Fairmead Hunting Lodge
You’ll feel right at home...
Neighbours? Not likely
Enjoy some stunning scenery...
Here are some testimonials from people who have visited Fairmead Hunting Lodge. If you would like to send us yours for us to publish here, please email it to us, we'd love to hear from you.
"Back again this time for a fallow trophy for Dave and a couple of meat deer.
Denise shot her animal on the Friday evening. Next up on the Saturday morning was Dave for his trophy hunt, he shot his deer by 7.45am. A magnificent animal with a beautiful head, a great all round trophy. The last animal down was after lunch. Jono also got a beauty meat deer.
A great weekend all round, great hospitality as always."
Denise & Dave Smyth and Jono Richards, March 2019
"Thanks very much for the great time at Fairmead, from start to finish you made everything easy and you went the extra mile to help us with getting the trophy's sorted. It was awesome that I was able to get my first Deer with yourself and James. You have a great location and even if we were not hunting it would be worth the visit for the hunting hut, food and scenery!
Once again thank you for the amazing hunting experience and I look forward to coming back."
Matt McGrath, January 2019
"I would like to thank you for an amazing weekend. Both Sean (my son) and myself really enjoyed the hunting experience and would like to thank both yourself and James for guiding us and leaving us with memories that will last a lifetime."
Brett and Sean, Pukekohe, October 2018
"Animals arrived home in great condition. Hanging in chiller behaving. Great weekend and was awesome to catch up with you all. Thanks for the photos have had some great feed back from them. You have a great place and a awesome business. Hope to see you again soon."
Hoggle Ridler, Hawkes Bay, Sep 2018
"Thanks again for hosting us last weekend. We all had a great time thanks to Richard, Barbara and James.
Can't wait for our next hunt and a few cold ones at Fairmead."
Dave, Footie, Jono and Tony, Pukekohe, July 2018
“Awesome hospitality, great company, the hut accommodation was a treat, good times all round. Looking forward to coming back next year.”
Phil and Zane Purser, Tapanui, April 2018
“This is 7th time I have been to Fairmead but came on my own as my brother is having treatment. It is always a pleasure to come here and the hospitality is great get treated like one of the family. I went out with James and managed to get 2 deer.
Have already booked for next year with my brother."
Don Brooker, Greytown, March 2018
"3 years on and we are back for another trophy. Got a very nice Ginger buck this time to put on the wall next to our Black Fallow and Arapawa Ram.
We will be back AGAIN with the little one next time to add to our New Zealand collection. This has become our place we dream of when back home working, its just perfect."
Ben & Juliette Masin, Australia, March 2018
"I booked a weekend at Fairmead as a Christmas present for my husband (aka Hogg). Richard was happy for me and our twins to come along so we followed behind as Hogg went ahead with guide James.
What an awesome weekend we had! The hut was amazing and Richard and Barb were fantastic hosts. The hunt was great fun for all of us and Hogg were stoked to get 2 beautiful fallow deer which are now in our freezer.
Great food, great company and great times. We highly recommend Richard and Barb's Fairmead Hunting Experience."
Ridler family, Napier, Feb 2018
“I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I enjoyed the weekend. You were both very hospitable and I was very comfortable and well fed which Mel was pleased about, but more so that I didn't return home from a hunting trip empty handed again.
The whole weekend experience was brilliant, being out on the hunting block with you, spending time on the range and your help with my shooting, walking the block on the Friday night and of course the hunt the next day and field dressing afterwards. James was a great guide, stalking with him and getting the right deer at the right time was good fun. He was genuinely please for me when he saw the deer go down and made sure I was comfortable throughout.
Please pass on my thanks to him, and to both of you thanks for answering my many questions. The meat is due back next week and can't wait to get it on the plate.”
Andrew, August 2017
“Fairmead hunting with Richard is highly recommended. We had a great time, I learnt more in one day than I have on 5 other trips.
Richard and Barb's hospitality is just awesome and we had a truly enjoyable and unique weekend. The Totara Ridge Hut is a must do.”
Andrew Adam, July 2017
“My son, Jj and I, attended our first hunt together with Richard & James at Fairmead.
I have hunted guided for many years, in different countries, with many different species and this experience rates easily in my top five.
Richard is a true professional and from the moment we arrived, we felt at ease in his company.
From the hospitality of the hunting hut, to stalking, getting us on the deer, to retrieval and dressing, his professionalism was evident.
I cannot recommend Fairmead highly enough whether you are a first timer, father and son or dedicated hunter.”
John Bailie, July 2017
"My wife organised my trip to Fairmead for my 30th birthday. Having been about 10 years since I'd been out for a hunt, Richard, Barb and James all contributed to make it an awesome experience that will be remembered for years to come. A great place to escape the rat race and share good yarns, good food and great hunting!"
