We all love a holiday at the bach, but as intrepid Kiwi family travellers we don’t really want to be stuck in one place all the time. We want our kids to see the far reaches of greenery, surf and sand, or in winer the snow and mountains that we have in our great land. So, it’s truly exciting to front up for the weekend to a mystery abode, enjoy the beautiful spaces that others have created and explore new towns and cities. Even better when you get pack up and leave someone else to pay the rates and mow the lawns.
With this in mind, here are the 2018 ‘Bookabach of the Year Awards ’ top finalists for family-friendly options. Tried and tested, these five baches have passed the test with Kiwi families who are looking for a little getaway with all the kid-comforts of home (and more!).
The GOLD goes to…
Set across two levels, this truly amazing property has just been completely renovated to the highest standard. Whether you prefer a soak in the indoor plunge pool, or to fire up the BBQ and relax on the deck while taking in the stunning lake views, you will love this home. It has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, and there are two kitchens and two living areas to make hosting large groups easy. Just a two-minute walk to the shores of Lake Taupo, a five-minute walk to a popular local restaurant and convenience store, or take the car and you will be in town in less than 5 minutes. See more here.
SILVER medals to…
Kaihua Cottage/ Taupo
This cute cottage is a great option for Taupo. With four bedrooms that sleep up to eight people, you can bring the whole tribe along, including the pets! The front and back lawn are fully fenced and well secured with gates on either side of the house. The large back yard is child-friendly with a kids’ playground, trampoline and sand pit to keep them entertained. There is a spacious lounge with an adjoining kids’ play area that is well stocked with toys and games, including Sky TV and WiFi. The kitchen is fully equipped, along with a gas BBQ available to use. The kids’ bedroom has a bunk bed and single bed, and there is one single bed in the fourth bedroom. A portacot and highchair are provided for the little ones. See more here.
The great family escape / Hamner Springs (pictured at top)
This new home located on Chalet Crescent has stunning views of the mountains, is safe and has a fully enclosed backyard for the kids and pets (dog kennel out the back!). Amazing indoor/outdoor flow for entertaining on the deck. There is a pool table for the parents, playground for the children, and Sky sports and movies for everyone. There is easy access to the Conical hill track, and tracks leading around to a lake and reserve. Enjoy the many mountain biking tracks just outside the back door. See more here.
Other FINALISTS are…
The Lookout/Keri Keri
A beautiful, private and quiet setting with your own water access only 5km from Kerikeri town. This bach is perfect for kids, with a spacious lawn area to zoom around on. There is a large deck area to sit and watch the boats, kayaks and paddle boarders coming down the inlet. Also, use the Adobe pizza oven available, play on the trampoline, or there’s a dingy with oars, a kayak and a stand up paddle board (converts to kayak) available for use with life jackets. You can launch the kayaks and dingy easily from lawn. Bliss!
There’s a paved footpath that leads directly into the town centre, an easy 30-45 minute walk, so bring the kids’ bikes or scooters for an easy ride into town. See more here.
What to do: Visit Keri Keri, beaches, estuary fun, visit Paihia and Russell, Stone house, local markets. More activities here.
This three bedroom house is full of sunshine with an open plan kitchen, living and dining area, and a large North-facing deck which is perfect for entertaining and enjoying BBQs or just relaxing with a book and soaking up the sun. The house is child-friendly, complete with childproof locks on deck gates, or make use of the large lawn.
Bays and Surfclub are within easy walking distance, plus there is close access to the beach walking tracks. Rockit cafe is only a few minutes’ drive away and Raglan town only seven minutes. See more here.
What to do: Beach, surfing and surf lessons, visit local artisans, walks, fishing off the wharf. More information here.
By Maria Honey