We chose to stop at Makarora to break up the journey between Queenstown and Haast, as we were moving fairly rapidly around the South Island. We stayed in the cottage - which was very comfortable. Very peaceful, because there is nothing much at Makarora- just lots of national park. The raspberries were out, so our 11 year old daughter had a lovely time picking and eating them! The restaurant/ bar was a stroll down the drive, the food here was really good. January was a quiet time of year, though I suspect it gets busy in the snow season. We got a map from the National Park centre, and did a few little bush walks - really pleasant if you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet.