Local Heart, Global Soul

May 15, 2010

Wai ariki Farm and Nature Park, A Hanmer Springs Gem!

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

No-one with kids should miss the opportunity when in Hanmer Springs to visit the Wai ariki Farm Park.

It’s a short drive or bike ride around the Golf Course, or if you are walking, take the Crawford Walkway that makes a short-cut between Amuri Avenue (next to the YHA Hanmer Kakapo Lodge Packpackers Hostel) and exits at Argelins Road.

From there, you turn left  on Argelins and after a minute or two you will find Rippingale Road on your right.

Wai ariki is a 5-10 minute walk from there depending entirely on how fast your kids can run or if they are classic dawdlers. We have one of each, so I had to oscillate between shouting orders to the kid far ahead to slow down and the kid far behind to keep going.

Each of them proved that their little legs worked perfectly despite initial protests that they didn’t (read laziness) and we all got there in the end.

Wai ariki is a little Farm Park,  Café and Gallery that opened in July 2005.  The total land is about 14 acres amongst which 2 acres houses:  Deer, Pigs, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chicken, Ducks, Llamas, Alpacas, Scottish Highland cattle, a Tibetan Yak, Texan Longhorn cattle, a Clydesdale horse, a Donkey, Goats, Sheep and in summer, Eels!

Our kids love that we can buy small bags of feed and they are allowed to feed most of the animals. Little Miss even got seriously brave and held out her little quivering hand with a single pallet wobbling in her palm  for a Deer to scoff, once her initial terror that she might get her fingers nibbled off proved unfounded she was hooked and no animal was destined to stick to their usual rations that day!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After feeding the animals, the kids remember that maybe their own stomachs might be rumbling so after some good hand washing, we  make ourselves comfortable in the Café for lunch. The kids usual favourite is a ham/cheese toasted sandwich and Himself and I opt for something different almost every time we go since there a fairly good variety.

As a Foodie, I love the fact that a lot of the produce is grown in Wai ariki owners own veggie garden and that they make the best of the seasonal selection that their garden produces.  Greener, fresher and tastier you simply can’t get!

The Craft Gallery has a selection of crafts and crafts,  made by local artisans using local products. The Café walls are a gallery of  works by local artists, so if you see something you like they are  possible to purchase.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the end it doesn’t matter if you are visiting Wai ariki for the animals,  gallery, Crafts or for a bite to eat with your tea or coffee, the familiar face of Grace Downs behind the counter, is a friendly one and she’s kept very busy because  the cakes, cookies and food is almost all made on the premises.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For parents of small children Wai ariki is great becuase there is safe space for the kids to let off steam,  entertainment and excitement of the various animals,  Qu: Who can shriek the loudest when a greedy goat shoves his head though the fence towards your little paper bag filled with pellet food! Answer: Little Mr. !   (but to be fair some of these animals come waist to shoulder height on him and he’s not the bravest of souls …yet! LOL).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

He liked the food, but was cheeky too… when we went to leave him so that we could feed someone else we got this as our thanks!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is also a trampoline complete with safety net on site so one way or another the kids were kept more than happy. Sitting quietly in the shade keeping a watchful eye on the kids whilst we enjoyed coffee, tea and lunch ticked all the boxes for us as parents too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’d highly recommend a visit to Wai ariki in Hanmer Springs. New time we are back in New Zealand we will be back in Hanmer, and if our kids are at all predictable, (and three visits in three trips says they are) back at Wai ariki too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Grace and Tim Downs

Wai ariki Farm Park
108 Rippingale Road,

Hanmer Springs
Phone or fax (03) 315 7772

Email: enquiries@waiariki-farmpark.co.nz

http://www.waiariki-farmpark.co.nz/index.html

2 Comments »

  1. It looks like a great place for kids (and some adults – I would not mind looking around that shop..)

    Comment by Radka (tower93) — May 15, 2010 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

    • I haven’t walked out of that shop without something in my hands and money leaving my purse yet… don’t quite know if that’s good or bad LOL!! actually it’s good, they have some fabulous stuff. Lots of goodies for quilters especially. It’s a Crafter magnet.

      Comment by kiwidutch — May 16, 2010 @ 5:22 pm | Reply


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