Andy, Auckland June 2017
“Wow, what a great weekend. My second hunt with Richard and the excitement grows. We were after one specific animal so it involved a lot of searching until finally he was found. 45 minutes laying in wet long grass waiting for the right opportunity for the shot.
Guide James looked after me by talking down my excitement and ensuring I had the shot when it counted. Back to the hut for a quick coffee and cake then back out to score Glenn’s first deer.
Another long stalk and wait for the right shot. Richard and James showed great ability to get us onto the right animals in the right position.
A great afternoon and evening over a few beers with a nice Red wine to accompany the casserole. We will be back.”
Allan Gordon & Glenn West, March 2017
“My brother and I had a great weekend hunting both shooting a nice buck each for meat.
This is our 6th visit to the property and would recommend the place to any hunter. The hospitality is great and it was good to catch up with Richard, Barbara and James again. We will be back for sure.”
Don & Peter Brooker, March 2017
"We had a great trophy hunt with Richard and the team. The whole weekend was action packed without a dull moment from the minute we arrived.
The hospitality we were shown made for an enjoyable weekend, we were made to feel at home.
We all left with a great trophies, photos and memories of a fantastic hunting experience. Without a doubt a weekends hunt I will never forget . We will be back for more next year."
Jeff Meekings, Tauranga, March 2017
"I had an amazing weekend at Fairmead. Shot my first deer, as well as having great company throughout the afternoon with awesome food and service. I would love to go again sometime and have no doubt that there will be new surprises and I will have another great experience."
Thomas van Tiborg, North Shore, October 2016
"It was a great time having a go at the deer and having the experience of shooting a deer.
Thank's Richard and Barbara."
Hunter Barrow - age 8 years, Auckland, September 2016
"The Fairmead hunting experience is superb.
For an 8 year old it was to be maybe his first deer, and for his somewhat decrepit grandpa possibly his last. Both got their deer. But more importantly it was the generous company, the hut and the country that made for such an unforgettable trip.
So from Tony the cripple, Hunter 'get-in-behind' Barrow and Marty (Nan) who went there to read books in the hut but instead hunted with us every step of the way, a huge thank you to Richard, Barbara and James the walking fireball."
Tony & Marty Milne, Coromandel, September 2016
“Hi Richard, Ryan & I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend, a bit out of my comfort zone as there wasn’t a race car to be seen but you made it all very easy. Ryan is still smiling & showing pics off to all his mates.
I would recommend this experience to any one & I think it’s a special place, especially for a young persons ‘trophy shot’, cheers & thanks again to you Barb & James, oh & one-antler for the company.”
Mike Anderson, Sonic Race & Machine Ltd, Tauranga
"Without knowing what to expect on a trophy deer hunting facility I gathered up my son and 11 year old grandson and we travelled from Hastings to Fairmead at Kai Iwi hunting for meat. Travelling time about 3.5 hours with one stop.
Upon arrival tea, coffee and home-made baking were immediately available. After trying out the rifle on the shooting range, that required some serious shooting in, we were confident to shoot near where we aimed.
We then left the confines of the homestead and travelled by quad onto the hunting block and were delivered to the hut. The hut itself would require a whole chapter if writing a book. It had many comforts better than home such as the open log fireplace, but to remind us we were in a hut there was no power and the long-drop was a short walk.
Just on dark numerous deer could be seen which created immediate excitement.
Prior to dawn we were up, fed and planning our hunt. With Richard guiding assisted by James, the neighbour, it was decided Corbyn, being the youngest at 11, would have first shot. After carefully glassing several mobs of fallow deer the target was selected. As can be seen from the adjoining photo Corbyn shot his target and never was there a happier child. Stories of the great hunt are getting longer each day.
Once the first deer was field dressed, skinned and hanging in the killing shed it was time for Tim, the father of Corbyn, to shoot a deer. The pressure was on and again through the guiding of Richard and James Tim also bagged his target. The adjoining picture tells the story. After a short carry the deer was on the trailer and heading to the killing house to be skinned and hung. It was decided at this stage while the day was still young to select a third deer.
Richard promptly glassed an open area and the third target for the day was selected. Peter, the grandfather of Corbyn, and father of Tim despatched his target and by 11am the shooting of deer was all over. A great effort to have three good sized fallow stags hanging before lunch.
After lunch we attempted to hunt rabbits but on this occasion the rabbits won. We then attempted to stalk deer with a camera to see who could get the closest camera shot. A great sport and the deer are a lot more accommodating with us walking around with a camera than a gun.
After a great evening meal, comfortable sleep and cooked breakfast on the second day we collected our deer then bid our farewells with a promise that we shall return we then travelled home. All 3 generations happy and content with a successful hunt and well cared for throughout our stay.
