Patetonga, not to be confused with Pategonia, is little corner of the Waikato Valley, south of Auckland, its Chiefs country if you are a rugby fan and otherwise its basically a big valley between two ridges filled with dairy farms. its lush, green, rolling hills and dales, green as a bag full of emeralds – at the end of summer. The Waikato has the jewel of the Coramandel Peninsula in its north eastern corner and Lake Taupo in the south, Raglans beach on the west coast and a bit of Roturua for bubble. The Waikato is home to the Tuheitia Paki, the Finn brothers, Daniel Vettori and Colin Mead – just to mention a few.
we are down here in patetonga house sitting a small farm for a week, its a stunning property with views across the green and rolling hills to the eastern ridge, a lovely older style farm house with a classic 80’s sunken lounge, a pool, huge vege gardens, orchard, and a happy little collection of animals!
we are looking after a cat who apparently turned up one day and stayed, she is pretty stand offish, although happy to show off the spoils of a hunt – be it a mouse or one of the many rabbits from the fields. There are also about 30 sheep who have to be moved from paddock to paddock every couple of days, NZ’s oldest sheep in the orchard, (an 18 year old toothless suffolk ewe!), she gets fed pellets and we shake a few tangellos out of the tree for her to squish up in her toothless gob. We also have 3 young steers to look after, they need some feed and zinc suplement each morning. Finally there are a few chooks and a huge old rooster that provide a few eggs a day in return for the kitchen scraps and a scoop of meal in the morning and wheat at night. Kai has loved being in charge of all the animals, feeding, moving, checking etc and has become quite the not so little farmer.
pop over to his blog to see more photos of him with the animals! HERE
we have really only done one day of heading out and exploring the region, we drove over to Thames and then out the Coramandel Peninsula to Coramandel village for lunch then across to the east coast and through Te Rerenga, Whitianga, and out to Hot Water Beach. the beach is famous for its hot water that is just below the surface of the beach at low tide, you can dig holes and make your own hot spring bath! unfortunately it was high tide when we got there, but the surf was great so i had a half hour body surfing before we headed on to Taipua and then back home.
the circuit through the Coramandel has some of the most stunning scenery you will ever see in your life – and thats saying something in a country jam packed with breath taking scenery, its certainly somewhere I would come back to and spend some serious time exploring.
all in all its been a fabulous week, and i am sure we would all happily stay for another week at least, but the owners, dot & malcolm are back on tuesday night so we head back up to Piha on wednesday and move into our rental bach on the beach for 3 weeks.