at The Flying Fox?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to The Flying Fox?
Many travellers enjoy visiting St Joseph's Church (13.9 km).
Does The Flying Fox have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.