Chanel and Brent Griffiths, along with their daughter Frankie and dog Betty are your hosts at Kawakawa Hut.
Our Taupo story really starts at our Hut. We brought the land in early 2017 (23 bare acres) and spent the year road tripping down from Auckland on the weekends to stay on this land.
We initially camped in our trusty “Blueberry” a 11 foot 1967 Crusader caravan, however she was a fair weather gal and so come winter we started to make her a “shelter” and a place to put our tools and belongings that ended up in Taupo!
After a year of dreaming of living in Taupo. We decided to make the big move in December 2017 and subsequently found out we were expecting our first child too! Not quite part of the “plan” but we embraced it and life has just flowed for us since our move.
Brent took a year and a half off from paid work and made our Hut liveable, built a big barn, did the earthworks for our driveway and trained our Hungarian Vizsla puppy “Betty” for 8 months to be a deer indicating dog (she is now a wonderful deer hunting dog and pet!).
Chanel meanwhile worked as much as possible in her graphic design business, designed by CCC, plus grew a baby. Frankie then entered the world, caused a little drama and then Brent began the massive task of building our small passive home. Chanel and Frankie did frequent “building inspections” and Grant (Chanel’s dad) joined the work force as a very capable apprentice. We finally moved into the house in June 2019.
Brent then went back to the “real world” and got himself an engineering job in town. At the beginning of 2020, we did up the Hut further so she was ready to share with our guests, family and friends.
Guests have been enjoying staying in the hut for over 2 years now and we are amazed at how popular it has become. It is an alternative income stream that aligns perfectly with our ethos of being on the land and sharing it with others. Brent left his engineering job at the start of 2022, a move that has been on the cards for a while. We had more projects in mind by then and with world events looking rather dire it felt like the right time to focus on building a more resilient and self-sufficient lifestyle. We have since subdivided our land into 2 blocks, a bare 10 acre block for sale & our 13 acres. Brent now spends loads more time with Frankie, he helps friends and neighbours doing handyman projects and puts lots of energy into our property, especially the vegetable garden as it is our intention of being completely self-sufficient one day soon.
Looking towards 2023 we plan to begin expanding the vegetable garden to become a market garden and eventually a fully fledged permaculture farm. Our wish is to help heal the local community through access to spray free produce, to provide a place where people can visit, get grounded, find the lost respect for our soil and re-learn the skills of how to grow things and thrive with nature as our teacher. We envision `small change farm` evolving slowly and organically as our skill set broadens and we figure out what grows here and what the locals want and need. Lets see what unfolds in this space.
Looking back at the hut, we have a lot of love for it and what it has done for us. It provides cosy shelter throughout the year, hot summers, cold winters and everything else in between. We are so happy to see it being used and loved, guests making memories and enjoying our little slice of paradise. We hope you enjoy getting back to basics, it’s good for the soul, you can trust us on that.