Our modern shepherd's hut overlooks the Hawksbury Lagoon Wildlife Refuge, a haven for birds and a peaceful escape for you. Enjoy panoramic views from your bed and from the outdoor seating areas. Walk across the lagoon to the stunning Waikouaiti beach or stoke up the little fire for a cosy evening. We'll leave you in peace but are on hand if needed. Guests have a separate private bathroom and kitchenette. Free WiFi. Plenty of parking and a campervan port too. 30 minutes drive to Dunedin.
We love to share our special spot beside the lagoon. You can bird-watch from your bed in the Bird Hide! There are often spectacular sunrises across the water too. The cosy sleeping space with curved ceiling has a queen size bed made up with luxury cotton and linen bedding. It's a replica of a shepherd's hut with modern conveniences such as power, lights and heating. The little woodburner creates a lovely atmosphere on a cold night. In warm weather you can throw open the French doors and relax in your own secluded nature retreat, nestled in the native harakeke.
The Bird Hide itself is located within the boundary of the Department of Conservation reserve, for which we have a special concession. Some of your payment goes to DoC and helps us pay for regenerative plantings. As part of this privilege of being literally amongst the wildlife we ask guests to respect the unique location and to not go beyond the Bird Hide onto the lagoon shore or disturb the wildlife in any way.
We've tried to keep the Bird Hide access quite separate from our family home so that you can come and go as you please, arriving and leaving without needing to interact with us. You share a driveway and parking area with the household but the Bird Hide access is private to you. The guest bathroom and kitchen nook are in a separate space below the main house, accessed from the Bird Hide by a short gravel pathway and fronted by your own private courtyard.
Waikouaiti is a beautiful historic area with many options for walking and exploring in and around the village and is only 30 minutes drive away from Dunedin city.
There is a network of flat causeways across the lagoon with easy walking on gravelled surfaces. You can take a lovely walk from the end of our street along the causeways to the beach (about 15 minutes). Waikouaiti beach itself is a stunning, sheltered long white beach with few visitors.
Other exploring ideas include: the historic Matanaka farm buildings of early settler Johnny Jones that overlook the ocean; the delightful St Johns Anglican church around the corner (the oldest church still in use in Otago/Southland and a filming location for the movie The Light Between Oceans); golf at the Waikouaiti golf course (visible from the Bird Hide) nearby Huriawa peninsula and Karitane beach and fishing village; Karitane Maori Waka Tours; local second-hand shops; the Coast Road drive along to Blueskin Bay and Waitati; a visit to the Moeraki boulders (30 minutes away) and further afield to Oamaru (50 minutes away).
There is a local Beach St Tavern 10 minutes walk away with dinner options or the Golden Fleece pub on the main road near the shops. The local shops are all on the Main Road (Highway One) and are 10 minutes walk away. There is a dairy for all your general needs, a bakery with delicious Beanos pies and baking, a cafe for yummy breakfasts and lunches and a fish and chip shop. In the summer months you can also enjoy wood-fired pizza from the nearby Karitane general store (5 minutes drive) and food trucks and beer at the stylish Arc Brewery in Evansdale (15 minutes drive).
There is a weekday public bus service between Waikouaiti and Dunedin, the bus stop is 5 minutes walk away from the Bird Hide. Visit the Otago Regional Council website for the timetable. However most guests will have their own transport. We have plenty of parking on the property and we even have a caravan plug by the parking area so you can plug in your campervan or charge your electric vehicle!