WHERE TO STAY IN Hamurana, Bay of Plenty, NEW ZEALAND

I don’t know anybody who went to New Zealand and didn’t fall in love to its vast green fields, huge juicy green mussels and lovely humble people. The country’s laid back vibe was perfect for my husband’s healing family as we gathered after a year of his brother joining the angels in heaven. For the unveiling of his tomb stone, Rotorua’s heavens cried with us but the sun never failed to shine on me. I guess I am blessed to see Rotorua both on its finest and rainy days.

I had the most unforgettable time with my in-laws, meeting some for the very first time, when I visited New Zealand last March. My husband had thought of a fun itinerary with lots of games, dancing and playing that will involve every body in the family and this nurtured the bond among us all. It was very moving to witness how all of them took a blow from last year and slowly picked up the pieces altogether to move on and celebrate life despite the loss. Constantly, our brother Simati was with us during our stay down at Rotorua, I feel like, observing us and laughing with us from another realm. Because I know with the kind of person he is, (little maybe the time I was able to spend with him), he’s happy to see us all together down at Rotorua.

None of this would be possible if God had not led us into finding the perfect accommodation for all 30 of us (and more) and I thought it needs more than a review. Allow me to praise its site for it truly allowed us to have a memory that will last a lifetime.



DROGHEDA LODGE, at Hamurana, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, will forever be tattooed in the Toomalatai/Masoe clan’s hearts as all 30 of us had a great time down there. All the families had a nice, welcoming, very clean rooms that is spacious enough for a big Samoan family like my husband’s. With a price of NZD$799/night (HK$4,612/night), I find it very affordable and worthy.

The beds were provided with towels and a cut of home-made sample of the soap that the owner themselves make.

This is a room that could sleep a family with a nook that offers a seating area where you could read a book or just daydream.

This room is ideal for the kids because the bunk beds are quite smaller than the rest. It also provides a fun vibe because they sleep altogether. Ideal for a holiday setup.

Here is a spacious room by the basement where its 2 doors lead to the coolest places in the house, the play room and the jacuzzi and sauna rooms.

That is the door towards the jacuzzi and sauna with a breathtaking view as you wake up in the morning.

This is the room that my family got for the 4 days when we were there and it had a decent-sized shower room and a walking closet. A peek of the green fields surrounding the lodge’s perimeter was a sight I will always remember. Every time I wake up in the morning over there was rejuvenating and refreshing all at the same time.

Here’s the window in front of our bed that showcases nature at its best each time you wake up.

The interior of this bungalow mansion is superbly done that the den is the same as the receiving area right in front of the house. By definition of what a den is, the interior designer magically gives anybody that enters this den a functional yet relaxed welcome.

This is the real living room that uses sunlight through a huge window featuring a breathtaking view of the green slopes of the farm.



This is the extension of that living room, a dining area that holds 8 people.

In addition to the dining room situated behind the kitchen, another 2 sets of dining tables that may hold an extra 16 for a wonderful feast shared through the kitchen counters. And as you can see, there’s another 8 seater outdoor dining table that anybody can occupy if the indoor seats aren’t enough that much members of the clan. This served us all well because these dining tables are nearby each other which still holds the entire family together. We had just grouped the kids, the elders and/or the rest by family units in each table, giving that sense of togetherness intact.

And as I mentioned, there’s a game/activity room that holds all the board games I know of, checkers, play cards, pool table, table tennis and darts. We held the family’s talent show here as well since these tables are movable which could vacate an open space for dancing and indoor play. It’s massive and it’s functional. It’s a garage place turned activity room.

This lodge holds 3 bathrooms and a toilet room. The jacuzzi is easy to use, washing machines are available as well, there’s barbecue grill ready to use, just buy the coal and the question of all travelers in booking accommodations, yes, wi-fi is free. There’s no charge for extra people, you can ask for breakfast upon booking but the kitchen is packed with functional amenities, spices are also available, no problem at all with the utensils because it basically has more than 30 pairs there to use. Just buy eggs, stock the fridge with meat, sausages, fruits, vegetables and if you’re a rice eater, buy it too so that you don’t need to go out and this way, it’s cheaper. I also know that when you go on a holiday with the entire family, the least that you want is to deal with the dishes. I wouldn’t want to deal with it myself. Guess what? They have an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art dishwasher. They have a multi-functional indoor cooker and a slow-cooking one. If these images alone don’t attract you, here’s the greatest ace I have for you.

Enjoying the view…

Yes, alpacas, sheep, chickens and cats are everywhere and you may feed them. They are totally safe but they are instagram worthy to document your trip at its finest. In addition, it is a serene place like no other. Weekly rates give you 15% off and 30% off on monthly bookings. All you have to think about in coming down to the Drogheda Lodge is a car, a keen eye in finding the sign towards the house (since it needs you to go in a certain road) and the food to stock for a week because you would not be wanting to go out once you get settled in.

We booked this house via www.airbnb.com

and help me give you more reviews and recommendations by listing me down as a referer for your booking.

In behalf of my family, I would like to give Traci-Lee a shout out of a million thanks for allowing us to spend one of the grandest times of my life in your Drogheda Lodge. God bless you!

This was taken after the mini olympics our family had at their front lawn.

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