I recommend you book today for an experience you won’t regret."
Peter Bloor, Hastings, June 2016
Perfect for beginners as well
"As a first time hunter, I was a little worried that I would possibly struggle with the shooting or hiking etc, but it took no time at all to realise that I was in safe hands with Richard on the hunt and Barbs at the homestead. I felt very comfortable with the rifle (as I do not have my own) thanks to Richards patience, attention to detail and safety briefing. The day of the hunt was conducted very professionally and we eventually took the shot when I was ready and the conditions were perfect.
Richard has a wealth of knowledge and is more than happy to share that with you, so I left more knowledgeable about the animals and their habits. His love for his trade shines through brightly.
I stayed at the hut and it definitely rounded off a feeling of being next to nature with only the essentials. That said, the Homestead is close by in case there is a need to return.
Thanks again for an awesome weekend and I will definitely see you soon with my son, so he can also experience his first hunt."
Mark, Hawke's Bay, April 2016
"It was a much talked about experience and now the day had finally arrived. I had bugger all sleep from such excitement but I couldn't believe that the day had finally come.
As we snuck out the door with the rifle on my back I was ready to shoot my first deer. We opened the gate to the deer block and with pesky rabbits and turkeys running off we moved up to the hut. We soon spotted a brilliant trophy but we had to leave this one alone. We got up to the first ridge and there was a perfect meat animal so we snuck around the ridge towards it but by the time we got there it had gone.
We then decided to have a wee look over the other side and there were two of the meat animals that we were looking for. So we got to about 120m away and set up to take a shot at one. I was nervous but way more excited. I lay down and got comfy but it was just too fogy so we waited for about 15mins and the fog finally lifted, so just as they were moving off I took the shot. YES!! my first deer ( even before Dad ) was down with a shot straight through the top of the heart. We watched as it tumbles down the hill onto the track.
Thank you so much Richard, what a birthday present."
Mac Rivers - age 12, Whangarei, April 2016
"Wow, a couple of great days in Richards company. Superb hunting with over 3 hours of stalking to get the right animal in the right location. Great fun checking out the game with the bino’s then working out a good position for shooting from. Some serious ridges to work your way up, just don’t look down. Just the right amount of coaching from Richard, this man puts us younger hunters to shame with his fitness. Sorry we didn’t get to meet Barbara but my wife still enjoyed her chill out time while I was away hunting. Our downtime after the hunting was enjoyed by both of us chatting with Richard, we both felt as if we had known him for years. We will be back!"
Allan and Wilma Gordon
"A short time ago along with my son David and my grandson Sean I was a guest at Fairmead Fallow.
This Lodge has been developed over the past 30 years into an ideal stalking environment where the hunter is almost guaranteed success. The Lodge provides a special experience. Richard the owner, game keeper and guide ably assisted by his assistant James provide the total package. From the experienced hunter looking for a trophy to those seeking an introduction all are catered for. In our case this included three generations of the Foote family with the youngest (and best shot) 11 and the old bloke 75.
The deer were in outstanding condition as were the skins which are presently away being cured.
Thank you Richard and James for a memorable weekend. We will be back as soon as we need more venison."
"We had a fantastic weekend hunting and My brothers son (Aaron) shot his first deer. We all managed to get a nice meat animal.
Richard and Barbara really make the stay there a pleasure. This is our 5th visit to the property and already booked in next year. Saw lots of animals and the weather was great."
Don, Peter & Aaron Brooker, Greytown
Tuis, bellbirds, sing delight,
pigeons swish their capes as new.
Pungas, flowers, sway in time,
oasis 'mongst the bush and pine.
The sun swings low, oh peace that peace,
out from the cover deer appear.
A tiny hut shining bright,
a haven in the fading light.
The morning still before the sun,
the leaves, their shade, 'tween mainland sheep.
Hinds and fawns the day will come,
bucks that gather 'fore the foe.
Through toil and sweat, one man's dream,
o'er scrub and slips, exploding fence.
Cut and plant, hack and dig,
Toss and turn, heave and strain.
Fairmead, fair made,
from England's war and bonnie shore.
Through Southern schist and Southern beech,
a man, his mate, and all those deer.
Geof Edge, January 2016
"Five years ago my friend Dan and I hunted in New Zealand. At the end of January 2016 we hunted at Fairmead Hunting Lodge. Hunting in the South Island was great five years ago. But with Richard guiding us in the hunt for a Ram was a magical, mystical experience.
Only hunters who have experienced the joys and rigors of the hunt know the feeling as the Majestic Ram went tumbling down the hill after being shot. The accommodations, meals and scenery were superb. Words cannot describe the wonderful two days we spent with Richard and Barbara.
