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“Ferryman's Cottage: Paradise Regained”
Review of Birds Ferry Lodge

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Birds Ferry Lodge
Ranked #1 of 16 Westport B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 21, 2011

One look at the weather map on Thursday morning told us that it would be warm and sunny on the West Coast with rain everywhere else. There was nothing for it but to book into the Cottage for the weekend. It was my birthday on the Friday and, after a lunch meeting, we packed up the car and headed off to Westport, over the Lewis Pass. It was 4 hrs 15 min door to door from Christchurch, with a very short stop at Maruia Springs (watch out for the vicious sandflies there!).

The cottage was easy to find on google maps and the directions were good. We rolled up to the cottage and everyone went "wow". The setting is sublime. Views of the ocean are tantalisingly close and the surrounding scenery is definitely in the "peaceful escape" category.

It was 7pm so tummies were rumbling. We went into the cottage and found our dinner ready to be heated up. We popped the yummy looking lamb shanks in the oven and then brought in all our gear. The cottage is a perfect size for a family of 4 (or 5) with plenty of sofa lounging space, even with a couple of gangly teenagers slumped over them.

The information provided covers everything you need to know. The magazine collection was fabulous. Current copies of anything you might be interested in leafing through in your downtime. The kitchen was very well equipped and breakfast goods were supplied though, of course, you could bring your own.

We scoffed our delicious dinner and dessert (sticky date pudding) and settled down to watch the sunset. We all slept well and woke to the birds singing in the silence. We spent the day walking at Tauranga Bay (10-15 mins drive) and then had a fabulous lunch at The Townhouse in Westport. We spent the afternoon walking the Nile River track, which is worth a look (just by Charleston).

That evening we dined at the Lodge and enjoyed the hospitality of Andreas and Alison, whilst meeting some other guests. Before that we had enjoyed the outdoor bath, which was great fun and a wonderful way to relax after a day out walking.

It was a struggle to leave the next day, as everyone was happy lying on the sofas reading magazines or watching Downton Abbey (they have a good selection of DVDs). But eventually we levered ourselves off the sofa and packed up. We said our goodbyes (Andreas gave us some tips on good places to go) and headed down to Punakaiki and on back to Christchurch via Moana.

This is a really wonderful spot. It's got everything you could possibly need and is situated in a stunning space. It's completely private and self-contained. Hard to ask for more. It's also well located in terms of being close to Westport. There is plenty to do in the local area if you need to stretch your legs.

It was a real find for us and we had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Raf1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2012

Hello Raf and Family

We are delighted that you escaped the foul East Coast Weather and discovered Birds Ferry Lodge and Ferry Mans Cottage with all it has to offer. As they say in Scotland "Haste ye back!" - perhaps for the next family birthday celebration? Alison and Andre

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167 - 173 of 270 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2011

I was nervous selecting a bead and Breakfast as this was the 1st one I have used. My concerns were unfounded! We stayed for 3 nights in early December 2011. (start of NZ summer season)

Facility: Was built from the ground up to be a Bead and Breakfast - not converted. Exceptional design! Peacefully secluded, overlooking a valley, with no roads or buildings to spoil the view and no traffic noise. No swimming pool but they do have a very nice 2 or 4 person hot tub

Hostess: Alison has been running this facility for over 7 rears. Extremely neat and clean. Meals were 5 star quality. She was very knowledgeable of activities in the area and was very helpful in coordinating additional activities for us.

Host: Andre has lived for 30 years in NZ and is very knowledgeable of the country. He lead a 5 hour tour of the Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks and Blowholes) area and he was informative and entertaining. (He took us there when the tide was high and not when some tour schedule said to be there to meet a time schedule).

While not the cheapest option, if you want a high quality experience in this area, Birds Ferry Lodge would be my recommendation.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2014

Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M

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Reviewed December 18, 2011

Driving up New Zealand's South Island west coast is a spectacular journey. Staying at Birds Ferry Lodge compliments this wonderful journey and this magnificent landscape. Alison and Andre treat you to a wilderness rich in beauty and heritage, feeding you with natural produce from the region and their own gardens. Alison culinary skills are only matched by Andre's detailed and impressive knowledge and love of the region. Try the Bromilow (sic) hiking trail and one of Andre's relaxing massages.

