Toadies@Toad Hall Backpackers, Napier accommodation 

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Life in the pond - blog

It's the word around the pond.

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The Eco idea

Posted on 30 September, 2017 at 16:00

I've not written a blog help me out. Your feed back will be welcome. 

The purpose:

To collect and track eco ideas for Toadies. We can't do everything - it's a huge historic building, which we don't own. But we think we can improve our practices to be more environmentally sensitive and reduce our ecological footprint.


It's really more of a case of why not? I cannot think of any reason why we would not take the opportunity to improve our practices, especially those that impact the environment.


Our first focus will be on waste. We think this will be our biggest win. We also want to look at what we can add to the environment with planting and composting. We're hoping you will offer up ideas along the way. Just keep in mind, we don't own the building so there are limits to what we can do. 


Right now. Seems like as good a time as any.

Who am I?

I'm Ruthie. My husbands name is Gareth, and we purchased Toad Hall Backpackers 7 years ago.

The idea to focus on our enviro pad print came about through being involved in a community project in Christchurch. As it happens, 7 years ago, Christchurch was hit by a series of devasting earthquakes. The quakes went on for years and the loss of life and property was, and is, significant. The Eastern suburbs were hit hard, loosing 6000 homes - never to come back. The land is labelled 'Red Zone,' indicating instability and not able to be re-built on. 

This resulted in a loss of domestic gardens. Red Zones, with the houses removed, actually become green belts. This results in a reduced food supply for bees, butterflies and birds.

So, a group of resilient residents pulled together to build a natural childrens playground, with all plantings providing food for the bees, butterflies and birds. You can read more about that project" target="_blank">here.

It got me thinking. Toadies has a large roof terrace. It has some courtyard garden space. We could do better. Which over a wine or three, developed into 'Let's look at all our processes from an eco point of view'. As we discussed the changes we could make to the way we do things the phrase kept coming up "But what about the guests?"

This question was raised in two ways.

How will our changed processes impact the guest experience?

How do we provide processes that make it easy for our guests to follow?

A very good example to highlight what I mean is dish washing/water usage.

One of our identified waste targets is water. We have reduced the amount we waste by improving the plumbing where we can. Don't get me wrong, we won't fix everything - those pipes are 150 years old and we don't own them. We have already, changed washers and installed flow control valves on the showers.

What we struggle with is guests that wash ALL of their dishes, pots, plates, cups & cutlery, under a running tap rather than a sink of hot soapy water.

...and the re-cycle bin v's waste bin....what goes where and who cares?

How do we educate along the way?

We feel, we will lead by example.We will become Enviro Toadie Warriors. We'll be there sorting the recycling from the rubbish. Washing dishes in a tub of hot soapy water, turning off the heater and the lights when no-one is in the room. We'll also be there planting herbs and vegetables for guest use. We'll plant flowers to attract butterflies and birds for you to enjoy. We'll create an environment that is easy on the enviroment.

We'd love your ideas. Tell us what you think, even if you think we are wasting our time. 

This is the beginning...let's aim for the moon and save the earth.

ANZAC Day - Dawn service and breakfast

Posted on 14 April, 2016 at 22:20

ANZAC Day is commemorated on 25 April each year. A time in which New Zealanders and Australians reflect on the nature of war. The losses, the sacrifices, the victories and the freedom we now enjoy. 

From an early age it has been a tradition within my family, as it is for many Kiwi and Aussie families, to wake early and attend the Dawn Service. I have memories of my grandfather marching in the parade, his medals polished and proudly displayed across his chest. Marching straight and true amoungst his piers.  Even as children, not fully understanding the meaning behind the ceremony, we felt the surge of pride at watching our returned soilders march,seeing our grandmothers wave hankys and shuss the child that spoke out of turn.

After the ceremony, it was home for a hot breakfast and the baking of ANZAC biscuits. A crisp or chewy cookie - depending how you liked them - made with oats and coconut, held together with golden syrup. 

My grandfather has long since passed away but I am proud to say, I have never missed a Dawn Service - though I was rather late for one, once!  My husband and I wake our son. We silently but quickly, pile on our coats and woolly hats, rushing out the door to join the stream of folk walking along the street to the cenetaph or other significant meeting point. On more organised mornings we even have coffee in mugs to warm our hands. 

The crowd gathers and waits, almost silently, for the ceremony to begin. I love it! The marching soliders and cadets. The pipe band. The gun salute! But most of all, the sunrise. Always beautiful and always a fond reminder of my grandfather.

Then, it's home for a hot breakfast and to bake ANZAC cookies. Two batches, one crisp and one chewy.

I love it! 

Summer has begun

Posted on 17 November, 2015 at 15:50

Welcome to sunny Hawkes Bay. Yippee!! 

The events calendar is filling up as venue's open their doors to host fabulous events in our wonderful climate.

The first of these the Summer Pipi Truck parking up at Zeelandt Brewery on 27 November.

Next up is a fabulous local performer hosting a Jingle Babes Burlesque Show at The Cabana.  This will be a fun evening and is also a fundraiser to help Cheery Boomb, who holds the titile of Miss Burlesque NZ, 2015, get to London to perform with really famous folk!

The night market will start for the first time in Napier on Friday - just a short stroll from Toadies. Good food and music from 5pm at the sound shell.