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Visitors from Calgary and trip to Great Barrier Island

Published March 09, 2015 by Margie in Guests

Last week we had visitors from Calgary, Canada and from Tunbridge Wells in England. The guests from Calgary were a retired couple who bought their parents with them. It was lovely to have an adult family stay and great to see people taking their elderly parents on holiday. They are a great family, very close and all our guests were easy to get along with. It is always nice when the guests are happy and appreciative of our efforts and so obviously enjoying their stay. They were lots of fun to have to stay, as were the English couple. They were all full of energy and in spite of the slightly inclement weather they managed to have lots of fun.

On the first day of their stay Greg took one of them fly fishing on a small river near Rotorua. They saw lots of big trout and got a few takes but the trout were too smart for them and evaded capture, so it was a win win situation. The men folk had a great day on the river and the trout lived to see another day and no doubt another fisherman.  

I was hoping to put trout on the menu but instead we had one of our favourite meals of steak with mushrooms and wine sauce and fresh veges from the garden followed by another guest favourite, pavlova. For a starter I made a chilled cucumber soup as we have an abundance of cucumbers in the garden. I hadn’t made the iced soup since we lived in Australia many years ago. It tasted delicious and everyone enjoyed it so I think I will add it to our repetoire. 

We also had some yummy sweetcorn on the cob straight from the garden, one of my favourite veges, that went down well too. Our meal was washed down with rather a lot of Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir. We think it is one of the best Pinots around at the moment. All the guests got on really well and it was a great dinner party with lots of laughs.

Last week we took a few days off and traveled up to Auckland and then took a ferry trip over to Great Barrier Island. The ferry trip was a bit long (5 hours ) but it did mean we could take our car.  Next time though I would take the fast ferry. The weather was superb so we did lots of hiking through the magnificient bush that covers the island. We also spent a day with some relatives on their yacht sailing around the top of Great Barrier Island. I suggest to any guests who are wondering where to go which is not as touristy as Waihike and with awesome walks spend a few days on Great Barrier, it is truely lovely. The beaches are long and white and wild, with few inhabitants. Good surfing I would think but no surf patrols, so not for the inexperienced swimmer/surfer.

The fish are jumping!

Published February 19, 2015 by Margie in Activities

Greg and I have recently bought a boat which we plan to use to take guests out fishing or just for a morning or day on the water.  We are spoilt for choice in the Bay of Plenty (hence the name).  We have many beautiful lakes and rivers nearby as well as the gorgeous coastal waters and the Tauranga Harbour...
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The welcome swallow family has fledged

Published January 24, 2015 by Margie in Lodge

2 years ago a swallow family moved into a house they built under the eaves of the lodge. A few days ago there was a lot of coming and going of the parents  from the nest and when we took a peep up at it there were 4 little faces peeping back at us. The following day the babies had...
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Summer has arrived!

Published January 08, 2015 by Margie in Lodge

It is a while since I made a blog entry as we have been busy with Christmas and grandchildren and guests. It is our busiest time of year with lots of guests from all over the world as well as New Zealand. In the past week, we have had guests from Auckland, Spain and our first ever guests from Russia....
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The Tui's have arrived

Published November 12, 2014 by Margie in Lodge

For the past 3 years Greg and I have been focused on developing a garden full of native New Zealand plants with the aim of attracting as many native birds as possible in particular the Tui. For a few weeks we have been wondering why the Tui’s aren’t coming to the garden as the flax bushes have started to flower....
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European Green Finches in the garden

Published October 23, 2014 by Margie in Lodge

We have taken to leaving the binoculars out on the kitchen window sill  so we can quickly access them to identify the birds that are flitting around the lodge garden. Being Spring there are many birds coming to explore our plants. This morning we were excited to see European Green Finches jumping around in the vegetable garden. One of them...
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The green, green hills of home!

Published October 16, 2014 by Margie in Lodge

Greg and I have just arrived home from nearly 6 weeks in South America. We went on a landscape gardening tour of Chile, Argentina and Brazil preceded by about 10 days in Peru. We had a good time, saw some spectacular private and public gardens by some world famous landscape architects such as Juan Grim and Roberto Burle Marx. We...
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Tauranga Art and Garden Festival

Published September 03, 2014 by Margie in Activities

Every 2 years Tauranga holds a wonderful Art and Garden Festival which covers over 100 gardens from Te Puke in the south, to Mt Maunganui, Tauranga and Katikati and all towns and suberbs in between. It runs this year from November 17 until Sun 23 November. We only allowed ourselves a day last time it was on and it was...
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Spring is sprung

Published August 02, 2014 by Margie in Lodge

Well it is only August and I have just put my first bowl of daffadills on the dresser.  It has been a very short winter here in Katikati and already there are little calves skipping around the fields that surround our lodge. Greg has been busy this week planting yet more fruit trees. We both spend a couple days weeding...
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Piwakawaka in the garden

Published May 12, 2014 by Margie in Lodge

The Maori name for fantail is piwakawaka and at the moment our garden at Kaimai Country Lodge is full of them. We saw some when we first moved up here 2 years ago but then they disappeared for many months. We are so pleased that recently they have come back to our garden in large numbers. While they are very...
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