The Glenmac Farmstay was the most disappointing experience we have had with a B & B in New Zealand.
The promises on the web site and the depressing reality of this Farmstay are night and day. They promise a farm tour by four-wheel-drive, hand feed pet sheep, sheep dog display and horse riding on their site. When we arrived none of those options were remotely available. Instead we got a half-hearted greeting by Kaye. She complained about the drought and how they had to sell their stock. The only animals in sight were 2 horses but Kaye said that they had “gone lame” when someone tried to ride them earlier that week. She said one horse didn’t make it through the winter. She said the sheep and cattle were up in the high country so the only activity was to walk up the dusty, barren hill. The other guests there when we arrived were sunbathing due to lack of anything else to do. The location of this farm is quite far from any other entertainment options, the nearest town Kurow is 15 km away.
If the lack of a “farm experience” was a disappointment, there was also our disgust of our room. The $160 “ensuite” room was nothing more than an outbuilding (Shed or hired-help housing?) with a bad coat of pink paint and an old TV. It was dirty and had heaps of flies on the windowsills. The horse stable was directly behind the building and the windows were open which let the flies in. There was a bathroom heater for heat which was burned and looked like a fire hazard. One look at that room and we did something we have never done before; we decided to cut our loses and move on. Kaye made us pay $100 for canceling. We did not want to be stuck in that unhygienic, depressing place in the middle of nowhere.
Due to the drought, and harsh realities of farm life, the owners obviously had decided that they could make more money out of tourists than on sheep. Don’t waste your vacation time visiting Glenmac. If we had it to do again, we would have found a Qualmark approved farmstay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Glenmac is 1580ht high country sheep and cattle farm situated in the Waitaki Valley inland from Oamaru and near to the small town of Kurow. Merino sheep and beef cattle. Horse riding/trekking, tramping and four wheel drive farm tour. Near to fishing rivers (guides available), fossil trail at Duntroon, penguins at Oamaru and many other local attractions.Winery nearby. On Alps to Ocean cycle trail. ... more less