We have had many two day hunting trips in our 65 plus years. We will never forget Fairmead Hunting Lodge."
Andrew Kowalczewski, Ontario, Canada. January 2016
"Thanks Richard for making Oliver's 13th birthday wish to hunt a deer become a reality. The spectacular scenery alone made the drive from Auckland worthwhile, and we loved the Totara Hut. The memory will stay with us for quite a while and we will be back.
For any father and son looking to share their first hunting adventure together, this can't be beaten."
John and Oliver, February 2016
“A huge thank you to Richard & Barbara for a wonderful couple of days. Totara Ridge Hut has real charm: I spent ages browsing the memorabilia throughout. Wild winds and rain did nothing to detract from my stay, and thanks to Richard’s excellent guiding skills I took a fine buck for the freezer. A wonder round with the .22 in the afternoon proved great sport, with bunnies everywhere. Barbara’s scones, Richard’s hut meals and fine conversation rounded out a superb time. God willing, I will be back.”
Guy, 13 December 2015
"Hi Barb and Richard
Well…The boys came back absolutely full of it, grinning from ear to ear! they had a fabulous time, really thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were both beat last night, early nights for both!
I am not quite sure where the antlers and the skins will go yet!! Hahah! The pictures have already gone off to the UK!!
Our heartfelt thanks to you both for being such marvellous generous hosts, it’s been a weekend they will never forget and that was the aim!"
Jennie, September 2015
"Well what a fantastic weekend hunting. Being an inexperienced hunter, I really appreciated Richards expert advice and coaching. Fairmead is a safe and comfortable setting to further develop your hunting skills and Richard and Barb are fantastic hosts. Even though my weekend turned out very wet with lots of rain, Richard and Barb worked really hard to make sure I had a good time. My next adventure at Fairmead is already being planned and next time my ten year old boy will be joining me for some high quality father-son time and to learn good hunting habits from an expert. Thanks Richard and Barb - you two are fantastic hosts."
Dave Foote, June 2015
"Thanks again for a great weekend. The last of the back straps will be eaten tonight with a venison tartare to start with, it's absolutely delicious meat!.
I recently went to Fairmead for a weekend hunt with my Dad, we had a great time Richard and Barbara were great hosts. Richard is very knowledgable on all things hunting and nothing was a problem, Richards hunting lodge is a great place to stay with lots of great memorabilia inside.
They have an excellent game park there with some truly amazing animals!. I would highly recommend the Fairmead experience to anyone looking for a fun relaxing weekend, we will be back."
Regards Tim, Wellington, May 2015
"In late March my adult son and I went to Fairmead Lodge. I must say the food and company was awesome. Richard and Barbara made us feel completely welcome and at home.
Later in the evening we made the short journey to Totara Ridge Hut so we were nice and close for the next days hunt. At 6:30 am I opened the hut door to see a trophy stag less than 80 metres away. They seem to know when you’re not carrying your gun.
After breakfast we went out ready to get a deer. We must have had one lucky day as by 10:30am we had each shot a deer. One bullet each and one deer each. We were pretty chuffed.
Richard prepared the deer for transport in our car boot to the homekill and we dropped them off. We enjoyed venison sausages and the most delicious venison I have ever tasted.
A great treat and a beautiful setting."
Nigel Trewhitt, March 2015
"We couldn't think of a better place to get away from the world than here! My fiancée (Ben) and I (Juliette) had never been out of Australia before and Ben wasn't as keen as I was to go traveling. I won him over when I surprised him with a hunting trip to Fairmead in New Zealand, where Richard and Barb did not let me down on making sure he had a memorable time. Ben has a passion for hunting and has always wanted a deer to put on the wall.
He defiantly wasn't disappointed when he shot his Fallow buck that scored 258 2/8. While he enjoyed himself shooting I got to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.
Richard and Barb where just delightful to be around and very welcoming. We will defiantly be back again very soon!"
Juliette and Ben - (Australia)
"My brother Peter and I enjoy coming to Fairmead Lodge for a hunt and this is our 4th visit here - so Richard must be doing something right! He is a pleasure to go out hunting with and it was good to catch up on things. He has done some improvements since last year with putting in a new track which makes recovery of animals easier.
It was good to go right round the top of the block to the far end which we had not seen before. We shot two nice meat animals and it was good to catch up with his neighbour (Dan) again.
Have already booked to come back next year."
Don and Peter Brooker, March 2015
Hi Richard and Barbara,
Wow, what a heck of a trophy head and at last a ranch with great trophies at a great price. It is like stepping back in time 20 years. Well done and please keep to the formula as it is working, I will score the head soon.
Just have to let someone know as I have just Douglas scored Ben's fallow and cannot get him on the phone yet so I hope you are sitting down.
