Stable Stay – Larnach Castle, Dunedin

My first castle stay was at Bolebroke Castle in England. I was living in the UK at the time and had been to a few castles so thought I knew what a castle looked like. I was surprised when we pulled in to Bolebroke Castle – it looked like a big house, if there was a tower it was easily mistaken for a chimney. One of Bolebrook Castle’s claims to fame is that it was reputedly used as a hunting lodge by Henry VIII when he courted Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn lived in nearby Hever Castle, she definitely had … Read the rest

Quirky Creeksyde Holiday Park – Unusual Accommodation in Queenstown

Curious, quirky and unusual all describe the facilities at Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde. From the ‘Tapas Room’ barbecue pavilion to the trompe l’oeil (deceive the eye) murals in the communal bathrooms …..

Tapas Room BBQ Pavilion

Tapas Room BBQ Pavilion

Tapas Room BBQ Pavilion

Tapas Room BBQ Pavilion

The ‘Oast House’ communal bathrooms are built with timber recycled from an old brewery.

Oast House communal bathrooms

Oast House communal bathrooms

The trompe l’oeil (deceive the eye) murals inside ‘Oast House’ – mind the stairs in the mens room.

Mens bathroom - mind the stairs

Mens bathroom – mind the stairs

Girls get a Body Sanctum bathroom with the Skyline Gondola in the shower.

Body sanctum bathroom

Body sanctum bathroom

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Curious in Kumara

I didn’t get to share my Kumara pronunciation with the locals, I heard them say it before I could call their place a vegetable. Ku-mar-a (stressing the mar) is how they say it on the West Coast of the South Island.

Kumara developed after gold was discovered in nearby Dilmanstown in 1876. According to information at Shantytown, the Kumara – Dilmanstown area is known as the place of New Zealand’s last gold rush*. The rush is said to have been started by two moonshiners who went bush to set up an illegal still.

During their preparations Cashman and Connor … Read the rest

Tophouse, St Arnaud

-Tophouse reopened in July 2015 under new management-

Tophouse near St Arnaud was established in 1887 to accommodate drovers travelling between Nelson and Canterbury. Today Tophouse operates as a guesthouse, cafe and tiny bar. The white washed walls cover a mix of cow manure, horse hair, straw and sand used in its construction.

Tophouse, St Arnaud - tiny bar on the right

Tophouse, St Arnaud – tiny bar on the right

The tiny bar at Tophouse is an addition to the building, it could squeeze in a standing dozen with the front lawn handling the over flow (insect repellent recommended). The bar started serving alcohol again in 2008 after … Read the rest

No worries in Golden Bay – Sans Souci Inn

It only takes a minute or two to walk from San Souci Inn to Pohara beach, but you may find the hammock strung in the courtyard is as far as you want to go. Sans Souci translates to “no worries”, the perfect fit for this unique, eco friendly property in laid back Golden Bay (approximately 90 minutes from Nelson).

Relax at Sans Souci

Relax at Sans Souci

Sans Souci is unique in its construction and design, it was hand built by owners Reto and Vera Balzer from more than 9,500 mud bricks. The thick brick walls of the Inn retain the sun’s heat and … Read the rest