Mangaweka is a township on State Highway One with a population of over 200. It is between Taihape to the north and Hunterville to the south. The township is interesting not only for the visually interesting historic main street, but also because of its growing artists’ community. The main street is preserved in its original state due to SH1 being re-located in the early 1980s. This tore the heart out of the township as the main street became redundant, but this is what makes the township such a tourist attraction today, with many people stopping to take photographs and visit the flourishing art galleries.
Other features in the township are a cafe in an elevated DC-3 aircraft, a busy river rafting centre, fishing, and walks along the former North Island Main Trunk railway line and tunnels, replaced by a deviation in 1981. The town also hosts the controversial annual “Fakes & Forgeries Art Exhibition and Festival” in October and November. Other major features close to the town include some of the country’s biggest railway viaducts, and the enormous Papa cliffs that follow the Rangitikei River canyon, providing the setting for the southern hemisphere’s highest flying fox and bungy jump.
A warm welcome awaits you at Cherry Cottage and Mangaweka, from your host Dickie. A quaint country cottage in the increasingly popular rural township of Mangaweka, Cherry Cottage offers Bed & Continental Breakfast style homestay accommodation. It is located just an hour south of the Mt Ruapehu Ski Fields, two hours from Taupo, an hour north of Wanganui, and just an hour west of Palmerston North. Cherry Cottage is also just ten minutes from the very popular Vinegar Hill Campground, famous for its week long “New Years Gay” celebrations, which grow bigger and bolder by the year! The Cottage has a comfortable Lounge and separate Dining Room, with a fantastic warm log burner. There is a TV/Video, with play-station, stereo and loud speakers with CD player, tapes, radio, and even an old vinyl turn table!
There is a Full Kitchen for guest use at any time. (Evening meals, with wine, at an extra cost, can be arranged at most times if required). Continental breakfast is included and complimentary coffee/tea/juice are available at anytime. Cherry Cottage offers a fantastic rural out-look immediately to the rear of the cottage, looking towards the river canyon, with sheep, chickens, horses, and sometimes even a goat. Cherry Cottage is a smoke-free indoor environment, though smokers will find plenty of room in the stunning outdoor gardens and “back yard” to enjoy a quick puff or two!
There are plenty of interesting attractions in the township including the Mangaweka Art Gallery, in an old church right next door to the cottage, which is also run and owned by your gay host Dickie. An unusual cafe in an elevated DC 3 aircraft, a friendly country pub—serving wholesome good value meals—various other nic-nac shops, and a well stocked gas station with eftpos/visa and cash facilities.
For activities there are walking tracks in reserves, and along the old railway line and disused tunnels, scenic and white water river rafting, kayak and canoeing adventures, fishing, swimming, jet boating, horse trekking, two near-by golf courses, and just a ten minute drive up the road is a frightening flying fox (claimed to be the worlds highest) and bungy jump from a bridge into the Rangitikei river canyon.
Scenes for the Lord of the Rings were filmed in this area, and the local scenery is quite stunning.
Cherry Cottage is an ideal place to lay your head for a day or two of exploring, or simply as a relaxing stop off, on the way to or from the volcanoes and ski fields.
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