It went 258 2/8ths DS. As I said, that is one hell of a head and the biggest I am sure that I have measured for S.C.I. or Douglas, you and Barbara are to be highly commended for your efforts.
The Taxidermy Shop, Marton - February 2015
"Excellent hunting trip, excellent food, excellent company we will be back again regardless the 21 hours flying time. Richard and Barbara are the most engaging and wonderful hosts. The hunting experience was world class.
The scenery is incredibly picturesque and the lodgings very comfortable. Thank you."
Robert and Lorelei (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
"Having sampled 'The Fairmead Hunting Experience' I came away impressed. Nestled in the heart of Wanganui's Back Country, Fairmead caters for a wide range of hunting interests, skill levels and ambitions, in a controlled environment and amidst beautiful rugged hillscapes.
Situated so that it has a commanding view of the hunting grounds is Totara Ridge Hut, an iconic replica of an old mountain hut, which exudes ambience, character and charm: tilly lamps, large open log fire, deer antlers, fallow skins, hunting memorabilia and old fashioned bunks create a sense of being in the mountains and experiencing the real McCoy.
It is a target rich environment but not a walk in the park; the landscape, the animals and the stalking can be as challenging as you want to make it and Richard is one of the most relaxed and enjoyable guides I've had the pleasure to hunt with. I secured two meat animals after thrilling and challenging stalks, and enjoyed photographing many more.
For those new to hunting, those who are time poor and want to be assured of a great hunt with certainty of meat for the freezer, those who want an introduction to trophy hunting or for father/son - daughter combos, this really is as close to the perfect operation that I have seen, and the hospitality is second to none. I highly recommend it."
"Thank you Richard and Barbara for making our introduction to hunting an absolutely fantastic experience. The stunning farm, rustic hut and awesome hospitality made this a weekend hard to beat. We all learned so much and came back far richer for the experience.
Thanks again Richard. We will be back."
Karin, Troy and boys
"My Fiance Owen and I didn't know what to expect on the 4 hour drive to Fairmead. We had read the Testimonials and enjoyed looking at the photos. Owen an experienced Hunter had our Pack packed and said we didn't have to take a thing!! All I had to do was pack a change of clothes. We new we were near when we saw a couple of deer grazing in the hills. The land was not flat, it had high hills, gully's, bush it all looked awesome, little did I know that was going to later burn a memory in my head.
As expected we were warmly greeted by Richard but alas no Barb, I was looking forward to meeting Barbara but was happy to hear she was enjoying a weekend away with Bruce...Springsteen!! We had a hot drink and a yummy slice of date loaf then threw the pack on the bike and headed to the hut. I thought we would have been walking into bush with our pack. First impression of the hut was amazing. So big, new, clean, loved all the collectible items that reminded us of home, family and became the start of many stories and it had a long drop!! Richard casually asked if we would like to go for a walk. I stayed behind Owen and Richard, kept very quiet and within 2 mins I poked my head over a bank to see a young deer, then another and another. I froze, they froze I learned quickly I was going to be playing freeze and have staring competitions all weekend. Then to see the BIG BOY's takes words away from me...Wow...I was so happy for Owen and could see and feel the excitement begin to build. On the other hand I fell in l ove with these animals and their home. I had heard over the years how hard Hunting can be, to go on trips without seeing a deer, sometimes hearing them, sometimes not. Within 30 mins we saw more and more groups of deer's and stag's and Owen had spotted the management buck that would be coming home with us.
Had dinner with Richard then he left us to have pudding by the fire. Owen didn't sleep much. Up early for a quick breakfast then away on daylight. We saw lots of deer and stag. Owen and Richard were well ahead of me and walked straight past a Stag sitting in the Reeds, I was so far back trying to yell with a whisper and got it on video. Looking back I so wish they shot that one. We then spent many hours going up and down and up and down, to me very steep mountains. Owen and Richard casually walked through them I was clinging to the land like a opossum to a tree...but I was really loving it! Owen said: Hunter to Hunter, Richard is a great Hunter. Great Stalk, put him onto numerous shootable Stags.
We had walked (sometimes crawled) nearly the whole property and headed home for lunch. 2 cups of Tea later we were off.
As I put on my wet socks I jokingly told both men I'm staying on the track this time. So before we set out we sat on a seat under a tree by the hut and for 20 mins watched many deer and stags. This was a different hunt! " Nek minit"
Owens on the ground and BOOOOMMM. Just like that the hunt was over. I thought these 2 had been playing with me all morning. Richard was so kind and patient the whole time. We found our prize, a nice Fallow Management Buck, got nice pictures.
