Ashgrove is an easy 1.5 hour drive from central Auckland. Visitors have to navigate a gravel road once you turn off the main highway, which simply serves as a reminder that they are entering a peaceful sanctuary away from the congestion and pace of urban living. With rolling green hills against a backdrop of pine trees, the setting of Ashgrove could not have been more uplifting.
Ashgrove is owned by David and Sarah, who are typically Kiwi- honest, genuine, and charming. Ashgrove is their family home and they made us feel like nothing was too much trouble. The house itself, which Sarah maintains, was immaculate. There's plenty of space and living areas, making our stay both comfortable and providing our group with its own privacy.
As part of our visit, I was fortunate enough to experience a farm tour with David. At our request, we blasted around the farm on David's Polaris farm vehicle, which gave a real sense of adrenaline but gave us the opportunity to enjoy Ashgrove in all its glory. David introduced our group to all aspects of dairy farming, and provided insightful commentary all along the way. I asked a plethora of questions, which David was only too happy to answer, which simply reflects the extent of the knowledge he has accumulated in his 40+ years of farming.
Our tour involved:
- Seeing how cows are milked (and had the opportunity to try fresh, straight-from-udder-to-mouth milk);
- Being introduced to and feeding the working dogs;
- Getting up close and personal with young calves; and
- Feeding baby lambs with milk
David is relaxed and the extent of participation is really up to the individual. David was more than happy to allow one of our group to drive the Polaris, feed the dogs, round up the calves, and milk a cow by hand, while the rest of the group observed.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ashgrove, and would highly recommend the farm stay as a place to relax and unwind. The farm tours are truly fascinating, so if you have an interest in dairy farming, I highly recommend these also.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Limited to two bookings at any one time:The first is inside the homestead with Queen bed, balcony & private bathroom - alongside are single bedrooms for children. The second is a loft above our garage alongside the homestead with a queen bed plus three single beds - there is a private shower and toilet for this at the back door of the homestead. Two private lounges and games room for your convenience and privacy. Separate dining table with 24 hour tea & coffee facilities with fridge for personal food store separate to homestead kitchen. BBQ available for guest use and we also offer all meals prepared by arrangement - we want you to enjoy and relax! ... more less