Boutique Barnstay – Staveley, South Island, NZ

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Methven Creative Workshop

Friday, March 09, 2018
During the first weekend in March, we got creative with the ladies attending the South Island Freemasons Annual conference at Methven Resort.

Cheesemaking / tasting, and origami bouquets were the plan for the morning. 
There was a lot of banter, laughter and general companionship over curds and haloumi, glue and recycled Mills and Boon.

Great results Ladies!


Friday, March 09, 2018

We are thrilled to receive this gold award from for guest reviews!!

9.8 out of 10..... (not 100 as my cheeky daughter suggested!)

Thank you to all our positive guests!

Below are Elspeth (L) and Judith (R) with their award

Road Scholar Hiking Group

Sunday, February 11, 2018
Jude and I at Rata Escape enjoy guiding the Road Scholar Tour groups which visit our area 5 times each year. The guests are from North America and can join up to these tours once they reach 55.

Last week it was the Hiking NZ group who were very enthusiastic to get out and about in our hills.
We had a great 3 days exploring ...Woolshed Creek, up into the Hakatere Backcountry and a foothills farm walk.
The timing was right to take in some shearing, sheep dogs working and hobbit spotting ...all of which they loved!

Methven Summer School

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Happy New Year for 2018!!

Rata Escape is being well used as a holiday base for families and travellers over the summer period.

This week Judith and I have enjoyed taking part in some of the varied classes at the annual Methven Summer students and Judith also as teacher. What a hive of activity during the week with lots of fun and energy! There were 20 different workshops on offer ....arty farty, eat bake drink and lifestyle categories.

Rata Escape would be a great base for next years school! 

Check it out at

Quirky Garden Sculptures

Soap Making

Judith taking the Cheesemaking class

Walking magazine - November issue

Wednesday, November 08, 2017
The November Walking NZ magazine has a good feature on Rata Escape. 
Also lots of other great places to explore!!

Mission Mount Somers

Monday, October 30, 2017
Saturday 28th October dawned sunny and clear ....a great day for the Mission Mount Somers Enduranz event.
There are several races including the marathon full circuit of the mountain and the half marathon from Woolshed Creek to Staveley, as well as a 5km and 10 km loop. 

Organiser Glen Currie was thrilled with the full quota of registrations....almost 400. Staveley was certainly humming with plenty of supporters cheering in the athletes. And what a mission it is!

Well done to the winners with amazing times ....4hours 20mins  for the marathon, and just under 2 hours for the 1/2 marathon. 
The finish line said it all ....Mission Complete!

Rata Escape Spring Challenge

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The final weekend of September saw Spring Challenge fever descend on Geraldine. The weather cleared nicely on the Saturday and plenty of energy was expended by the 1800 or so women taking part. What a buzz! Rafting on a high and fast Rangitata River, running halfway up and down Mt Peel, fracturing a wee finger, biking madly along gravel roads and orienteering along the way. 
Here we have the Rata Escape team (Shirley, Judith, Elspeth) trotting over the finish line very relieved to arrive ....after a good race despite a trial or two with the maps!

The team gear ...and taking the chance to advertise....

The following week we were out on our closer local mountain marking up the track for another hill race - Mission Mount Somers - which takes place in a couple of weeks. Can't have the competitors getting lost....!

Judith and Elspeth amongst the weathered mountain beech. 
It is clematis season and this native climber is a stand out in the beech forest at the moment. 

I can't help taking photos of the stunning patterning which occurs so beautifully in nature. Especially stunning on a dull day. 

Springing into spring

Friday, September 08, 2017
Spring is arriving in Mid Canterbury with daffodils, blossom, lambs and calves, although the temperatures are still very variable.

For South Island women there is a big challenge just around the corner, in fact only 3 weeks away!....the 11th Spring Challenge Adventure Race at the end of September.
This year it has become the biggest one day and highest participated adventure race in the World with 600 teams ....which equates to 1800 women participating!!
It is being held around Geraldine and Judith, Shirley and I have been getting out there and putting in a bit of effort with training for team Rata escape

New calves on our bike ride around Geraldine district.
And an uphill trip to work those legs ....with a fun a speedy route down!

Our tramp a week later was in the Peel Forest area to get our heads around the possible Spring Challenge geography.
The team slogged it to the top of Little Mt Peel via the route less travelled and looped back down the more trodden deer spur.
Great vistas!

Go Team Rata Escape ....Elspeth, Shirley, Judith!

Honeydew on Hookey Knob

Monday, August 21, 2017
With a beautiful morning on Saturday, we decided to make the most of it considering the dreich, wet days we have been having recently.
A great winter wander is up to Hookey Knob and Staveley Hill on the Mt Somers South Face Track. It really catches the sun.

We had to see how high the Bowers Stream was running under the bridge!

The trunks of the beech forest have a fair bit of honeydew now. This is produced by scale insects, which suck sap and secrete honeydew from their anal tubes (fine hair-like growths on the tree trunk}. Sooty mould fungus grows on the waste honeydew that has run down the trunk, forming a dark sponge-like covering. Birds are also attracted to feed on the sweet tasting honeydew.

The freshness and colours of the bush are stunning!  

View from the top

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We are excited ....check out this link to see the 50 best things to do in the South Island! We are there at no 31!

The school holidays are in full swing with some beautiful days up Mt Hutt interspersed with stormy days and snowfalls.