Boutique Barnstay – Staveley, South Island, NZ

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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.

White foothills blanket

Thursday, July 13, 2017
The first big storm of winter has been moving north through NZ this week causing havoc! Always good for a few photos though.

These ewes on the farm were well sheltered and happy, and Charles, Pippa and I got out for some fun on the cross country skis and to pick up the mail.

Into the ski season

Friday, July 07, 2017

The ski season at Mt Hutt is now in full fling! The mountain is looking beautiful with a good snow cover and the temperatures have dropped nicely with clear frosty days. 

Rata Escape accommodation is full of happy skiers.....still a few gaps though if you are looking for a cosy and inviting place to rest up!!

Winter Magic

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

A good snowfall has arrived on the Canterbury mountains as if on cue for the opening of Mt Hutt Skifield which is scheduled for Friday 9th June. Great timing!
With some friends, Judith and I took a walk up Mount Alford on Tuesday from where we had a grandstand view of the ski mountain as seen in this photo. 

The frosted snow sparkled underfoot with the glistening white stretching inland as far as the eye could see icing sugar sprinkled over the tops. 
And ... we had a couple of big birthdays to celebrate in style on the summit!!