Birds Ferry Lodge is an experience and a treat... worth every cent and more. We will definitely be back. Thank you very much

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank FilippoFaralla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2014

Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M

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Reviewed December 10, 2011

What one expects from a B&B of this nature very much depends upon the type of people that yourself and your partner are; for my wife and myself the almost total silence around the property was its biggest attraction. We stayed at the B&B and Alison's cooking and presentation of dinner and breakfast was tantalizing to the eye and the palate. Certainly the dinners are not cheap but nor should they be, a three course meal of that quality with wine would cost at least as much in a restaurant.
The rooms are well appointed and the beds exceedingly comfortable with good quality linen and pillows. The rooms are not large but we found them more than adequate for the two of us for a short stay. The bathroom was a good size.
While Andre and Allison were always there if needed, we enjoyed the fact that our privacy was respected.
A longer visit, in the cottage next time, would be most relaxing.

Andrew & Sandra House
December 2011

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank ANDREW H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2014

Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2011

My husband and myself and 2 of our friends shared my Birthday, as a special Weekend. The scenerey was beautiful, the weather was slightly damp. But that is the magic of the West Coast.
We arrived at Ferrymans Cottage to find our evening meal prepared for us ready to be heated, a Delicous Birthday Cake with candles and party poppers included.
Ferrymans Cottage is a delightful place to stay in, it is so well appointed, even the hot water baths to soak away the worries of the world with a glass of wine.
Thank you both for a memorable weekend.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Pamela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2014

Well we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay.. Thank you for posting your compliments!
Alison and Andre M&M

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2011

Great conversation, great location, great food. Allison & Andre work really hard to make sure you have the most enjoyable stay. It's almost like you are meeting friends along your journey. Meals were creative, gourmet using fresh ingredients with a perfectly matched wine. Breakfast is included; but we strongly suggest you purchase dinner with your stay. We stayed in the lodge and had all the privacy we desired at our end of the home with a superb view. Yet, they were available whevever we desired as well. They strive to make it the best. We stayed a different place every 2 nights and this was our most memorable. We went there for the Glowworm Caves nearby and we almost count this overnight stay as an activity to have planned for. We would highly recommend Birds Ferry Lodge and we are not typically B&B seekers.

Room Tip: There's a separate cottage for families or small groups to have to themselves; but be sure to as...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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Thank aksja5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 28, 2011

Alison here - Andre and I are delighted that you enjoyed your stay - thank you for your kind words. A&A

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Reviewed November 26, 2011

Ferryman's Cottage is a fantastic place to stay, we both wish we'd had longer to enjoy the experience. Fabulous views, lovely food and the hospitality shown by Andre was brilliant.
Could not ask for more.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rachel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdsferrylodge, Owner at Birds Ferry Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 28, 2011

Alison here - Sorry I did not get a chance to meet you both. Andre and I are delighted that you enjoyed your stay - thank you for your kind words. A&A

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birds Ferry Lodge

Address: 163 Birds Ferry Road,, Westport 7892, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > West Coast Region > Westport
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Westport
Price Range: $292 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Birds Ferry Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Birds Ferry Lodge where you will enjoy a wilderness location just North of Punakaiki. This modern and stylish solid timber lodge features comfortable en-suite rooms with baths & balconies with superb mountain, bush and ocean views. The Self-contained cottage "Ferry Man’s Cottage" in its own private garden is perfect for couples seeking privacy or families needing space for children to run. The twin garden baths with hot piped water are a popular ‘kiwiana’ feature! On-site masseuse and day spa. Alison enjoys sourcing local fish and lamb for use in the Lodge kitchen. We grow almost all of the fresh produce used in the kitchen in our 1 hectare vegetable garden along with our own free range eggs from very happy chickens. Be sure to book a dinner which will be a highlight of your stay! FREE WIFI. Nearby are Norwest Adventures, Charleston where you can explore ancient limestone caves and see millions of glow worms. Stay 2 nights to enjoy 10% off the price of this tour. Also nearby is Tauranga Bay where you can view one of New Zealand’s large fur seal colonies and enjoy a scenic cliff top walk to the light house. Stay 2 nights & enjoy a complimentary tailor made local tour with Andre as well as a reduced tariff. NEW for 2011/12 is the "Denniston Experience" which is a short drive from Birds Ferry Lodge. This is a guided trip into a historic coal mine and is outstanding. ... more   less 
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