Over the years, we have noticed guests have similar questions about their stay and the local area and we always try to answer them to the best of our ability. There is a file in the B&B that answers most key questions. To assist you as you plan your stay, several are listed here. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please contact us – Our goal is to answer all questions and to personalise your visit as much as possible.
1/ How far is Bush Sand and Sea B&B from Auckland’s CBD?
We are 48km from the airport and about 45km to the CBD of Auckland. The closest station is at Swanson, a 12 minute drive from here. see train link Trains: www.maxx.co.nz. The 45 minute train ride ends at Britomart station, right in the CBD of Auckland with it’s waterfront access to the Waitemata Harbour and islands. This is an easy way to access the city and avoid traffic!
2/ Can you recommend a Car Hire Company?
Yes! There are many to choose from at the airport, but I specially recommend Wendekreisen Travel Ltd, (our neighbours and friends, a family Biz.) Good old hands, experienced in both camper vans and cars. www.wendekreisen.co.nz. There is also a direct booking button on our site on the Payments page.
3/ Can you provide us with driving from our previous destination?
Yes! Our GPS co-ordinates are E2642059 N6479566, and if you tell me your starting point (eg. North of Akl, South of Akl, International Airport), I can send a specific set of directions.
4/ What can we do at your place?
Our private 10 acres is within the tropical rain forest of West Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges. Take a quiet walk around our property and with no need to get into your car again. We have about 1km of developed track which heads down our land to a small stream then up the other side of the valley (viewing seat to rest on). The walk is a mix of metalled track and boardwalk and has 3 bridges. Coming back up the hill can be more leisurely or used as an aerobic exercise! In the evening, take the torches, wrap up warmly and visit the glow worms at the stream edges. Stay still for a while, enjoy the sounds of the night bush, the bubbling stream, and become as one with nature.
- Guest feedback: 27/4/2010, I wanted to say thanks for such a lovely place to stay. We were simply spellbound by your nature walk. It was absolutely beautiful and as Engineers and Farmers, we can greatly appreciate the effort that has gone into developing the track and timber features. Michael and Anthea, Waiuku.
5/ Do you have a spa?
Yes, you can enjoy a welcome luxury at the end of a long day, soaking those weary bones or just relaxing in the spa under the stars.
6/ What can we do within a short drive or walk from Bush sand and Sea B&B?
As past Guests have done, you can drive 5-10 minutes to the beach or Lake Wainamu, or the nearby marshlands, or walk for about a 2 hr hike or longer, without getting into a car.
The Waitakere Ranges are a great place to either meander along short walks or engage in a more serious trek. They are ancient remnants of 4 volcanic eruptions off the west coast, so provide a wealth of interest and history. Alan, is a Geologist and Environmental Manager, a handy source of information which he is happy to share with anyone who asks.
- We have a good selection of Guidebooks, maps, etc. Let us know your level of fitness, we can advise and direct you to suitable links. Also the Arataki Information Centre, a great resource, is only a 25min drive away.
- A popular walk has been the 11/2hr circuit of neighbouring Lake Wainamu- 5 minute drive from us.
7/ What can we do in the local area?
Lots! Apart from the above, we have many ideas and suggestions. We can advise once we know what you are interested in.
8/ Can you send more specific information for the above?
I am not an expert, but can direct you to the appropriate source, like Arataki information Centre. But, I do have a wealth of ‘local knowledge’ and this can be very helpful. So Yes! I am happy to send specific documents of information. Eg. bird lovers, nature, etc.
9/ We live overseas, how do we pay?
You could just pay us in NZ cash when you arrive, or you can pay online through Paypal using your credit card. We are on many sites, and some, like Expedia or Airbnb collect payment and pass on after you arrive. If you decide on Paypal, I need your full address and you need a Paypal acct. which is easy and free to set up! The exchange rate of the day is used, and I just email you once we agree payment date.
10/ How long will it take to get to our next destination after we leave you?
This link is useful in deciding distances: http://maps.google.co.nz/ in top search bar put: 26 te aute ridge rd, bethells beach, auckland 0781, new zealand (this becomes “A”); then your next destination address in “B” ; select ‘get directions’ and you get detailed directions and a total km and time, for example, Waitomo Caves Road, Hangatiki, Waikato option of 2 routes, about 3hr trip.
11/ Can you show us Bethells beach?
Yes, here’s a video to show you our area, http://flyinlow.co.nz/aerial-video/
12/ Will we have privacy in the B&B?
We want some privacy! Here’s a video just to show that, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2slqKNY2MFg&feature=youtu.be
We live on the property, the buildings are attached with no internal access! We like our privacy too! We are used to engaging or leaving Guests completely alone, it’s their choice.
