Kaikoura Lookout – Palliser Ridge

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While we love traveling as a whānau it’s equally important for Isaac and me to schedule quality time alone. Whether that be a date-day, an active adventure, or even a relaxing nature retreat, we treasure our time to connect as a couple. We haven’t stopped raving about this adventure, so much so we’ve had friends book this location faster than we could blog it!

Farms around New Zealand are opening their gates to offer unique agritourism experiences and we for one LOVE IT! Here in the Wairarapa, you’ll find some of the best! Including one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, Kaikoura Lookout at Palliser Ridge Farm.

The Kaikoura Lookout is a one-bedroom rough-sawn macrocarpa hut located amongst the lush native plantings. We reveled in ultimate seclusion and off-the-grid living, providing for uninterrupted hubby & wife time. It is one of the most romantic places we’ve enjoyed together. The views of the southern ranges while the sun rises and sets are like coals of fire lighting up the hills and plains before you, once seenyou will never forget it.

The hut is solar-powered and allows for the basic charging of cellphones (and other small items). There is Spark cell phone coverage at the hut, but let’s be honest, you come to places like this to completely disconnect. The rustic and rural decor of the hut truly complements the magic of the surrounding bush setting. The kitchen has all one would need, a small gas cooker, cooking utensils, cutlery, and a fridge so you’ll have no drama keeping the food you bring fresh and more importantly, the bubbles chilled.

We experienced the 2-Night Wine & Dinner Package which included a meal provided for one night of our stay. Palliser Ridge beef or lamb, butcher’s choice of cut, fresh and ready to cook with accompanying salads, super-delicious!

We also jumped at the opportunity to do the Palliser Ridge Off-Grid Experience. Here you’re invited to see what makes Palliser Ridge 2019’s Ballance Farm Environment winner for the Greater Wellington region. We got a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day life on Palliser Ridge Farm, lead by Kurt an inspiring and thoughtful kiwi farmer who is really passionate about the balance of commercial farming in conjunction with a high biodiversity ethic. Kurt allowed us to be as involved as we wanted, we especially loved being encouraged to help plant tree’s amongst some of the farms regenerating native bush. It was really special to be taken to see some of the Māori archaeological sites and native areas while also learning how Palliser Ridge places a high value on protecting these parts of their farm. And to end our farm tour, a spot of tee. You read that right, Golf! How good?

There’s nothing better than after a day full of fun, when you’ve gotten your fill of fresh outdoor air, to retire in a cozy wooden hut with all the amenities and simply disconnect and relax in complete hibernation away from the hustle. Time to tuck into our locally bought snacks and red tipples, followed by a hearty warm meal.

Next door to our hut, perched on the hillside you’ll find one of the famous features here at Kaikoura Lookout, their ‘Kiwi Tub’. What could be more perfect than settling into a steamy hot tub? When the tub is superbly placed and you’ve got a stellar view to gaze at!

Like stars? So do we! Stargazing is one of our favorite activities, especially while in a hot tub, we had a perfect evening for it during our stay here, clear skies. The night sky really puts things into perspective, just how small we humans are, and how boundless space and time is.

Isaac is the earliest of risers, he likes to get in an uninterrupted workout, stretching, or meditation. This means I am usually waking up to a crackling fire and the aroma of freshly cooking breakfast and coffee. I feel like the luckiest wifey in the world having a husband that has fixed breaky before I’ve even thrown off my covers.

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend Keiry Belton the Kindly Dyer famous Natural Dye Classes here at the Palliser Ridge Woolshed. I’ve blogged this incredible experience on a previous post, check it out here. The wool I dyed was weaved into my husband’s Korowai my mum made, I love knowing my creation was used for something so special. There is always an exciting event or workshop being held at Palliser Ridge, such classes include punch-needle, crochet, knitting, and weave workshops. Classes book out extremely fast, do follow their social media for updates.

On our last day, we stopped by the Woolshed store, to visit Lisa, Kurt’s beautiful wife who he explained is the ‘brains and beauty’ of the operation. It’s easy to understand Kurt’s admiration for Lisa, within a minute of her time we instantly felt so welcomed and warmed. Kurt and Lisa are such special protectors and guardians of the farm and they work so passionately and in harmony with the land, some of their magic most definitely rubbed off on us, we hope to own our own piece of farm one day, they’d be the first we’d call for advice, absolute legends.

I have been wanting one of Palliser Ridges Luxury Lamb’s Wool Blankets for a long time and this day was the day! These blankets are iconic to our region if there is ever a souvenir you want to pick up on your stay or visit in the Wairarapa this would be it. The lambswool is shorn at Palliser Ridge then scoured in Hawkes Bay before becoming a thin weaving yarn at Woolyyarns in Wellington. The yarn then heads to Auckland where the magic takes place and the blankets are manufactured. Each blanket has a care label on it detailing which year’s main shear it’s from and it has a QR code printed on the back that shows the entire wool process from farm to yarn. Isaac also bought a selection of wooly winter accessories.

Our last couple of hours at the Kaikoura Lookout were spent strolling the farm tracks and saying our farewells to the furry farm friends, a bonus of our stay, lots of animals!

Kaikoura Lookout at Palliser Ridge is the perfect relaxing weekend escape or ideal destination to celebrate a special milestone. There are lots of great Wairarapa attractions nearby from the Martinborough Vineyards, Putangiarua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve, and Cape Palliser Lighthouse to name a few. We highly recommended adding a visit to The Land Girl Cafe, Fish & Chips at Lake Ferry Hotel is a must and you can’t go wrong picking up some wine and goodies for your stay from our favorite store Wine Merchants in Martinborough!

Thank you Palliser Ridge for having us!




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