I love this place.
Let me introduce: The Farm
The Farm is the product of the youthful minds of Mike and Ellen Bennett. The house that you see above is their home/hostel/book warehouse/halfway house/retirement home/play house. At the beginning, there was only the green building on the right. The building is growing like the Little Shop of Horrors with a life of it’s own by continuing to grow farther and farther to the south east.
Mike and Ellen run this beautiful 1,000 acre dairy farm just outside of Whangaruru, New Zealand. It’s a long drive from the nearest town. If you plan on visiting them and you don’t have a car, it’s important to contact them through the website before you try to head out there.
Mike and his sons are motorbike crazy. Their shop is a skeleton yard of motorbike pieces scattered about. It’s a hectic mad scientist spot. They keep a well protected motorbike magazine collection of everything available over the past 20 years.
When divinity was designing this land, there must have been a specific effort to make the place perfect for riding dirt bikes. From the lookout just above the house, there is nothing but steep grassy hills and muddy tracks as far as the eye can see (out to the ocean.) They have loads of people come to the farm to ride dirt=bikes with them all summer long. Lots of people go and play on their huge motorbike track.
Ellen on the other hand is an exceptional natural horsewoman. She has a way with horses that I’ve never seen in anyone else. She can go into a corral with a young “never been saddled before” horse and be sitting on its back with nothing but a blanket within two hours. I watched her do it. She is amazing.
Besides the horses and motorbikes, the Bennetts have a slew of activities at their door step. The river is a short walk away and you can grab a kayak and take a trip down the river all the way to the ocean if you fancy. There are nice surf beaches within a short drive from the Farm. If you don’t have any cash you can just go for a hike around the area. It’s stunning and out of the way so you can expect to find solitude out there.
The Bennetts are really welcoming and I unconditionally recommend the Farm as a destination to anyone going to New Zealand. It’s only about 2 hours from Auckland. Have a blast. Tell them Ian Robinson sent you.
I even got to eat a huge worm!
I got to ride a dirtbike!
V got to ride a horse!
One Reply to “The Farm: Whangaruru, New Zealand”
I just got back from 3 days at The Farm with our collection of teenagers. Great times and great value for money. Mike and Ellen are tremendous. Next time I’ll be better at changing gears on my dirt bike…