Must visit NZ: Makoura Lodge

Makoura Lodge in Apiti, Manawatu, New Zealand is a magical place. Remote, beautiful, Kiwi countryside surrounds the lodge. The grass is green, the valleys deep. Cattle and wildlife scatter the picturesque scenery. The lodge boasts unique country-style accommodation (including a riverside hut!), is an event/conference venue, and has a range of awesome activities to take part in onsite.

The Lodge has a long history, owned by the same family since 1903. With Kim McIntyre managing the Lodge, the family values live on strong. You can browse photos of the McIntyre family and their families, on the land in the hallway by the bathrooms. It’s fascinating to see the family’s values and heritage coming through from the subtle Scottish highlights (ask about the pattern of the curtains) in the country-inspired interior decor to the true country warm welcomes.

I’ve visited Makoura Lodge many times over the years. From family events to horse trekking, for lunch, 4x4ing, staying overnight for a country girl’s weekend getaway to hosting a workshop in their function rooms.

One of my favorite features of the lodge is its riverside retreat cabin. This is where you go to get away from it all. No reception, no power. Just you and the countryside and an outdoor bathtub next to a rambling brook. We treated my parents a night here for their anniversary and they loved it.

I’ve been out on horse trekking adventures around the property numerous times. Last time we did the advanced track with the help of Kim, who ran the horse trekking, (check out her amazing horse personal development program – Horses Helping Humans) and part-owns the lodge. Kim took us on a trail around the property, through rivers, over mountainsides, and across the most picturesque landscapes. My Horse, Mr. Ed, was a lovely, calm chestnut who was much more interested in eating the grass than in anything else. For that reason, I believe he is probably my spirit animal – ha!

The Lodge also has many other activities you can book in for, like archery, clay bird shooting, and 4×4 driving.

I highly recommend a trip out to Makoura Lodge (remember to call and book) for a night or two to experience true Kiwi hospitality and to breathe in that super fresh air. You’ll leave feeling replenished and relaxed.

Ps. If you can catch a sunset, make sure you do! They’re gorgeous out there.


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