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Reviews (36)
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All reviewsfarm stayperfect hoststheir beautiful homefarm tourkaretu downsnew zealandkarensheepcottagepropertynzaccommodationchristchurch
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1 - 6 of 36 reviews
Reviewed 6 January 2018

Words cannot do justice to this absolutely beautiful place - a piece of New Zealand heaven!
The magic starts with the drive in to be greeted by Karen and Bruce - The farm has been a part of this family for several generations and it shows in all the best ways.
Karen and Bruce are a warm, welcoming, 'down to earth' couple who will go out of their way to make your stay both enjoyable and memorable - they are special!.
The accomodation (we stayed in the Musterers Cottage) is to die for, with a cosy bed, kitchenette and beautiful ensuite not to mention the Sky TV! - we have stayed in many top end hotels worldwide and given the choice we would stay in the Musterers Cottage in a heartbeat given everything the room and the location offers.
The farm is outdoor magic with fun animals and fantastic walks - and we would loved to have stayed longer. Maybe next time we will be able to take in the wider farm and the swimming holes in the stream that meanders through the lower reaches of the property.
Many thanks Karen and Bruce for a truely memorable stay, and if you are ever in the Bay of Plenty please look us up and we will do our best to return the hospitality
Warm regards Susan and Kevin

Room Tip: Musterers Cottage has everything you will need
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kevinwp10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaretuFarmstay, Owner at Karetu Downs Farmstay, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2018

Thank you so much Kevin and Susan for such a fabulous review! I have to say we also enjoyed meeting you both as well and are so happy that you had a lovely time. Karetu has so much to offer and we love it when guests get to experience what we take for granted in many ways. If we travel to the Bay of Plenty we will be sure to give you a call and catch up. Once again thank you.
Best wishes Karen & Bruce x

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Reviewed 20 October 2017

Karen and Bruce were lovely and helpful, yet unobtrusive hosts to their beautiful home. Staying in the Musterers' Room was so very comfortable and relaxing. Their hospitality on arrival was superb and it was well worth the small adventurous drive. An easy drive in and out to the wineries in the area.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank DebCox4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaretuFarmstay, Owner at Karetu Downs Farmstay, responded to this reviewResponded 21 October 2017

Thank you Deb so pleased you and Tim had a relaxing time away here at the farm. It was a pleasure to meet you both and it was great that you got to explore the vineyards in this area. Thanks so much for staying and the great review. We wish you all the very best
Regards Karen & Bruce

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Reviewed 5 September 2017

We recently stayed for only one night, and we were blown away with Karetu Downs. The accommodation is wonderful and the hosts Karen and Bruce were absolutely fantastic. This is by far the best bed and breakfast experience I have ever had and thoroughly recommend people to stay there. We had a great time feeding the lambs and calves, and the best dinner with Bruce and Karen in the evening. These two really are the perfect hosts. Thank you so much for a fabulous time 10 out of 10!

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Juliarna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaretuFarmstay, Owner at Karetu Downs Farmstay, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2017

Thank you Juliarna what a fantastic review! Both Bruce and I enjoyed meeting you and are thrilled that you both had a great time. Best wishes Karen & Bruce x

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Reviewed 14 May 2017

I was lucky to be able to snag a reservation at this place - my parents have always wanted to visit and stay at a Kiwi farmstay and this place couldn't get any more authentic than that. Everything about this place is amazing - the Forresters were very accommodating and made sure we enjoyed our stay here. Karen took care of our needs and made our stay comfortable, fun, and educational.

The journey to the place itself is an unforgettable one; the moment you get off the state highway you will begin to understand why some people have called New Zealand a God's own country. I wish to digress a little - if you are ever in New Zealand, please, for the sake of God get out of the cities and spend as much time as possible in the countryside. New Zealand is defined by its outdoors, and you wouldn't have enough lifetime to explore all of it.

There are plenty of things to do at the farm - you could feed the animals, take a quiet stroll, sit by the stream behind the homestead, talk to Bruce and see for yourself how sheep herding is done in real life et cetera. There was never a dull moment, and you have all the amazing sceneries to yourself. I reckon my most enjoyable moments were spent sitting outside the cottage and looking at the stars. The place is remote so there is no phone coverage, but then again why would you need any distraction anyway? Ditch the electronics, and have all the quiet moments that you need/want. There are also many vineyards and wineries around the area, so make sure you visit one or two and do some wine tasting.

The real gems of this place are the hosts themselves - they were willing to open their place up to outsiders and made us felt right at home. You could tell how much effort that they have put into making their homes as homey as possible. The pet animals themselves are immensely entertaining - there's Barney the donkey, two pigs whose names I have forgotten, Mary the dog and a few other shepherd dogs. The shepherd dogs truly fit the 'loyal' and 'hard working' stereotype, and are equally friendly with visitors.

I couldn't recommend this place enough - the Forresters have earned a special place in our hearts, and we will be sure to come back again for a longer stay the next time we are in NZ.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaretuFarmstay, Owner at Karetu Downs Farmstay, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2017

Dear Charles,
Thank you so much for such a wonderful review. Bruce and I really do enjoy meeting people and love showing guests around our farm and introducing them to our farm animals. We are particularly pleased and delighted that you enjoyed meeting us and exploring our farm. You guys were awesome. We love showing overseas guests around our little peace of paradise. Sharing our home and kiwi lifestyle enables us to meet some wonderful friends along the way. Charles you and your mum and dad definitely have a special place in our hearts as well.
Karen & Bruce xx

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Reviewed 23 February 2017

We never ended up staying at this property, cancelling at 24 hours notice. The day before we were due to arrive, we ended up leaving other accommodation at a nearby vineyard as it wasn't up to scratch (and that is being polite). We ended up driving to Christchurch airport and catching a plane to Auckland and staying there for 2 nights. I contacted Keratu whilst I was sitting at the airport and informed them of our decision. Karen was very sympathetic. I expected to be charged for our night's accommodation at Keratu but when we returned home we received an email to inform us that Keratu was not charging us. That says a lot about the integrity and decency of Karen and her husband. Other operators in the region, including one at a vineyard at Waipara should take note of the professionalism of other B&B operators in the region - they might just learn something. Karen, your kindness was much appreciated.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Thank Waltercorgi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaretuFarmstay, Owner at Karetu Downs Farmstay, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2017

Thank you very much for this review. It is always unfortunate to hear reports from guests who have found some accommodation providers substandard. The B&B association to which we at Karetu Downs are members works hard to monitor and advise accommodation providers. If you see B&B association NZ advertised on websites you can be assured that these accommodation providers will have been given education and assistance for acheiving and maintaining goals in professionalism and good practice.
While we can never guarantee a property the display of the B&B association emblem is good indication that these providers will try very hard to achieve quality and the best possible experience for our guests.

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