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“Fantastic base for Timber Trail, still working on the logistics ...”
Review of Black Fern Lodge

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Black Fern Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed two nights in the Forge with a party of 5 - fantastic and charming place to stay - quirky possibly sums it up. We had two private rooms for our party - there was another private room that another couple was using, and there were also bunks in the main kitchen/lounge and also in the room that had the shared bathrooms - I felt a bit sorry for the people sleeping in the lounge when we got up super early for breakfast so we could have an early start on the trail! We really enjoyed staying here - the accommodation was fun, the area is beautiful, and the timber trail was fantastic. My only two caveats -
- over the Christmas holiday they were clearly busier than they were used to, and some of the administrative details were falling through the cracks a bit - while they organised everything promised (hire bikes and shuttles), it was was hard getting both confirmation and the details, and the arrangements weren't flexible. I'm sure this will get better as they get used to the popularity of the trail.
- the track from the timber trail to the lodge was much harder work than I expected - and everyone else staying at the same time as us said that too - it was just under 7km, but included a significant hill. It mightn't have been so bad it I had been expecting it, but I had thought it was all going to be down hill .... also the Timber Trail has very regular marker posts which had spoiled me a bit, but I hated not knowing how far I had to go.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank TassKM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 44 of 45 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2013

See my review of the Timber Trail on this site. Situated at the end of Ongarue Stream Road this cute Lodge is now perfectly situated to pander to the riders and walkers of the Timber Trail. It is approx. 8km off the timber trail (bike or walk) situated beside the Ongarue Stream and surrounded by the best of King Country bush and remnants of the timber industry of days long gone. The Lodge provides very good value at approx. $100/night for a gr8 dinner, soft cosy bed and a hearty breakfast. Beer $5 a bottle (very good considering the distance from a supply) wine well priced and best of all the hot shower after what can be a very muddy, wet ride from Pureora.
Some suggestions for little improvements to help the tied biker: A drying room. Somewhere to hang clothing in the room. A shelter and wash down hose for bikes and a wee bit more pressure at the shower. The Forge is about 700m down stream from the Lodge. I only had a peep inside and it looked great. A planning tip: Drive to the Lodge. Arrange for the owners to shuttle you back to the trail head at Pureora (about 30min). Ride the first half of the tail back to the lodge (about 49 km). Ride the second half to Ongarue the next day and the Lodge will collect you and take you back to your vehicle (about 30min). The Lodge itself is really cosy. You can take your own liquid supplies so long as you take the empties home with you. The hosts are a great couple and I wish them well. I would like to go back even for the w/e just to chill out in a beautiful environment.

Room Tip: The fitness centre is the Timber Trail. Beats any city centre. Use the Lodge as your base for rides...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Kiwiglobetroter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

The Lodge was perfect accommodation for cycling the Timber Trail but also an intriguing destination experience in it's own right. Picture perfect setting as far away from the city as you can get with a cozy farm atmosphere, the stream and waterfall nearby just a few of the pleasant surprises that made my stay really enjoyable. We got there in time for Maria's directions on heating the prepared meals in the well appointed kitchen with all facilities - which was easy and the meals were great, loved that berry tart dessert! Slept well in comfortable room then breakfast (equally good) then off with the shuttle in morning to Pureora for the first half of the Timber Trail - ending back at the Lodge later that day.
I thoroughly recommend Black Fern Lodge, whether you are biking the timber trail or just to get away from it all. The hosts are lovely people with a connection to the history of the place and happy to share their knowledge - very accommodating all round. Look forward to my next visit with the family now that I am hooked.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Five of us arrived wet and muddy from the day's cycling the Timber Trail in the rain. We really appreciated the warm welcome, pot of soup waiting even though we were self-catering. Hot showers and efficient fire place soon warmed us up. Great facilities and lovely setting...would like to have stayed longer!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Linda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We stayed 2 nights and used the shuttle to Pureora first morning and back from Ongarue second afternoon. At the end of the first day we added a stroll by the stream for about 1km to the waterfall. Blackfern is like a museum, with every wall covered in old photos, newspapers and farm equipment; there's even a working railway colour light signal outside. The only drawback is the 5km to the Timber Trail, including a stile and a hill slippery enough to cause most of us to walk part of it. However, it din't take any of us much more than 30min, even uphill.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank johnrag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

Black Fern Lodge is a perfectly situated for doing the Timber trail as it provides a good half way stop. Their home cooked meals were ready and waiting for us to heat up after we staggered out of the forest in the dark at 9pm with our bikes. We were so exhausted we just had our meal, a lovely hot shower and went to our comfortable beds. We woke up in the morning to birdsong and the sound of the waterfall nearby. They have great BBQ facilities which we utilized on the second night after doing lots of interesting walks in the area.

I loved the place so much I came back again in June for a Murder Mystery weekend. Hope to stay again in October and cycle the second part of the Timber Trail.

I thoroughly recommend Black Fern Lodge for relaxing break away from the fast pace of city life. Great hosts, clean comfortable rooms and good wholesome meals.

Room Tip: A couple of rooms do not have en suites so if this is important to you, ask for one that does.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Thrillseeker4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2013

I have stayed at Blackfern Lodge twice now and will return again in October for another long weekend of riding the Timber Trail. I just love the area and also the location of the lodge with the lovely sound of the river running past – it is so delightful. Rooms were warm and our group loved the fluffy Artic sheets that the hosts supply for winter so much, we bought our own on the way back to Auckland. Looking forward on my return to those lovely home cooked meals. How much better does it get than organically grown meat and vegetables and those Apricot Crumble tarts and homemade Apple Pie are to die for. Good value for money, especially after a long day out biking the trails. Hosts are lovely and made us feel very welcome to their patch of Kiwi paradise. They even fixed a friend’s flat tyre. Love the quirkiness of the decor. A great rustic place in a rural setting to rest those weary bones between the two halves of the Timber Trail.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AucklandLibby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Fern Lodge

Address: Ongarue Stream Road, RD1 1847 | Waimiha, Te Kuiti, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Te Kuiti
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Te Kuiti
Number of rooms: 6

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