Glamping In Heaven On A High Country Station Rail Carriage

Glamping In Heaven On A High Country Station Rail Carriage

Windwhistle – Glamping is a must do for
every New Zealander. Get out and see the country. It’s the
best way.

It may seem a
contradiction in terms, but it is like roughing it, but in
luxury. So you feel that you have toughed it out, but it is
so easy.

They say glamping helps unwind. We didn’t
realise that until we got home and felt no rush to do
anything in a hurry.

We took the punt to go to
Rockwood Station at the back of Windwhistle in the
Canterbury high country.

Rockwood is a fifth
generation farm, now just 567 hectares comprising 35
hectares of bush and another five hectares of regenerating
bush and another 10 hectares of forestry.

The rest is
for grazing. Our hosts Cheryl and Ben Phillips run 3200
ewes, 850 hoggets, 160 Angus breeding cows and heifers and
they fatten between 3500 and 4000 lambs depending on the
season. His stock looked in great condition.

So
that’s the environment you head into. Bumpy gravel roads
and worse, we first thought, off the grid: No electricity,
no laptops, no cellphones, no cafes. How would we
survive?

But being off-the-grid which we thought would
be challenging was such amazing fun. Life started to stand
still. The silence was deafening apart from a little trickle
in the merging of two streams behind the carriage. There was
even a safe water swimming hole there. There were sandflies
but mozzy zapper kept them at bay.

So we tootled off
into the Canterbury plains and up the lower slopes of the
high country. We were risking it big time, for city
slickers, being out of our comfort zone.

Then we
arrived on the neatly mowed lawn by the Rockwood Carriage, a
converted 15-metre long 1953 goods rail waggon. It is
nestled in an old grazing paddock gazing up at snow-capped
Mt Hutt. The carriage is solar-powered and has a back-up
generator.

The place is stunning and brilliantly
located. It has two double beds, or bedrooms with a single
bed. It has a kitchen dining which included our central
focus for three days, Sparky, the name of our roaring log
burner built by Wagener in Northland. We had the best
warmest sleeps ever.

The two inviting outdoor baths
with hot running water came from the neighbours found lying
under trees and were re- enamelled in Christchurch. I still
can’t work out how the hot water arrived as we were off
the grid. Magic.

There was also an indoor bath and two
bathrooms, so a lot of stuff for a single 70 year old rail
waggon, without wheels. Life slowed down very
quickly.

The weather at first was bitingly cold, which
is bread and butter for farmers who have to brave all
conditions year round. A few days later, snow lay about, the
first time Ben and Cheryl had seen snow there in
March.

Like much of the world, we accept climate is
changing with more damaging floods, unseasonal storms,
severe winds and summer droughts. It is happening, much the
same as we are not staunch anti-gravity supporters. We deal
with the here and the now.

Cheryl and Ben Richards
bought the Carriage off Trade Me a few years ago and
refurbished it to a high standard which is every bit worth
$295 a night, with the warbling sound of bellbirds, kererū
, kingfishers, tomtits, fantails and occasional tūī thrown
in for free.

There were bush walks close by, Lake
Coleridge and its hydro power station, ski fields, Rakaia
Gorge and little Methven full of pubs and shops. But taking
in the high country air, soaking up the tranquillity did it
for us. Ben was a great help and was full of knowledge and
had some great stories about the land. We will be
back.

© Scoop Media


 

from www.scoop.co.nz Source link

[2023-03-30 06:06:33

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