When our kids were small, we used to leave them with their grandparents and escape down to the bottom of our farm to a really gorgeous grassy glade amidst old totara trees right beside our river. To just blob in the sun, swim and spend the afternoon catching up and avoiding the demands of 3 small children for a few hours. Heaven. We used to talk about how cool it would be to build a tiny cabin there to get away from it all and share it with friends and family.
Nothing much happened with our idea for a long time although we did fence off the river about 18 years ago to protect it from stock destroying the undergrowth. Over time the small native plants have established and grown again. We also removed a couple of very big old rotten unsafe trees which was a bit of a mission.
Over the years we camped there with friends a few times in the summer and loved it. We continued to talk about our special spot and what a fantastic holiday destination it would be but nothing eventuated until about 18 months ago.
We decided we needed a family winter project to get on with so last March we bulldozed a new track down through our Bull paddock and towed an old truck trailer down which was to be the floor of the cabin and finally got started.
Simon is really practically clever and had a vision of what would work so he roped in his father and a mate of his and they sporadically worked on the build over the winter months.
Our labour units (kids) returned home from their OE’s to stay for a while and were encouraged to give us a hand occasionally and we were joined by Jonas from Germany who was luckily for us a builder. He toiled away on his own quite a lot when Simon had to farm last summer and we’d go down in the afternoons to help him and have a swim and a beer.
We’ve since added a front deck, the outside hot water gas shower, bathroom with a modern compost toilet, solar panels for power and a wood burning hot tub. My lovely friend Pam from K & P home curators with her wonderful eye for detail has helped me style the interior of the cabin and source the gorgeous furnishings.
The finished result
It’s been a great family time working together to finally complete our cabin in the bush and we’re really thrilled with the end result. Much better than our vision we originally had all those years ago!
The cabin is completely secluded, surrounded by beautiful old trees and only a few metres to the river with its great swimming holes, fishing fun and kayaking adventures. It has a lovely warm relaxed feel to it and we think we’ve thought of everything to make for a brilliant stay. And not just for friends and family but also for guest couples wanting to experience some of what Mahaanui has to offer.
The river cabin experience
We think the cabin will be perfect for couples who are being run ragged with daily life chasing around after dependents who need a bit of space to reconnect and relax, couples who enjoy exploring new places and are after a bit more of an active holiday who will walk, bike or ride our farm trails, couples who want a romantic time together in total privacy, couples who want to experience a bit of farm life, meet our pet animals and learn what it’s like to live on a working hill country farm and couples who love the thought of staying in a really lovely cool little cabin surrounded by nature, birds, water and rural scenery.
The drive to Mahaanui which can be an adventure in itself if you are not used to our rural, windy, narrow roads and leave your vehicle at our house where it will be safe and secure. We will either take you down to the cabin in one of our off-road vehicles with your luggage if you arrive between 4 and 6 pm. Or you can self check-in when it suits you after 3pm and walk the 20 minutes to the cabin following a marked track. You will get a map, a walkie talkie to communicate with us if you want to, headtorches and backpacks to transfer your gear into.
Arrive at the cabin to find your fridge stocked with food for your predinner nibbles, evening meal, breakfast and morning tea. Make yourselves completely at home and explore your surroundings, have a late afternoon swim in the river or a double kayak, cook/BBQ or heat up our prepared homecooked meals with Mahaanui farm meat and veges from the garden, bluetooth your music to the cabin speaker, fire up the hot tub and soak under our amazing nightsky or relax with a book or a board game inside next to the wood fire or on the deck overlooking the river.
One of us will come down between 11 and 12 am the following day with your next food drop and anything else you need. Spend your days chilling out or swim, fish, relax with your book in the double hammock, explore the farm and the river tracks, spend time with us with whatever we are doing or book into one of Simon’s interactive farm tours. Your time is completely your own and you will not be disturbed except for your food drop.
When you check out, we will arrange to collect you or walk out the same way back to the main house.
Book Now and come and enjoy our off the grid river retreat: Mahaanui Cabin.