The Flying Fox provides a unique accommodation experience.
Nestled in an idyllic setting on the banks of the Whanganui River, there is no road access, which means visitors arrive to The Flying Fox either via aerial cable car across the river or land on the bank by jet boat or canoe. Unique yes, but either way, a warm welcome is guaranteed from husband and wife owners Jane and Kelly as you are invited to share their piece of paradise.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world
Guests have often described a feeling of entering another world as they step off the cable car and climb the steps into lush organic gardens with no cell phone reception or television! This truly is a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Sustainability – kaitaiki (guardians) of this environment
The Flying Fox is positioned on the site of an old Maori kaianga (village), surrounded by regenerating native bush and National Park. As kaitiaki (guardians) of this environment, Jane and Kelly strive to provide a sustainable tourism experience and are committed to the concept of environmentally responsible use of resources. The site is off-grid for everything except electricity. They harvest water, compost toilet waste and generally work to minimise other waste by recycling or reusing as much as possible. They are also due to start in September a large solar power system installation which is predicted to halve the amount of electricity currently sourced from the grid.
Accommodation options – camping, glamping or cottages
The Flying Fox has a great range of accommodation options available, with something to suit various tastes and budgets. They have three guest cottages each with their own individual character that have been built using mainly recycled and natural materials sourced from around the area. Each is fully self-contained and equipped with everything you need to make your stay comfortable, including a collection of books, LPs and board games. The Riverboat and James K Cottage are situated on the river terrace surrounded by walnut trees which are over one-hundred years old whilst Ruru Lodge enjoys elevated views over the river and a garden setting.
Alongside the cottages are two different Glamping options (with a third currently under construction). The Gypsy Cart is a hand-built wooden caravan with a large tent bedroom on an adjoining deck which enjoys views over the river. Whilst the Blackberry Patch is a restored trailer tent located in the avocado orchard with a deck ideally situated to catch the afternoon sun – bliss!
The Flying Fox also offers two campsites that round off the choices for visitors; Koru campsite is equipped with a hot shower, bush bath, toilet and a kitchen shelter with gas cooking facilities, whereas the Wilderness camp is for those who want a true bush experience!
If you choose to self-cater a small on-site shop has basic supplies for anything you may have forgotten to bring as well as displaying some of the creative works of Jane and Kelly who are both also artists. You can also book to have dinner and breakfast provided for you. Jane describes their food as “good quality, old-fashioned home cooking”. The couple work to minimise ‘food miles’ by using their own or local organic and free range produce as much as possible. Jane is often found stirring a large preserving pan and fresh baking is regularly available from the kitchen.
The land – surrounded by native bush, avocado orchards, historic walnut trees, and gardens that are cared for using organic and permaculture principles.
The surrounding native bush, avocado orchards, historic walnut trees, and gardens are cared for using organic and permaculture principles. There is a range of heritage fruit trees on the property and work is ongoing to preserve these along with growing heritage/organic vegetables in the garden. A pest control programme is also in operation to keep down the local predator population and allow the native bird life to flourish. Tuis, Bellbirds, Wax eyes, Ruru (morepork), Piwakawaka (fantails), Grey Warblers and Kereru (Pidgeon) are regular visitors to the garden and Kiwis are sometimes heard at night in the bush. Deer are often also seen in the orchard or even around the cottages in the early morning.
As well as providing an enjoyable stay for guests Jane and Kelly love to share information about their way of life and discuss ideas about sustainability and conservation. Guests are encouraged to be aware of their use of resources (water, power etc) and facilities are provided for composting and recycling in all the accommodation options as well as the campsite.
If you are interested to learn more you can connect with Jane & Kelly clicking the links below. Visit their website, book a stay, look into a creative workshop, or call them to enquire and learn more.