Our Romantic Eco Retreat in New Zealand
My husband and I arrived in Keri Keri and not long after drove down a gravel road as per the instructions we had printed out. We passed cows and farmhouses and went through two gates before the man in the car behind us stopped. He greeted us as the owner of Takou River Magic Cottages and opened a third gate into a small field of bliss. My eyes took in the glamping tent to my right, the river just passed it lined by native trees and, to my left, a hammock next to a building that we were soon given a tour of.
Inside the building was a rustic looking kitchen and bathroom. Upon entering the bathroom we were introduced to "The Hurricane" (a chain pull toilet that sounds much scarier than it looks). Hanging at the end of the bathroom, next to the shower, were two bathrobes. Along some wooden shelves next to the toilet were a selection of soaps and shampoos from "Ecostore" a New Zealand brand that is cruelty free, child labour free and is designed with the well being of both skin and the environment in mind.
The kitchen and bathroom both contained lights that were timed to turn off by themselves as well as candles and solar lanterns that were trickled throughout the building leading out onto the dining table on the deck.
The glamping tent opened up to reveal a couch, purposely painted rustic furniture, solar lanterns and the center focus - a spacious bed holding towels folded into lotus flowers and a mosquito net draping around it. Upon opening the front of the tent we were presented with a beautiful view of the trees, the river and the cows grazing on the other side of it.
A few seconds walk away from the tent, hidden by the trees, was an outdoor bathtub overlooking the river. On our first night in the bathtub the full moon reflected in the river below us, the stars were above us and candles surrounded us. A few fish could be heard jumping out of the water. The owners informed us that they had recently discovered a resident turtle.
The lack of phone and internet reception was the final touch to help us disconnect and relax. We stayed for three nights reading our books in the hammock, stargazing, swimming in the river and taking a provided canoe down stream for a picnic at a stunning nearby beach. There were additional options of exploring the nearby farm and garden as well as seeing some glow worms.
During our stay we hardly saw anyone else, in front of us was the river and behind us an empty farm paddock. The owners clearly put so much care into protecting the environment surrounding the accommodation with their certified organic farm containing over 20,000 native trees and plants to attract native birds. They have created boundaries to prevent cattle accessing the river, use no chemical sprays and follow a strict environmental plan.
So far, the most peaceful and romantic getaway I have ever had.