The Telephone Exchange – Taupo

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Kia ora koutou! Hello everyone! 

Time to switch off the cell phones, shut down the laptops and enjoy a bit of fresh air with us over at The Telephone Exchange. Gorgeously situated on Wolfhaar Farm in Tirohanga, just 25 minutes north of Taupo, and if you didn’t guess by the name already, this off-gird retreat is an authentic, beautifully restored 1950s telephone exchange building. Though its days of connecting callers have come to an end, it’s safe to say this special hut still holds the power of connectivity. It’s now a space for whānau, couples, solo travellers and their pets to connect with the environment, oneself and each other. That’s pretty special!

After a simple sign-in process (which helps alert the working farmers the hut has guests) we were at the gates of our glamourous and rustic stay. The hut is beautifully engulfed under a grandstand of Eucalypts on the farm. The views on the property looking out are just as spectacular, all the green pastures and rolling hills of my dreams! It has such a storybook charm.

I’d love to be a bird in a tree watching my little whānau arrive at our accommodations. It kinda feels like we are all in a frenzy. I immediately head to inspect the indoor areas, like the sleeping quarters. The boys are in a sprint to find the outdoor bath, spa or pool, and you usually find Isaac checking out the cooking facilities and outdoor fire pits. Exploring the property is one of my favourite things to do before settling in and relaxing. We spent a reasonable amount of time doing that here, there is quite a lot of beautiful space to cover and enjoy, perfect for families with young children or pets.

The facilities include an idyllic bedroom hut (The Telephone Exchange) and an equally inviting kitchen and bathroom hut next door. The decor and unique display of reclaimed objects and collected-over-time treasures marry well with the natural surroundings. I 100% took photos of pretty much EVERYTHING for my forever home inspo/ambitions.

There is a bathroom in the second hut with a hot shower, a basin, and a flushing toilet. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to snap a piccy of the shower. It was supah-cute, with a swinging barn door. You could shower with the top section of the door open and enjoy the view outside.

The super-equipped kitchen and outdoor setup are absolute goals. I loved the kitchen serving hatch window, overlooking Sound-Of-Music like scenes. It opened wide to pass through our meals and drinks and made for a perfect spot for a cup of tea. The Telephone Exchange is self-catering, so don’t forget to bring your snacks and meals for the duration of your stay. The kitchen has a sink with hot water. An outdoor Weber barbeque and a 2-burner gas cooktop is supplied for cooking. A fridge is provided for cool food storage.

What I love most about glamping is watching the kids get creative in a natural environment. My boys love being able to devise their own fun and games. I also feel it helps Isaac and I release our inner child. Getting involved in play with our kids is pretty important to us, and the kids enjoy it more when mum and dad get involved.

Just a small drive away from the hut, there’s a little hidden gem we recommend you visit by the name of Kinloch. There you’ll find a sandy beach that stretches along the Whangamata Bay and views of Lake Taupo. Here you don’t have to worry about littlies getting knocked off their feet by the waves, the calm conditions make it an ideal spot for water-play. There was also a great little toy shed the boys had fun raiding.

We had stunning weather during our visit. The hut is tucked into a protected spot, one in which you’ll get lots of sunlight while also having access to plenty of delicious shade, so you can sun or bush bathe to one heart’s content. Nighttime was exceptionally balmy, hubby slept under the stars on a stretcher outside both nights of our stay. He does this quite often when we camp or glamp. The mornings were my favourite, especially when hubby prepares one of his famous champagne breakys.

Of course, one of the hero features of the property is the outdoor clawfoot bathtub, hidden a short distance from the huts, perched high among the trees, looking out over the views of the valley. We all enjoyed a moment of zen here, soaking and inhaling the scent and energy of nature. I love these photos of Isaac enjoying a quiet moment here, serenaded by birdsong without a care in the world.

We got to meet Emily, one half of  The Telephone Exchange dream-team. She delivered some fresh farm eggs and treats for the boys, which we were so thankful for. I absolutely adore Emily, we hit it off so well and keep in touch regularly over social media. We hope to revisit the family real soon. Isaac and I always say, meeting the owners of experiences like these is one of our favourite parts of what we do as travelling family bloggers. You’ll often see Emily and her family enjoying themselves at The Telephone Exchange on the accommodations Instagram stories. You can see and feel their genuine love for The Telephone Exchange. I think it’s pretty special for them to want to share something they love so much with us all.

Firepit check! Yes! Is there anything better than sitting outside on a beautiful evening, in front of a warm glowing fire, sharing a few spooky tales as the flames flicker? And what is glamping without a s’more session? Mosey on over with us to the designated campfire area.

Thank you, Emily and whānau, for inviting us to your unique treasure here in Aotearoa. The deck sunsets and sunrises here will be missed, and we feel so lucky to have ticked off one of the countries most sort after glamping spots. An absolute dream location.

 

Mā te wā! – Hope to see you back soon for another adventure.

 

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