Richard gutted him, hung him and the next day broke him down. I was over impressed with Richard's work ethics. The property is immaculate. He is still so strong, fast, fit and yet such a humble man that is happy to open up his life and share his knowledge and experiences. Thank you Richard, this was my first Hunting experience I will never forget. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. We too will be coming back and look forward to seeing you and Barbara soon."
Kim and Owen
"Thank you for an enjoyable weekend, this being our 3rd visit. It is a pleasure going out for a hunt with you and this year the animals were in excellent condition and we both shot a Spiker for meat. We both enjoyed the Saturday night meal you cooked and we were rather spoilt with the dessert, and the company of your neighbours made the evening. We saw a lot of animals and was good to see some of the big bucks you have. As we said to you we will be back next year."
Don & Peter Brooker, Greytown
"Jamie, his son Anthony (aged 8) and I were welcomed back like old friends by Richard and Barbara, for our second stay at Fairmead Lodge. We quickly settled into the hut after a filling meal and a couple of cold refreshments, ready for an early start the next day. We planned to take 4 animals so Dan, Richard's neighbour, arrived before 6am to assist with the hunt. By midday I had bagged two meat animals and with Dan's help, had them safely hanging in the killing shed.
After a satisfying lunch we all headed back out. Anthony was able to shoot his first deer. He was very happy with the fact that his animal had longer horns than mine. Well done Anthony! Day 2 and Jamie and Richard headed out to find an impressive management buck while Anthony and I cleaned up a few rabbits. By lunchtime we had a total of four deer hanging in the shed. Later that afternoon Jamie scored a great Arapawa Trophy ram. After the two successful days hunting, Barbara invited us to the lodge for tea where she did her best to fatten us up . We left Sunday morning very happy, with full chillybins, full stomachs and a booking already made for next year."
Phil McKain, Waiwera
"My Dad, Uncle Phil and I went and stayed at the Totara Hut for our second time on Thursday 20th Feb 14’ and we stayed for 3 nights. Over the Friday and Saturday between the three of us we shot 1 Management Buck, 3 spikers, a Arawapa Ram, 3 rabbits and a Turkey (a mercy kill). I shot my first deer, a Fallow spiker with my Dads 7mm o8, I was pretty nervous but I took my time and hit it with a clean shot right in the chest and it didn’t know what hit it! It was a cool feeling to show my friends pictures at school.
My dad and I are going to do the head as a European mount and are going to tan the skin so I can put it on the wall. Richards a good cook and we had my favourite venison stew for dinner on the Friday night, Barbara's a good cook too, she made us a yummy Corned Silverside and a Pavlova with ice-cream for dessert on Sat night.
I like staying in the hut; it has no power and a long drop toilet which is pretty cool. Sunday morning we helped Richard break down the deer we shot and came home with 2 big chilly bins full of venison which made my mum very happy.
We have booked another trip for next year and I can’t wait to get back again!"
Anthony Eden aged 8, Auckland
"As a family we joined Richard & Barbara for a couple of nights at Fairmead Lodge.
We were made to feel so welcome really enjoyed staying at the Totara Ridge Hut. My wife and children loved the 'kiwi experience' and also Richard's cooking.
I got to go on a hunt and secured a a beautiful Fallow deer. My first too. Richard prepared it for us, and now we have some prime venison! It was an awesome time for all of us and we feel more like good friends, not just customers.
To anyone looking for an affordable hunt with a top bloke, this is it! The scenery, accommodation and company is great. Whether you are an experienced hunter or not, you will have a really relaxing and enjoyable time.
We would highly recommend the Fairmead Lodge experience to anyone. You won't be disappointed!
Thanks again Richard and Barbara!!"
The van Veen family. December 2013.
"I had my first successful hunting experience with my dad at Fairmead out the back of Wanganui. Richard and Barbara were very welcoming and friendly.
I got to shoot my first fallow stag. My favorite part of the hunt was being able to sneak up on the deer by rolling through the grass and climbing up the the swampy hills. We got to sleep in a nice and cozy real farm hut.
Richard had great guiding experience which made the hunt so much better for me as I had never hunted before. Richard and Barbara put on a great feast with the best venison casserole I have ever had.
I had a wonderful weekend and will definitely be coming back as I had a great experience."
Aneeka Craig, age 11 Kapiti Coast
"Had an awesome time hunting with Richard for a Management Buck, it was a great experience.
The hunt celebrated my oldest son's 21st birthday, I wish he could be here."
Dan Baggaley, Meredith. New Hampshire - USA
"Richard and Barb.. amazing hosts for a great husband and wife hunting experience in a fabulous setting. Shooting my first spiker Fallow was made so much more exciting with Richards knowledge and guiding experience. Great food, warm and fun hosts and a great cabin made for a wonderful weekend and stunning views to enjoy when the hunting was over."
