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Getting Cosy in Manawatū

Getting Cosy in Manawatū

With winter settling in, the darker mornings and cooler evenings are having us all dreaming of summer escapes. But before you sell an arm and a leg to book those international flights, how about checking out these cosy winter stays just up the road? From riverside retreats to unique intimate getaways, there is something for everyone in Manawatū this winter.
Falcon's View

Falcon's View

Nestled up in the Ruahine Ranges, Falcon’s View is a spacious studio with seriously breathtaking views of the native bush of Rangiwahia. Self-contained with a kitchenette, full sized bathroom, and paired with a wrap-around balcony, you and your significant other will not want to leave. Get the wood burner stoked up and you’ll be toasty all night long! The best bit? The studio is off-grid to give you the ultimate excuse to switch off

What to do here? If you are the adventurous type then you’ll be spoiled for choice with access to native bush walks, hiking trails and local wetlands. Or take a second to genuinely rest - after all that's what Falcon’s View is for.


The Last Church in Āpiti

If quirky and quaint is more your style, be sure to check out The Last Church in Āpiti. The church and Sunday School has been given a new lease on life after being lovingly restored and turned into boutique accommodation in rural Manawatū, with spacious living areas featuring eclectic art, thriving house plants, comfy furniture, musical instruments and plenty of books and magazines for you to enjoy. Relax and unwind in the outdoor bathtub before heading indoors to enjoy the roaring wood fire.  

What to do here? The Last Church in Āpiti is a great base to explore northern Manawatū. Check out the many walking tracks, cycle alongside scenic farm land, take a dip in local watering holes or take part in adventure activities like horse riding or rafting at Awastone. Then, finish your day with a delicious meal at the Āpiti Tavern.

The Last Church in Āpiti
Rathmoy Estate 25 1 scaled


A secluded country estate and riverside lodge on the banks of the Rangitīkei River, Rathmoy Estate caters for the whole family, even pets! With room for up to 10 people - and late check outs available on the weekend - this is a great place to reconnect with whānau. Located just a few minutes off State Highway One, Rathmoy's riverside lodge overlooks the breathtaking white papa cliffs and the Rangitīkei river. Offering modern and spacious accommodation you’ll be able to enjoy all the luxuries and comforts this country retreat has to offer, plus there is always the option to add on a private chef… ahh the serenity!

What to do here? Rathmoy is well established to provide you with entertainment for your entire stay! Keep it simple and laugh with friends on the cricket pitch, gather with wine around the fire pit or sink in solitude into the steaming wood fired hot tub. Or if you are looking to add a bit of competition to the weekend, check out their archery, clay target shooting or golf challenges. 

Coastal Retreat

If it’s the seabreeze you are craving then Coastal Retreat could be for you. Located in Himatangi Beach, a short drive from Palmerston North city, the self-contained yurts make for a memorable stay. Inspired by Mongolian nomad culture, these spacious yurts are carefully designed and crafted from high quality, locally sourced materials with all seasons in mind - perfect for getaways all year round. Each yurt has a full size kitchen and bathroom attached, which is fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay. Relax and immerse yourself in the ultimate secluded, serene escape with no WI-FI or interruption from the outside world. 

What to do here? Bring your horse! Your hosts are well trained in horse handling and offer guided rides through the dunes and bush. If that's not your thing, there are plenty of options for fishing, jet skiing and wakeboarding at the surrounding beaches!

Coastal Retreat Manawatu
Rangitikei Farmstay 2 e1591674264298

Rangitīkei Farmstay

Offering two unique and authentic accommodation options, Rangitīkei Farmstay has been family owned for over 120 years and is a great spot for couples, families, and special occasions. The Cottage is an original 120-year-old beauty, fully renovated in 2021, set privately in a gorgeous valley surrounded by trees, native bush, and birds. Enjoy all the luxuries on offer in this self contained four bedroom cottage, with a cosy lounge, open fire and heat pump. Be sure to laze around on the sunny deck, then take a soak in the large outside bath under the stars. Or, if you have a larger group, check out the Bunkhouse, which can sleep up to 12 people across two bunkrooms. 

What to do here? The Stewart family love sharing their farm with guests. Make the most of the outdoor space and explore the farmland and gardens by foot or on E-bike. Or if you want the full on farm experience, try one of the guided tours with the family meeting the animals and eating directly from the gardens. 

Makoura Riverside Retreat

The rustic Makoura River Retreat offers couples the ultimate romantic getaway. Just a short 10 minute walk (or a 5-minute 4WD ride) from Makoura Lodge, you’ll feel completely away from it all, enjoying the sounds of native birds and the pristine river. The retreat is designed to provide the ultimate escape from civilisation and the stresses of technology. The cabin has gas for hot water, lanterns and candles for lighting but with no power or WIFI, and extremely limited cellphone reception, this is your chance to switch off! All you’ll need is a good book, a stoked up chilly bin, and some comfortable footwear.

What to do here? During your stay enjoy swimming, fishing, nature walks, stargazing, toasting marshmallows, bathing, board games, or swinging in the hammock as you read your book. The cosy potbelly fire makes this retreat a fantastic stay in the winter!

Makoura Lodge Riverside Retreat Outdoor Bath credit .nz
Hiwinui Estate

Hiwinui Estate

Just 15 minutes from the centre of Palmerston North, you'll find one of Manawatū's most luxurious stays. Hiwinui Country Estate sits proudly on a park-like property surrounded by lush farmland. Choose a super king room in the main estate close to the spacious living area - featuring a high cathedral ceiling and a large double-sided log fireplace - or choose the self-contained 'Tree Tops Apartment' for an uber-private option with views across the lake.

What to do here? Pop over to Palmerston North for some retail therapy or stay for a picnic on the lawn for something more serene, after that find the secluded garden where the outdoor spa and open log fireplace is hidden away. Bring a bottle of wine and a cheese platter and your evening is complete.

Saddle Hills

Nestled in the valley below the Saddle Hills is Manawatū’s best kept secret in bed and breakfast accommodation. Saddle Hills Bed and Breakfast offers absolute luxury, delivered with a generous serving of rustic charm that makes you feel instantly and comfortably at home. A winter weekend away at Saddle Hills combines pristine accommodation with stunning gardens, magical views, and the option to self-cater or be waited on! What more could you ask for?

What to do here? Enjoy the luxuries this top quality accommodation has to offer and make the most of getting away from it all. With spacious living areas, comfortable bedrooms, and outdoors at your disposal you’ll have plenty of room to relax and unwind. And of course be sure to check out the tub with a view out to nature!

Saddle Hills Boutique Accommodation, Ashhurst Manawatū

Have we missed any of your favourite winter hideaways?
Let us know on
Palmy & Manawatū on Instagram (@manawatu_nz).

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