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- For a beautifully peaceful farm stay retreat near Christchurch, NZ, Eyre View Retreat is an excellent, and highly rated, choice. The farm sits on the Canterbury plains just west of the city, has lovely, clear, mountain views, and a slow, relaxed atmosphere that is infectious to the visitor. THE ACCOMMODATION: The accommodation on the farm is a cosy cottage/chalet, near the main farmhouse, with two bedrooms (one with queen size bed, the other with two singles), a lounge, kitchenette, dining room and bathroom. Outside the door there is a nice veranda area with seating and views over the fields and the distant mountains. There is also WiFi at the cottage plus a flat screen satellite TV, mini HiFi & DVD player. You’ll find the owners very friendly and helpful without being intrusive. Though the accommodation is self catering they also provide a very good continental breakfast in the morning which includes some of their very own fresh home baked bread. THE FARM: The farm has a number of animals; alpacas, cattle, horses and ponies, all of which are pretty friendly and well used to strangers. You can take the alpacas and ponies for a walk around the farm if you wish, and you can arrange horse riding lessons in the local area, as well as guided horse treks. THE LOCATION: Though near to the charming city of Canterbury, the South Island’s largest city, Eyre Retreat and its surroundings are a rural idyll where the stars shine brightly at night and there is barely a sound to be heard. You can wander the farm then maybe take a walk through the Eyrewell Forest just behind, and there are also lots of tours and trips that you can organize from the farm: Horse riding treks, as mentioned above or wine tasting tours of the nearby Waipara vineyards for example. There are a few nice historic villages around too, with the nearby village of Cust being a good place for a leisurely day out. There are beaches too, ski resorts and some fabulous hiking towards the Southern Alps; places like the Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park, Cragieburn and, slightly farther afield, the very spectacular Arthur’s READ MORE