We booked a one night stay in the Ferryman Cottage. The location is pretty isolated (I believe around 20km from the nearest town), so the detailed directions provided on their website were useful. We were told beforehand to proceed directly to the cottage upon arrival. It had a separate road leading to it and felt very secluded. As we drove in we noticed the beautiful grounds around the cottage. There was lush greenery surrounding the area as well as a small pond, and we were greeted by around five ducks (who seemed to reside in our garden).
Entering the apartment, it seemed well appointed and quite spacious with two bedrooms, a large dining table, lounge area and open plan kitchen. There was only one bathroom, which may not be ideal if you were a party of four staying in the cottage (in our case there was just two of us, so it was not an issue). It seemed no matter which window we looked out of, the views were very nice. Not a single building or other person in sight!
There are some short walks you can take around the property and a map illustrating these is provided in the room. There is a double bathtub outside located in the gardens which looked tempting, but we did not get a chance to try it out.
If you provide advance notice, dinner will be provided in the cottage and left in the fridge for you to heat up. The menu is always changing, in our case we had a chicken dish with rice and corn on the cob. It was quite tasty, although we felt it could have had more seasoning. Loved the chocolate based dessert though! Similarly, all the necessary ingredients for breakfast are left in the apartment (eggs, muesli, fruits, bread, etc). The only extra item available on request was freshly baked croissants, which were delivered to us by Andre in the morning. We found the kitchen was very well equipped and the cutlery and utensils were of a high quality.
Wifi is provided free of charge up to a certain usage limit. We did have some issues with wifi, which was a bit slow and had to be reset at one point. There was a drawer in the kitchen absolutely full with board games, books and DVDs. Plenty to keep you entertained in the evenings. We decided to watch a DVD as we ate dinner, but did find the TV quite small and located at an odd angle.
The cottage is clearly well equipped for winter conditions. There is a working fireplace, radiators, electric blankets, etc. In our visit during March it was a warm sunny day, and it was a bit muggy in the apartment until we opened up the windows. There are plenty of windows so it was much more pleasant once we had a nice cross breeze flowing through. Thoughtfully, they have included mesh netting on most of the windows to keep out any bugs.
We only went to the main building when we needed to check out the next day. Andre was quite keen to hear about our onward journey and provide tips/comments. This was a very enjoyable overnight stop. I loved the seclusion of the cottage and the great views, as well as the resident ducks!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Birds Ferry Lodge where you will enjoy a wilderness location just North of Punakaiki. This modern and stylish solid timber lodge features comfortable en-suite rooms with baths & balconies with superb mountain, bush and ocean views. The Self-contained cottage "Ferry Man’s Cottage" in its own private garden is perfect for couples seeking privacy or families needing space for children to run. The twin garden baths with hot piped water are a popular ‘kiwiana’ feature! On-site masseuse and day spa. Alison enjoys sourcing local fish and lamb for use in the Lodge kitchen. We grow almost all of the fresh produce used in the kitchen in our 1 hectare vegetable garden along with our own free range eggs from very happy chickens. Be sure to book a dinner which will be a highlight of your stay! FREE WIFI. Nearby are Norwest Adventures, Charleston where you can explore ancient limestone caves and see millions of glow worms. Stay 2 nights to enjoy 10% off the price of this tour. Also nearby is Tauranga Bay where you can view one of New Zealand’s large fur seal colonies and enjoy a scenic cliff top walk to the light house. Stay 2 nights & enjoy a complimentary tailor made local tour with Andre as well as a reduced tariff. NEW for 2011/12 is the "Denniston Experience" which is a short drive from Birds Ferry Lodge. This is a guided trip into a historic coal mine and is outstanding. ... more less
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