Aside from simply putting your feet up and relaxing, there is plenty to do during your stay at Mt Huia Farmstay! Whether on the farm, or within the region, there is a wide range of recreational activities on offer.

At Mt Huia Farmstay

  • Enjoy a 4WD farm tour if you’re staying one night (weather dependent, please enquire about costs), or for those staying longer join in with what’s happening on the farm* (free; weather, season and time dependent).
  • Swim and explore the Mangawharariki River just below Hodd Cottage and the Homestead. With private access, you are quickly transported into a world of your own. The River is flanked by native bush and is shallow enough to walk long distances either up or down stream, with numerous calm swimming holes along the way.  
  • Self-guided walk or mountain bike (please bring your own bike and helmet) around the farm*, following the clearly marked trail. Take in the vast open space, with views to the Ruahine Ranges and glimpses of the top of Mt Ruapehu. The trail takes you through farmland, untouched native bush, and you might even see some of the wild Fallow deer that roam the farm. Map and guide sheet provided.
  • Enjoy a ride on our quiet horse Big Al as you are lead around the house paddock. Perfect for non-riders and beginners, young or old. $50 for up to half an hour. Weather dependent and please check availability prior to your arrival.
  • Pat the horses and friendly farm dogs; you can even help give them their daily dinner!
  • Head into Mangaweka for your café coffee fix along the picturesque Ruahine Road with its high white papa cliffs and deep gorge; walk (approx. 2 hours), cycle (approx. 45 minutes) or drive (10 minutes). Along the way, stop off at the original hydro dam of the power station built to supply Mangaweka township with electricity.

In addition to the above, during your stay in Hodd Cottage you can also:

  • Join Neil with whatever he is doing on the farm* during your stay (weather, season and time dependent), or simply observe for as long as you like. Depending on the time of year this can include: mustering, shearing, drenching, dagging, fencing and a lot more! Suitable for all ages with young children accompanied by an adult.
  • Feed the hens and collect the eggs
  • Play table tennis, petanque and croquet (all equipment provided)
  • Arrange to go possum shooting one night (please enquire about guidelines and costs).
  • Use the three adult bikes (with helmets) to cycle in either direction on Ruahine Road (see Cycle Stays for more cycling options)
  • Selection of books, magazines, games and jig saw puzzles.

*Please note farm work is seasonal and subject to weather and ground conditions. We strongly recommend a minimum stay of two nights if you wish to join in with what's happening on the farm, and please let us know prior to your stay if this is of interest to you. Months July - September can be quite wet, and is a quieter time on the farm so there may be days where no on-farm work is happening. We lamb/calf in September through to early October and access on the farm is restricted during those weeks to ensure mothers and their young are not disturbed.

In The Region

Mangaweka Adventure Company

Mangaweka Adventure Company (MAC) is based at Awastone, just 9km from Mt Huia Farmstay. MAC offers a variety of safe, fun river trips for everyone.

  • 1 hr Family river trips from ages 3 years and up
  • 1 hr Kayaking adventures for anyone trying something new
  • Day journeys exploring river gorges
  • Overnight remote expeditions

They provide the rafting gear, friendly professional guides, transport, some meals and fun experiences on the Rangitikei River. From “Mild to Wild” they have all the rafting and kayaking options covered.



Mt Huia Farmstay is centrally located to several excellent 18 hole country golf courses. We are golfers ourselves and have sets of clubs for hire if needed.

Our local course is Rangatira Golf Course, just 20 minutes away. Professional course preparation and magnificent views add to its unique layout of six holes on each of its three different levels, and an electric cable car to return you to the top level. It is a must for any golfer to experience this course at least once in a lifetime!

The Taihape Golf Course is 35 minutes north of Mt Huia Farmstay. A testing but well-planned course with rolling hills and a famous 12th hole, described by Arnold Palmer as the best natural par 3 in the world.

Waiouru Golf Course, 45 minutes north of Mt Huia Farmstay, is New Zealand’s highest 18-hole course and is home of the annual Mountain Classic tournament. The clubhouse and grounds are located in the Ruapehu District on the southern end of the Desert Road, State Highway 1. The course has stunning year round views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro from various parts of the course.


White Cliff Boulders

Just 30 minutes from Mt Huia Farmstay, these magical and extremely intriguing boulders are a must see. It is believed that millions of years ago rivers carried sediment, shells and trees from eroding land out to sea. The sea water contained dissolved chemicals and formed a calcium carbonate cement around what was left of the buried shells and plant material. The organic material seems to have created a node for this process to occur, thus resulting in these giant round boulders. Over time, some of the boulders have split perfectly in half, and some even have trees growing from the centre. Some are particularly large and are just amazing!  A natural wonder that could have featured in Lord of the Rings!

There is an option of a guided walk with transport, guide and picnic included or you can pack your own picnic and do the full unguided walk.



There are many Department of Conservation walks in the area; brochures are provided at Mt Huia Farmstay.

Just south of Mangaweka on Te Kapua Road there is a two hour Interpretation Walk through native forest and abandoned railway tunnels.

The Ruahine Ranges, which are the magnificent backdrop to the Rangitikei and Manawatu, have many walks. closest to Mt Huia Farmstay being the very enjoyable day trip to the Rangiwahia Hut. It takes 20 minutes to drive to the start of the walk, and immediately you are walking through beech forest. Vegetation gradually changes until you are in the tussock landscape of the higher snow country. Just fabulous! Approx a 3.5 hour return walk.


Art and History

Mangaweka has many artists who find the slow pace and magnificent scenery inspiring to their creativity. Not all have open studios but a leisurely walk about the village will enable you to see the life-size painted figures depicting the life of the early settlers of Mangaweka. You might even see famous masterpieces – a legacy from previous Fakes and Forgeries events!

The Yellow Gallery features painting and photographic art by owner and resident artist Richard Aslett, as well as the works of invited exhibition artists. Other respected artists complement work of local contributing artists.

Mangaweka Heritage has a very interesting museum housed in the old railway station building. A photographic display of the early years of Mangaweka settlement offer an interesting insight into the early years of the community.


Cafes and Shopping

Papa Cliff Café is on State Highway 1 at Mangaweka, a short drive, easy cycle or satisfying walk away if you want the exercise! The friendly owners are always pleased to meet our guests and provide them with their delicious coffees and very affordable food. If you happen to have an electric car, there is a charging station at the café so you can recharge yourself and your vehicle at the same time!

Should you need to stock up on food supplies (or get that last minute gift!), Taihape is a 25 minute drive from Mt Huia Farmstay. Taihape, the Gumboot Capital of New Zealand is a small rural town on State Highway 1 north of Mangaweka. You will find cafes, a New World supermarket, service stations, excellent gift and clothing shops and even a small movie cinema! 



The Rangitikei River is one of New Zealand's premier waters, offering top-quality wilderness fishing. It also has a number of very important tributaries which are major fisheries in their own right. Both rainbow and brown trout are found throughout the river system, with fish in the upper reaches reaching trophy size (i.e. over 4.5 kg) with the average through the rest of the system being around 1.5 to 2 kg. Mt Huia Farmstay is the perfect base for your fishing expedition!



The renown Cross Hills Rhododendron Gardens are just 20 minutes from Mt Huia Farmstay. A lovely setting at any time of year, but main flowering is from September to November. The Cross Hills Country Fair is held annually on the second Saturday of November.

The Ridges Garden is 30 minutes away near Marton on SH1. A large private garden which features a sunken garden, massive drifts of one genus and magnificent flowering shrubs and trees. Viewing by appointment.


Activities - Gallery