Barb & Kel, Hamilton
"I had my first successful hunting experience with my Dad at Fairmead out the back of Wanganui a few weeks ago. I was feeling excited and a little nervous at the same time.
We were meet by Richard and his wife Barb who were very welcoming and friendly. We were shown our accommodation which was very cosy, warm and a real farm hut. We were given a tour around the property and then taken back to the hut for a delicious meal.
That night Dad couldn’t sleep as he was very excited. We woke early to see the sunrise and a very good frost. We headed out by foot to start our hunt and it took a few hours to find the trophy deer that I had been waiting for. It took me a while to get my head around the fact I was about to shoot and kill my first animal. Richard was very encouraging and patient with me. I had a good shot and the deer was killed instantly, and I couldn’t of done it without the help of Richard, I shed a tear but know I did a good job and was proud of myself.
I would recommend Fairmead and hope my dad will take me back there sometime soon."
Jessica Craig, age 13, Kapiti Coast
"Myself and my dad went to the Fairmead hunting lodge for our first deer hunting experience. Fairmead was a great place for this and we both managed to get ourselves a spiker.
Richard was a great host and taught us a lot about hunting deer and preparing the meat. The facilities were great and everything we needed was provided. I would recommend Fairmead Lodge to anyone, first time and experienced hunters. I'm sure we will be back again."
Andrew Gill, Auckland
"Fairmead is a fantastic place for a father and son/daughter weekend to introduce a young one to hunting or to land yourself some top quality venison or a trophy. ﾠRichard is a very experienced hunter and outdoorsmen and does a great job guiding you onto nice animals. ﾠAll you have to do is turn up with your hunting gear and you're into it with all accommodation and meals provided. ﾠI'll be back with my son some time soon."
B. Matthews, Wellington
"I would just like to say that I had a fantastic time while staying at Fairmead. This was a wonderful birthday gift from my fiancé Becky. The fact you took the time to make up a gift certificate is also fantastic, and I have kept it as a momento. My two hunting buddies have not stopped talking about it and we definitely intend to return in the future.
The knowledge and good yarns you shared made the trip even better. You and Barb have a fantastic property and a wonderful business running. The venison was in absolute peak condition and I am really enjoying it. I wish you all the best and hope to return some time soon."
"On the weekend of the 18th March 2013, I had the pleasure of a visit to Fairmead Fallow. As an experienced NZ hunter on a bit of a mission I wasn't entirely sure what to expect...
Richard was a wonderful host and made me feel very much at home in his fine hut and excellent cooking.
He showed me around a wee bit and then later we did a hunt for a "Management Buck". Got a nice one on the deck by 10am the next day. One very satisfied hunter indeed.
Thanks Richard for making my stay at Fairmead so enjoyable."
Simon Parker, Taupo
"A recent hunt for venison at the Fairmead property of Richard and Barbara Turner turned into an opportunity to combine this with a promising trophy Fallow buck - meat hunt with horns. The deer were entering the early roar which provided the opportunity to appraise several trophy animals at a time when their venison was still of excellent quality for the table. The buck was taken in steep terrain at 130 meters with a clean kill. Field dressing, coupled with overnight draining/cooling period for the meat, and a great recovery the next AM with neighbor Dan's assistance assured good conditions for the venison.
Proper butchering was handled by Richard, and the great quality of this trophy's antlers are shown in the photo.
Fallow spiker meat animals are certainly present, but much smaller than the trophy's body weight."
"This is our second hunt with Richard and as an older hunter (71yrs) and younger brother (60yrs) it is a great place to come for a hunt as we are both still reasonably fit and still enjoy the challenge of getting a deer.
Richard is an excellent host and its a pleasure to go out with him. We will be back again."
Don & Peter Brooker, Greytown
"Mark, a hunting buddy and I, were met on arrival by Richard and Barbara. After exchanges we loaded the bike trailer up with our gear and took off to Totara Ridge Hut.
What a great place, the hut was very comfortable.
After a run down on the block we grabbed our binoculars and went for a walk in the late afternoon. We came across some deer on a ridge across from us. As I have never shot a deer before it was interesting watching deer in their own environment. That night after dinner and a beer we quizzed Richard about hunting and the plan for the next day.
The stalk next day was something I will not forget. We both shot a deer for the freezer, what an exciting day.
My wife bought me this trip for my 59th birthday and it was one of the best presents I have ever had.
Thanks Richard and Barbara for a great 3 days and I will be back with my son and son-in-law as they both want to give hunting a go, what better place to start."
David Cox, Whangarei
"My two teenage boys and I spent a weekend at Fairmead Hunting Lodge.
Richard & Barbara were well organised picked us up at the airport cooked out meals. Stayed in a great hunters hut.
