“Great hosts, great spot, great time”
Tarata is in the middle of no place in a sparsely inhabited part of North Island - part of its charm. On the recommendation of our travel guide, Veronica, the wonderful owner of Aroha Luxury NZ Tours, we stayed for two nights on our two week North Island tour at Tarata. Veronica had made sure that we knew that this was not going to be the 5* accommodations we used to but assured us that we would love it none the less.
She was so right. It was one of the highlights of our two weeks on North Island. Well off the beaten path. My wife, stepson and I stayed in the Tree House accommodation. Because it was winter we had it all to our selves with spectacular river and canyon views, a spa pool to chill in at days end, and the milky way to view at night.
Trudi and Steve are the very best of NZ both as people and as hosts. We were treated as personal friends and welcomed into their home for dinners and conversation at day's end. Trudi is as warm as they come. Steve is a story teller of 1st order. River, the resident canine is a friend to all.
The three of us took the 14 km raft trip down the river with Steve as our guide. A remarkable and special experience. We did the clay shooting thing but Steve also took us on a night possum hunting trip - a first for all of us. He also took the time to take us to the "shed" for some real life (vs tourist demonstration) time at sheep shearing, giving Stephen, my stepson, some actual shearing time.
Did I mention the tranquility. Did I mention the warmth. Did I mention that the next time we are on North Island (one of earth's VERY special places) we will make sure a couple of days are spent with Trudi and Steve at Tarata.
And special thanks to Veronika for convincing us to stay at this very special place. This was the second trip we've done with her. Two weeks on South Island in 2013 and two weeks this year on North Island. Aroha is the best and Veronika, as the owner, is the best of the best.