11/ We fly in late, can you help with shopping?
Yes! I can do an initial grocery shop, (if you send me a list at least 1 week before you arrive). Just a few basics means you can settle in easily to recover from the journey!
12/ Where are the closest shops?
Just a 15 minute drive: our local Butcher, 2 corner shops (we call them Dairys), chemist, liquor store, cafes, petrol station, eft pos machine, train station.
13/ Can we have an early arrival or late leave?
Yes! Normally ETA is 3pm unless otherwise arranged, earlier may be possible, but always depends on other bookings. Late arrival is treated the same way. For very early arrivals, we are able to use space in our own home for Travellers to rest until the Unit is available.
14/ What is Jim’s café?
This is a very special ‘locals’ secret. Jim’s cafe is open at the beach, during daylight hours most weekends, cancelled if wet. They have nice wedges, burgers, coffee, cakes but do not have eftpos facilities- so you need cash. They open Friday evenings in the summer, with live music playing, and to see if still on, or for details about the music for that night, http://www.facebook.com/TheBethellsCafe. In return, they ask that you buy your dinner from them, and pay a koha (gold coin donation) for the musicians.
15/ You are a single bedroomed unit, can more people stay?
Yes! We have a comfortable Queen sized Sofa bed in the lounge, with a great view into the bush. If this is not suitable, we have a room upstairs in our house, (no ensuite) with a king size which is also available at a lesser price. (We had 6-8 German Guests here over Xmas and they celebrated a great wedding of one of the couples)! On 10 acres, there is plenty of space to share and find a quiet spot if you want it!
16/ What is available if we just want to relax?
We have 2 wonderful masseuses just down the road- heavenly after a long flight or long walk. Both are highly recommended, I can give details on request and assist in booking appointments. Aromatherapy and Reiki are also possible.
17/ I want to walk the Hilary Trail a more comfortable way!
I want a decent bed, and spa each night and don’t want to carry all my gear. Can you help? Yes! Alan and I, at Bush Sand and Sea B&B, in co-operation with Keith and Ann of Lone Kauri Lodge at Karekare, will be happy to help. Depending on your proposed walk we will put together a package to suit your needs – just let us know which sections of the Hillary Trail you want to walk or how many days you would like to spend on the trail and we will do the rest. Email or phone for more information.
18/ What is Ark in the Park?
This valuable resource is a 10 minute drive from here, and is an area within the Cascades Centennial Park. The “ark” itself is an area drawn on a map, and whilst it has no predator fences, it is intensively pest control monitored. Several species missing for 50 to 100 years have been successfully released and are breeding now. Ark in the Park is a partnership between Forest & Bird and Auckland Council, supported by te Kawerau a Maki. It aims to create an open sanctuary in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, and return many of the species that once were found here. Ark volunteer takes kids on an educational tour around the park. They control of plant and animal pests and have reintroduced native species including North Island robins, kokako and whiteheads. It has a number of well sign posted walks, catering for differing levels of fitness.
19/ Are there good places to dine out near you, if we don’t feel like cooking?
Yes! I can provide a list on request.
20/ What about Vineyards?
Yes! I can provide a list on request and there are pamphlets of the many local vineyards in the Unit.
21/ Can you cater for wedding groups?
Yes! They need special care and attention and I engage carefully with the couples to accommodate their needs.
22/ Can you provide Gift Vouchers?
Yes! These are available on request and will be individualised as requested.
23/ Do you have many returning Guests?
Yes! We like these so much, we offer a further discount.
24/ Is there a golf Club near you?
Yes, a 10 minute drive away! See www.waitakeregolf.co.nz/
25/ What do you supply for breakfast and can you cook for us?
Well, for the first 2 mornings of your stay: cereal, yoghurt, jam, marmalade, honey, fresh bread (on day 1 only, 2nd loaf by request), fresh juice, milk, tea, coffee and seasonal fruit. Also, in the fridge, ingredients to cook your own breakfast- bacon, farm eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes. We based this on our own preference for when we travel, and what we liked and didn’t.
And yes! We can cook for you if you really want, and the charge is $10 per person. In 6 years, we have only been asked twice!
26/ Can you cater for vegetarians?
Yes, we give you extra mushrooms and tomatoes instead. Also, there is a shop in Swanson, open mon-fri, which caters for both vegetarians and non vegetarians. It has proved very handy for our Guests. If you give me an order 1 week in advance, I can have it here ready for you.
27/ Are there any Art Galleries nearby?