Richard guided our hunt and as a result the boys each shot their first fallow deer. Barbara cooked us a very nice meal at the lodge and afterwards over a few beers we went through some photo albums of Richards hunting days gone by.
Thanks Richard & Barbara for your hospitality and a fantastic weekend."
Mark, Stacey & Aaron Sampson, Loburn
"A very good game park operation with lots of acres and lots of deer. Professionally and expertly run by Richard, a one-time high country musterer and meat hunter and long time trophy hunter who is great to hunt with. Perfect for a father-son/daughter hunt or for the newbie starting out.
Richard can teach the lot, stalking, shooting, gutting and general all round hunting skills plus safe practice. If you are an older guy who wants a result without the hard work and uncertainty of public land, then this is the place for you.
Fairmead is also ideal for a quick freezer fill and if your dream of an outstanding fallow buck trophy is unfulfilled, Richard has some top class animals in the 240+ Douglas Score range."
Brendan Coe, Wellington
"We were there on our honeymoon-trip in November/ December 2012. Unfortunately the stags had already cast their antlers but anyway I wanted to go hunting while my wife went horse-riding. Barbara and Richard are very nice and organised everything (also the horse-riding) very well so it was a great pleasure to stay with them. They are great hosts and our stay felt more like meeting friends than being on an organized trip.
Richard is a very skilled hunting-Guide and we enjoyed the hunt for a fallow spiker and a strong Arapawa ram very much. We slept in the Musterer's hut where it was so relaxing to sit in front of the big fireplace and have our dinner cooked on it.
Afterwards we had interesting talks about the hunt today and how it was in former times.
Richard can tell really interesting stories about deer or tahr hunting in the Outback (which he also can organise). On the next day we did some claybird-shooting with Richard what was really fun! When we had to leave he had already phoned the taxidemist who prepared the Arapawa's head and sent it home to Germany where it finally arrived 3 weeks ago. For us it was one of the most beautiful events of our trip to New Zealand. We got in contact with locals and had the opportunity to enjoy a real authentic hunt. When we return to New Zealand we will certainly be back to Fairmead! Thank you Barb and Richard."
Yours Michael and Katrin from Germany
"Thanks for a great weekend! From the time my son Alistair and myself arrived Richard and Barb looked after us. It was a great experience for us as we had not shot deer before.
Richard went through all the steps necessary for us to successfully stalk a deer each, as well as answering all our questions. The actual stalk and taking the shot was one of the most exciting things I think I've ever done! It was great. All the food was provided so we only needed to turn up. Then we came away on Sunday with two dressed deer, ready for the butcher to do his stuff. I would recommend this weekend experience to anyone, especially if you want an exciting and rewarding couple of days in the peace and quiet of the bush.
Thanks again, we both really enjoyed it......can't wait to get our own rifles and get out there again!"
"Fairmead Hunting Lodge is a great place for a young teenager to have a first go at hunting. Barbara and Richard are great people and a lot of fun. I felt Richard was very qualified to give a first safe and fun hunting experience."
"I am a 15 year old male and I highly enjoyed the experience. The lodge is a great place to relax and the hunting hut is really traditioal with no power, but great resources. Richard is a very experienced hunter who will ensure your safety, as well as getting you close enough to an animal to shoot. I would love to do this again and I would definitely choose Richard's business."
Richard and Barbara are tremendous hosts. They are fun, have great senses of humour and went out of their way to ensure our family of 4 had a positive, safe and 'back to basics' experience. The hunters hut is extremely authentic with the open fire, camp cooking, bunk beds and stunning sunsets making it extremely memorable.
Tracey & Paul
"As an older hunter my brother and I enjoyed the weekend staying in the hut, this bought back lots of memories of staying in huts.
Richard is a great host and has a lot of knowledge of his animals and we were fortunate to get two nice meat animals for the freezer.
I would recommend the place to others wanting a great weekend away, we will be back."
Don & Peter Brooker, Greytown
"My 13 year old son & I stayed at Fairmead for a successful meat hunt.
I have spent some time in the Canterbury & North Otago high country, and the hut is absolutely authentic.
Nothing beats sitting in front of the huge fireplace or watching deer from the porch.
As my son said “it beats TV or Xbox”
Thanks Richard, and the box of venison was great too."
Fairmead Fallow Experience
"I was highly impressed with the unique hunting experience at Fairmead Fallow, and the iconic Totara Ridge Hut which has many attributes and interesting features. The views are magnificent, the surroundings tranquil, and the opportunity to enjoy some ‘Back Country Time Out’ must suit all ages.
The hunting has some physical challenges which make the experience exciting, and with the security and professional guidance, and the genuine hospitality which Richard and Barbara provide, this is a truly memorable adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and would definitely recommend Fairmead Fallow."