Parked up in front of the barn we could see the horses in the paddock, black and white fluffy chickens scratching around, the aviary full of birds, and the family dogs wandering around. One of the cockatiels took quite a liking to Robin, and flew over to make his acquaintance.
I rushed out with my camera as the manager, Nick van der Sande, brought the first two of a team of four out from the paddock, to place in the stables, ready to hitch up to wagon. He stopped and chatted with us as we admired these beautiful animals.
The Tack Room was packed full of all sorts of necessary items to run a horse business. Harnesses, bridles, collars, and a large assortment of horse shoes, as well of a collections of ribbons awarded at shows.
The settlement was founded in 1864 when, at the end of the Waikato Land War, Maori land was confiscated forcing the local Maori to retreat to the King Country. Pirongia, or Alexandra as it was called then, was one of a number of military settlements set up to defend the confiscation line. The extinct volcano Mount Pirongia looks down over the town. At 959 metres it is the highest peak in the Waikato region, and is popular with hunters and trampers. We will definitely have to have a return trip to this town, and plan a visit for when the on-site cafe is open.