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“Beautiful, tranquil cottage, with a fascinating history"

Our romantic outdoor bath wth river views

FREE Farm tour! Bookings 4 days or more 

Double outdoor bath


Our Riverside Cabin Dream

Built on land used to film The Hobbit, I've (Trudy) combined 30 years of design experience with a stunning location to make your stay incredibly special. 100's of hours of planning have gone into creating an affordable luxury stay that we are immensely proud of and we're excited to share it with you.


Fish for trout, swim or kayak in the stream, take in the beauty of a waterfall walk, cycle the Timber Trail, visit Waitomo Caves, play golf, experience an amazing sunset on the West Coast beaches, drive 15 mins to the highly recommended Fat Pigeon café or experience one of many other adventures - all from this luxury escape.

It is easy. 

Then - on your return, just flick on the tap to run a bath, no fires to light, just sit back and immerse yourself in nature. 

Us & River Run-The Farm

Ripples opened in July 2020 on our third-generation sheep and beef farm River Run, situated in the heart of the stunning Mangaotaki Valley. So you may hear in the distance the sounds of farm dogs working sheep or spot Brendan or Graeme riding along farm tracks, moving stock.

During our farm tours, you will be able to witness breathtaking views of our private farmland that is not accessible to the general public. You will be able to see our beautiful ponds, waterfalls, and craggy bluffs. On a clear day, you will be able to enjoy stunning views of Mt. Ruapehu. Please note that our farm tours are only available when you book 4 days or more and are at limited times of the year.

 We farm 870Ha of steep to rolling hill country and have 3600 ewes, 5000 lambs in spring and 300 head of cattle. Every year we plant 100's of native trees to keep our farm sustainable for future generations, they help to retain our soils, provide shelter for our stock, improve the water quality and also add to the aesthetic quality of our land. 

"The Farm tour at Ripples was a highlight of our NZ Honeymoon"

Exclusive farm views at Ripples Retreat  Green rolling hills with claer blue sky

"Our family farm, River Run, boasts stunning views of lakes, bluffs, and waterfalls, making it a truly picturesque location."

Misty Sunrise Panoramic views of Mt Ruapehu and the central plateau . Waikato farm above the farm  near Piopio in Waitomo Waikato New Zealand Ripples Retreat

From the top of our farm above Ripples Retreat, you can see stunning views of the Majestic Mangaotaki Valley and Mt Ruapehu.

Sheep on sunset at Ripples Retreat

"As the sun sets, the freshly shorn sheep are on their way back to their paddock."

Our beautiful Family Farm: River Run

We are excited to offer FREE farm tours for our guests who book a stay of 4 days or more at Ripples Retreat. The panoramic photos above showcase the beautiful views and experiences that await you during your stay. Our farm is private and exclusive, and the tour will not be available to the general public. We will coordinate with you to find a convenient time for the tour that works for both of us, and we will do our best to schedule it around the weather.

We look forward to welcoming you to our farm and sharing this unique experience with you.

*Availability is limited to certain times of the year.

Hobbit Film & Other Filming History

The cabin is set on the spot where Gandalf's caravan was parked for the filming of The 1st Hobbit Movie (An Unexpected Journey) in 2011. For 10 days the paddocks surrounding Ripples were transformed into a village of 500 people, 100's of cars trucks and marques. It was an exciting time and we have been lucky enough to have other various film crews on the farm, including an ad for the Super bowl in 2017. 

Some of the best stargazing in New Zealand. 

The night sky at Ripples Retreat is absolutely breathtaking!

It is located in a rare area of the North Island where the skies are incredibly clear, comparable to the likes of Tekapo in the South Island. It is also the closest area with clear skies to Auckland and Hamilton. It is one of the best places in the North Island to view the Milky Way and on those clear moonlit nights when you cannot see the Milkyway there's always multitudes of stars and satellite trains.

Best Days to view the Milkyway at Ripples

April 6th from 22:09 until April 13th from 20:41 for up to 9 hours
May 4th from 19:18 until May 13th from 19:02 for up to 11 hours
June 1st from 18:55pm until June 15th from 18:53 for up to 11.5 hours 

June 29th from 18:56 until July 13th from 19:04 for up to 11.5hours
Check back here for July 2024 onwards or message me and I can let you know what you could see on dates later in the year.


Located on the banks of the picturesque Mangaotaki River, Ripples provides an excellent opportunity for fishing enthusiasts. You can fish directly from the front lawn of our property, and you'll find plenty of Rainbow and Brown trout suitable for both fly and spinners, in the river. Our fishing season runs from October to June, but if you travel just five minutes downriver, you can fish all year round. Additionally, our guests have exclusive access to the Taumangahau stream that flows through our farm. You'll hardly see any other angler in this serene location, yet there's plenty of fish.

New Zealand trout fishing from Ripple Retreat's lawn
Fishing for Rainbow and Brown Trout on the Mangaotaki River at Ripples Retreat in North Island New Zealand

Our Ammenities

Stunning farmland views

& Stargazing

complimentary Honey & herb garden

Line drawing farm scene of Ripples Retreat
Herb garden at Ripples Retreat
Double shower
Double shower
Outdoor bath

Outdoor bath gas hot water

Double shower



Wifi at Ripples Retreat
BBQ/ Grill at Ripples Retreat

Easy access

Easy access to a beautiufl farm stay

River swimming

Wild swimming Piopio New Zealand

Ripples has three beds: A master king four-poster bed and a double bunk bed with a single on top in a separate room. The designer kitchen is fully equipped and there is a sumptuous black bathroom with plenty of places to put things. In front of the cabin you will discover a beautiful fresh water river pool to swim in.

It has Wi-Fi over a rural wireless network, however as this is such a beautiful spot to relax in nature, you may wish to just switch off and reconnect with loved ones.  If you need a digital detox just ask us to turn the Wi-Fi off before you arrive. Cell phone reception is limited with “two bar” cellphone reception on the Spark and Skinny networks, other networks are a 10-minute drive away.

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