An interesting and quirky range of eco-friendly accommodation, set on the banks of New Zealand's Whanganui River.
  • Sleeps: Varies
  • Bedrooms: Varies
  • Bathrooms: 1 per unit
  • Minimum stay: 1 night

If you want to leave your stressful daily life far behind you for a while, this is certainly the place, as The Flying Fox can only be accessed by aerial cable car or by boat, and there is no mobile reception or televisions to be found once you’re there!

The site of an old Maori kainga (or village in English!), The Flying Fox is set on the banks of the Whanganui River and surrounded by its National Park, with regenerating native bush and stunning landscapes that will soothe and captivate your senses from the moment you arrive.

Not only will you discover everything from glamping and camping to cosy cottages – each one with its own fascinating history and constructed from local natural materials – you’ll also be instantly immersed in the breathtaking natural beauty New Zealand is known for. With such an eclectic range of welcoming accommodation to choose from, you’re sure to find something for everybody at The Flying Fox. All you need to do is decide where you’re going to rest your heads.

Reconstructed from a former barn, self-contained and sleeping up to six people in two bedrooms, the James K. Baxter Cottage is named after the famed New Zealand poet. You’ll find plenty of his poetry and authentic artefacts inside, along with recycled totara floorboards and wooden beams.

With three bedrooms, Ruru Lodge is ideal for larger groups, it features a large covered deck overlooking the river within a lush garden setting. Tip: stake your claim on the turret room, which features a scenic roof terrace!

Meanwhile, the River Boat Cottage was originally designed as a brewery for manuka beer, now restored to provide cosy comfort for a couple, or a family, this cottage comes complete with its own wood fired bush bath.

Glamping-wise, the hand-built Gypsy Cart is set on the river bank, complete with spectacular views! Screened by hazelnut trees, you can enjoy perfect seclusion amongst nature – ideal for couples.

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At a glance

  • An eco-friendly and eclectic range of rural glamping, camping and cottage accommodation suitable for couples, families and groups, located on the banks of New Zealand’s Whanganui River.
  • The site is only accessible via aerial cable car or jet boat. Fly to Palmerston North or Whanganui Airport, and hire a car for the drive to the site’s car park to access the cable car.
  • All of the accommodation is self-contained with eco-friendly facilities and toiletries provided. Communal facilities are available at the Koru Campsite, and there is also a children’s play area on site.
  • There is a shop on site for essentials, along with full catering and DIY hamper options for self-catered meals. Craft workshops can be booked on site, and there are many opportunities to explore your natural surroundings.


  • Family Friendly


There is a wide range of accommodation offered, each with its own facilities. Please see the property website for full details.

Local activities

Wildlife spotting, cycling, hiking, art galleries, canoeing, skyline walk, National Parks.

More information

Alternatively, the Blackberry Patch is set in a quiet, sunny orchard spot, and consists of a cosy trailer with views of deer grazing amongst the avocado trees. Bliss!

If you’d rather experience nature the old-fashioned way, Koru Campsite is equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities and provides plenty of space for tents. There’s a communal fire pit, covered seating and cooking facilities, along with a wood-fired bath, hot gas shower and a small children’s play area.

Finally, the newest addition at the Flying Fox is Bell Bird Corner – a luxurious 5m bell tent found in a quiet location at Koru Campsite. Give your camping experience an upgrade with a real, soft bed, a sofa and plenty of private space!

All the accommodation options are fully equipped to enable you to self-cater during your stay and a small onsite shop provides the essentials you may have forgotten. However, if you’d rather be pampered with tasty home cooked food during your stay, dinners, breakfasts and packed lunches can be ordered. There are also options for DIY food hampers where the ingredients are provided for you to cook.

There are plenty of activities available in the local area including jet boat rides, canoeing, mountain biking or tramping. Alternatively you could indulge in some on-site creativity and learn something new, with workshops including card making, felting and bone or stone carving available (you can craft a taonga (treasure) to keep as a memento of your stay). However many people just choose to simply curl up with a good book, surrounded by the delights of nature.

Things to note

The Flying Fox is a smoke free complex. Minimum 2 night stays between 21st December and 2nd February.

Where you'll be staying

Matahiwi, Manawatu

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