Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Paul & Tanya at Utea

Before I bore everyone with even more of my hundreds of photos taken during my break in the north, I simply must let anyone who might plan a stay up north know about Utea Park.  

Paul and Tanya are hosts with the Far North touch.  There is nothing learned or contrived about their hospitality.  They are a humble, down to earth, hard working couple who are creating their dream to share their piece of paradise with like minded people.  Their welcome is warm and just wraps around you, so that you know they are happy you are there and enjoying what they love.

Their property sits alongside Utea Pa and takes its name from that landmark.  And it's from the top of the pa that you get the best view of what they have to offer. 

Our little cabin was beside their home (on the right of the shot).  A bit closer to the beach is what they refer to as the Club house or the Common Room with cooking facilites, showers and toilets.  And the little huts.

The Common Room can be used by anyone staying in the huts or camping in the grounds.

So, if you like a bed but don't mind sharing your cooking and bathroom facilities, these cute little huts would be ideal.

They are just big enough to hold a double bed and bunks.  All the buildings are new and built by Paul, just bring your own blankets.  Our little cabin was surprisingly warm, so I'd say the huts are too.

And the charge?  There is no charge.  Just a sign by the entry that says:

I'm not going to try to explain the meaning of the Maori custom of Koha but Wikipedia says:  From a very practical standpoint, if visitors came a calling, the host was expected to provide hospitality of food, beds in the communal sleeping hall and appropriate attention and honours – something that could be difficult in lean times when food was scarce, so a visiting party might offer food as Koha.  So Paul and Tanya offer shelter to anyone who seeks it but if the recipient of their hospitality had something to offer to repay them for their kindness, they would accept it.  Paul told us when we met him last year that they appreciated native plants as Koha so that was what we took.

They don't advertise their park anywhere, no website, just a phone number.  Perhaps one day they will become more commercial but I hope not.   Word will spread amongst those who love places like this - I know it!

taking it easy at the top of the pa


  1. What a gift this place is. I knew I wasn't in the US when you said that there was no fee for staying there.
    The Maori custom of Koha is rare here.
    This is truly a beautiful place with beautiful people running it. Would love to visit.

  2. What a fantastic concept. Beautiful area too!

  3. How wonderful is that.

    And the last photo sums it all up. I must try one like that myself.

  4. How it keeps it non-advertising status. Folks so need a place like that.

  5. This is a wonderful example of the good things of New Zealand.

  6. Stayed there about ten days ago. Great place; great people. Peaceful. Greta place to relax after tramping down 90 mile beach. A special 'hi' to Steve, too (Maori guy).


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