in the heart of New Zealand's Countryside


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Timber Trail Centre is a little piece of heaven in the heart of New Zealand's North Island, at the end of the famous Timber Trail Cycle Way and close to many famous adventure and tourist attractions.  The grounds are 2 hectares of gardens, orchards and grassland, flowing down to a natural spring-fed stream and a trout-filled river.  Three historic century-old buildings built of native timbers:  the Miller's Cottage (main accommodation for guests), the Old School (lounge, dining and recreation) and The Church (the oldest building in this part of NZ).  

All net revenues from the Timber Trail Centre go towards our non-profit film company (see below), through which we make videos/movies on key issues facing our precious Planet Earth.

Your hosts, Marty and Sylvie, are fluent in four languages, have lived in seven countries and worked in over thirty.  So we're right at home looking after guests from all around the world. 


During the NZ winters we generally live in Provence, France.  Apart from the Timber Trail Centre, we run a non-profit film company (www.mindfulworldfilms.com) and nature photography business (www.sacrednature.photo).

Prior to establishing the Timber Trail Centre 10 years ago, Marty worked in developing countries with the poor, as an entrepreneur (making wine, perigord truffles and olive oil) and advisor goverenments around the world on economic and other reforms.  Sylvie has worked in the health/wellness sectors for many years, run her own organics business in Cannes, France, and as a chef on luxury yachts around the Mediterranean.



You can book and pay for rooms directly on this section of the website.

Our century old Miller's Cottage has five bedrooms (all with en suites), and sleeps up to 11 guests.  There is a lounge, kitchen/dining room, laundry and veranda with small BBQ.  Guests can also enjoy our hot pool, and the dining/lounge/recreation rooms in our 110 year "Old School". 

Our NZ phone number will be operational only from 23 December 2021.  Before then, please send us an email or contact message if you have any questions, and we will respond within a day.



Food, Meals

Guests have a full (but not flashy) kitchen for their own use and provisions can be purchased in Taumarunui (20 km away).  We can also provide guests with a range of ingredients from them to prepare in the kitchen (dinner, breakfast and a pack lunch).   Details can be found on the Booking page after you've selected your room(s).

Relaxation, Swimming, subathing, beach, Petanque, Boules, Hammock
Hot Pool, Hot Tub, for 10 Guests
There are relaxation opportunities galore at the Centre - a soak in our hot tub, a game of petanque , fishing in the river on our border, a sunbathe by the awesome 70 m long swimming hole nearby........and of course you could do absolutely nothing, in one of our hammocks.
Cars and Parking
Bicycle, Mountain Bikes, Storage

There's plenty of free and secure car parking on the property, as well as a room for bike storage.  We can help with bicycle hire/transport, and minor repairs.  There are also repair shops/car garages in nearby Taumarunui.

Stay in Touch

Mobile reception is good.  Our WIFI's free - but the reception is not always perfect, as we are in the middle of the countryside.   Try to avoid using our WIFI for downloading movies while you are with us!

Adventure Activities
We can help you book your adventure programme too - cycling, canoeing, trout fishing, jet boating, walking etc (see Blogs and See & Do pages and contact us if you'd like some help).
Yoga, Chi Gong
Inner Calm
Your hosts have been practising yoga and Chi Gong for over 20 years and you are welcome to join us in free classes for either.  You're also welcome to borrow a book from our extensive library on inner and outer well being.


Ongarue Countryside
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The Church
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Miller's Cottage & Giant Ferns
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Central Space
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The Old School House
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School House Lounge/Dining Room
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Breakfast Room (Church)
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Church Sitting Room
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Petanque Court
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(for lots  more information on each of activity below, see our Blog page)

(Timber Trail Cycleway)

A spectacular ride, just next door, through beautiful forests and across a 140 m suspension bridge.  This is one of NZ's two most popular cycleways.

(Lake Taupo)

Turangi, on the edge of NZ's largest lake, has been named "World Capital of Trout Fishing".   You can also  go for a sail or visit the Maori cliff carvings by launch.

(Tongariro National Park)
The world's second National Park, with the impressive art deco Chateau, many great walks and the largest ski-fields in the southern hemisphere. 
Rail Cart Adventure
(Forgotten World Adventures)

Up to 3 days of adventure on your own rail cart, through magnificent forests, farmland and tunnels - nearly all the way to the west coast of NZ.

Caving & Glow Worms
(Waitomo Caves)

These are the most visited caves in the southern hemisphere, with a spectacular show of glow worms and, if you're keen, a black-water  raftingexperience.

Volcano Walk
(The Alpine Crossing)
"NZ's finest one-day walk" - Lonely Planet  Travel Guide.  We can't add much to that.
Canoing/Jet Boating
(Whanganui River Adventures)

Jetboating and canoing for up to four days, through specular forests and ravines, along NZ's longest navigatable river and a river that is sacred to NZ's Maori.

Journey Into the Past
(Republic of Whangamamona)
Follow the wild Forgotten World Highway and you'll arrive at Whangamamona - a self-proclaimed independent republic, with its own passports and president.
Mountaineering/Forest Walks
(Mt Taranaki)
Walk through forests dripping with moss or climb this magnificent volcano, NZ's most beautiful (this one's 3 hours drive from the Centre).


This was one of the most unique and wonderful places we’ve ever stayed. So much beautiful nature surrounding these gorgeous cottages. Amazing hosts that go above and beyond and they are fascinating to chat with too. Everything was clean and awesome including all the food. Thank you, we will be back. (Tasha, NZ)

Completely unique location, an eclectic collection of original buildings and decorations. Martyn and Sylvia were great hosts. We had dinner in the old school house, with silver candelabra and flowers. Excellent. (Jim, UK)

Staying at Marty & Sylvie’s place was a truly lovely experience. It was inspiring to see the space  that they have built around them and their lovely relation with the earth. The experience goes far beyond the concept of accommodation. I am looking forward to staying again! (Raphael, NZ)

An amazing hidden gem! Super comfortable stay with inspirational hosts. (Odonbayar, Mongolia)

Historic accommodation in a gorgeous setting. Bedroom was lovely and bed was comfortable. Perfect location for a rural NZ retreat and just a couple of minutes from the Timber Trail. I cooked myself but had food envy from what the others were eating! Marty even offered a free shower after I finished the trail. Would stay again. (Rochelle, NZ)

We've stayed at Timber Trail Centre several times and always love it.  Peaceful, beautiful, wonderful hosts. (Garth, NZ)

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