Before getting to Waitomo Big Bird B&B I’m going to put some context around our B&B (bed and breakfast) experiences to date. Our first B&B stay was in Northland six years ago, we were so impressed with the quality of the property that we decided to stay in B&Bs more often. All B&Bs are not created equal though which is part of their appeal, and on occasion, our disappointment. Sea Breeze B&B in Napier stands out as our favourite and it’s the most immaculate B&B we’ve stayed in, our least favourite cost $255 a night and we didn’t think it lived up to its ‘luxurious’ label.
On to Waitomo Big Bird B&B …. two self contained cottages ($110+), and rooms in the main house (from $70 single) are options. We stayed in a room in the main house and while we thought it was nice enough it was missing some of the facilities we’ve appreciated at other B&Bs. For example, a small fridge to keep drinks cold, and tea and coffee making supplies. The B&Bs we’ve liked the most have also had a common area for guests which may include a fridge, tea making supplies etc if they weren’t in the room. Waitomo Big Bird doesn’t have a common area, so while you can still have a good nights sleep you might miss some facilities as we did.
The B&B has some variable reviews. Staying in the house feels like you’re in the owner’s cluttered home, which you are, rather than a property set up to cater for paying guests, so I can see why a few guests’ expectations may not have been met. Our experience was of a casual and relaxed family friendly B&B with few frills but a welcoming host and an interesting collection of birds and animals.
One of the highlights of our stay was meeting the friendly big bird Victoria. It’s the first time we’ve been on the same side of the fence as an ostrich and observing Victoria close up you notice unusual features like little ears, long eye lashes, gnarled toes and two big claws. The ostrich is the largest bird in the world and lays the biggest bird eggs, the eggs can weigh over a kilogram.
An ostrich omelette may be an option for breakfast, unfortunately the nest was empty during our stay. An ostrich egg is close to the equivalent of 24 hens’ eggs so it’d make a few pavlovas although separating the yolk and whites could be a challenge.
Some of the animals you’ll see on the farm tour are miniature rare- breeds. As well as an ostrich, there are emus, a llama, alpacas, Belted Galloway (black and white) cattle and donkeys. Rounding out the collection is a tiny tortoise.
*The photo was taken the day we left so the room looks lived in. Neither of us remember the paint work looking as patchy as it does in the photo.