Welcome to Marainanga Station! A beautifully renovated, historic Shearers Quarters accommodation retaining all its authentic farm-stay charm. Picture-perfectly placed in stunning Akitio on the east coast and the ideal location to celebrate a special milestone, like we did earlier this year. 6 years married to my human and partner in this life certainly deserves a remarkable escape. While most may want to enjoy an anniversary alone, embracing our wedding anniversary with the kids is a great opportunity to celebrate our love as a family. Also here at Marainanga Station, it’s pretty easy to wear the kids out with countryside activities, then enjoy romantic evenings underneath the stars with hubby, win/win.
The accommodation is exclusively booked to one group, meaning the entire property was ours to enjoy. Inside you’ll find two living rooms, one of which has a cozy fireplace we put to great use, and the other opened up out onto a tremendous deck where we could gaze at amazing views of the Akitio river, did lots of sleeping and reading, and absorbed as much of the sun as the weather would allow.
The deck area was also a prime spot to set up the kids, from there you can overlook your children’s adventures outside while cooking up a BBQ, enjoying that morning coffee or a glass of wine as the evening sets in. The outdoor table seats 24 , dinner party anyone?
Marainanga Station offers comfy accommodation with the ability to sleep 19 people in its 9 bedrooms. Family holidays like ours, or bigger group get-together such as reunions or team building are all welcome. My husband has tried to book this place twice before for group events, unsuccessfully. Because of its unique capacity to host large groups, it does make the venue quite popular so do consider booking your event or escape in advance.
My favorite room at the station lies at the heart of the quarters – the fully equipped kitchen, with its big beautiful windows letting copious amounts of natural light filter in and illuminate all the character and details in the room. A view like that, while downing breaky bagels and coffee or cooking up a roast, not bad, not bad at ALL!
Fully catered options, picnic boxes, and antipasto platters are available at the station. You’ll need to enquire prior to your booking to discuss meal options.
This wonderful spread was awaiting us on arrival which we completely devoured, what a treat! Such a warm welcome after a roadie.
The front of the property has an undeniable WOW factor but what we discovered when we ventured out the back of the station, my jaw-dropped and dang near-hit the grass.
Toward the back of the house is where you’ll find the washhouse facilities including 3 showers. Just outside this room are 2 toilets.
The weather during our visit was four-seasons-in-one-day, you’ll see that from the photos. Even in unpredictable and rapidly changing weather, we were still able to get a decent amount of time to stretch our legs outdoors and make the most of the marked tracks around the farm that range from 5km -18km. Each offers a unique experience including native bush, farm animals, wildlife, and oil-painting like panoramic views. Our lungs enjoyed buckets of fresh air while out and about exploring.
Some of our photos in the overcast weather looked hand-painted, just beautiful! Farm tracks can be explored by foot, bike, or your own horse. All tracks are self-guided, if you’re thinking of staying at Marainanga Station don’t forget to pack sensible walking shoes.
The shearer’s quarters are set against 1000 hectares of a farming station ground on the bank of the Akitio river which basically means there is direct private access to the Akitio river at your doorstep. Marainanga Station is certainly a cup-filling experience and just when you think it can’t possibly get better, it’s also a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Akitio beach.
Akitio is a small and friendly settlement located just under an hour and a half east of Dannevirke. Akitio beach is known to be a great surfing and fishing spot. The first thing that caught our eye (particularly the eyes of our children) was all the beautiful driftwood along the coast. When we arrived there were driftwood huts everywhere, even a gorgeous little arch that RL took photos of ‘mum and dad’ standing under. The photos he took turned out gorgeous, perhaps another little photographer in the making.
We played here for hours, attempting to make our own huts, climbing all the amazing structures of washed-up driftwood on the beach. Making some unforgettable memories together.
I dared the boys to jump in the deep blue, it was freezing! Of course, that didn’t stop them! I love these photos, just look at their excited faces gunning for it, it doesn’t get any better than that!
We raced, we strolled, we danced along the wet sandy beach until my camera battery ran out and the sun went down, hearts full.
On our last day, we made a pitstop to highly recommended foodie-stop Seaview Takeaways which operates on the Esplanade at Akitio. The Fush and Chups were definitely up there with some of the best we’ve ever had, chuck it on the eats-list team.
Packing up is always bittersweet. We make life-long friends on the journey, it’s never a ‘goodbye‘, just ‘see you again’ soon. Thank you to the beautiful whānau of Marainanga Station for having us! Especially Cec, you’re a one-of-a-kind host!
We cant wait to return one day!