My overall impression of the Aoraki Cottage and Farmstay is 'could do way better'.
David is friendly and greeted us even on our arrival at 11pm.
He is communicative but seems to be running his business 2nd to his own affairs as most things he says are options on his website were not available to us.
The grounds need a damn good clean up. There was a broken trampoline on its side near the 'cottage'. The swings and slides are rusting and broken. Even my children complained about the squeaky swing (!), it was so noisy.
He had obviously mowed the lawn in a great hurry before our arrival but not raked up the grass - so everything was covered in grass. The outdoor couches that were positioned around the fire where I presume he provides the 'dinner on an outdoor fire with marshmallows for the kids' (we asked but they were unable to provide this), were moulding, grey and I couldn't imagine feeling comfortable sitting on them. They would be damp and wet. They needed to be taken straight to the dump and were an eyesore from the 'cottage'. There was also an empty spa beside the bunkhouse, unused, and the one we could use was surrounded by leaves and a broken outdoor heater that was lying on its side.
Most of the views I was looking forward to were obstructed by trees and flax's that were over-grown. The badminton net was fun but once again, we were wading around in cut grass that hadn't been taken away. All the badminton equipment was covered in cut grass.
All the woodwork on stair rails and stairs was needing a huge amount of attention. There was grass growing out of the gutters. There was broken pieces on the 'deck' which I am not sure you can really call it a deck as it sits at ground level. There was no sun umbrella as in the picture. The bunkhouse is crammed with bunks and the double mattress was so uncomfortable I had to sleep in the cottage separately to my family as I knew I would wake up with a sore back. There was old rusting deck chairs stacked up in the corner of the bunk room.
On the good side the beds were well made up with lovely duvets and we had adequate heating. The Queen bed in the cottage was comfortable.
The floor by the shower was soft - obviously rotten under the lino. And, although it didn't bother us, as there was only 2 adults and two small children, there is only a tiny ensuite bathroom for the cottage and bunk room - sleeps a total of 10.
I think it is extremely misleading to call this a cottage. It is a 2x portacom, with a 80s/90s decor.
The TV is huge for its position (but kids were happy), but didn't seem to be able to do anything apart from play DVD's (not that that bothered us), but part of the screen went dark intermittently. This also needs to be replaced. There was no WIFI. The kitchen was well stocked with utensils and breakfast food.
Disappointingly there were no animals to feed, no chickens to collect eggs from. This is mainly a deer farm but no visible animals close to the cottage. David did come over and offer to take us on a drive around the farm but had not arranged it with us prior and my husband was out at the time so we couldn't go. There was no other time offered. This was certainly not the 'premium accommodation' that was promised on his website.
He did make a 'eco bath' for me but then offered it to his other asian guests so I had them queuing up while I was trying to have a nice quiet time!! I cannot speak of the questionable hygiene of sharing a bath with strangers. Good luck to them!
All in all these guys are over-selling this accommodation and experience. They need a good clean up and not accept guests if they are over-committed. We paid $265 per night for 2 adults, one 3.5 yr old and one 5.5 yr old, for 3 nights. I think this is over-priced for the state of the property and the low standard of accommodation. We made the most of being in the area but will be looking for alternative accommodation next time.
Location is handy to Geraldine but you will need your own vehicle to get around.
When we talked about those beautiful memory we spent with you in your farm, I can see sparks in my girls' eyes..they missed those time in your farm..the camp fire, the tree climbing, the kayaking, searching for baby fawn, riding on your farm truck, and many more ...thanks for being such a great host to our short stay in your farm..
Stayed in Aoraki Cottage for twice in 2 years. Fantastic location, quiet, calm and peaceful. Cottage is clean. A good break from city life! Dave and Nikki were great hosts! Highly recommended!