Located in the beautiful Wairarapa wine region, Wharekauhau Lodge consists of 5,500 acres of private land made up of ancient forests, tranquil lakes, rivers, farmland, and the rugged coast. Named for the Maori word meaning “place of knowledge,” this luxurious whitewashed hideaway embodies the grandeur of Edwardian times and provides guests with a blissful, country-meets-coastal retreat from nearby Wellington. It was originally established in the 1840s as a sheep station and remains one of the grandest cattle and sheep farms in New Zealand.

Property Details

Wharekauhau Lodge is made up of 13 single-suite guest cottages, the secluded three-suite Wharepapa Cottage, and the main lodge. Guest cottages are marked by passionate, purposeful, well-executed architecture and can easily interconnect to accommodate larger groups. The Cottage Suites feature heated marble floors and natural materials of clay tiles, pebble mosaics, plastered walls, rich New Zealand wool carpeting, cotton bed linen, and hemp curtains throughout. Guests will appreciate the awe-inspiring vistas of Palliser Bay and the sheep-dotted pastures, as well as the daily homemade cookies. Wharepapa Cottage, a few miles away, is a self-contained cottage ideal for long-term family retreats.

The stunning main lodge is the ultimate haven, featuring a grand main lounge, elegant dining room, country kitchen and conservatory, drawing room, and billiards room populated with antique furniture, over-sized fireplaces, and marble benches. Relax in the heated swimming pool prior to a spa therapy session at Wharekauhau Day Spa, and meander through the private courtyard and gardens, which are bordered by the stonewall-lined croquet lawn and petanque field. Take the path toward the tennis court and appreciate the many fruit trees along the way. It is not uncommon to see a Wharekauhau chef roaming these orchards and the surrounding grounds collecting various items for his menu – from wild fennel on the coast to Meyer lemons for the lodge’s homemade lemonade.

Wharekauhau guests will savor delicious, creative, personalized, and photogenic cuisine. Executive chef Marc Soper creates sumptuous country breakfasts, festive poolside barbeques, and delightful canapés prior to his stellar four-course dinners inspired by Pacific Rim cuisine and local produce. With Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions in such close proximity, the Wharekauhau cellar is nothing short of impressive and provides excellent wine pairings for meals.

The expansive, eclectic terrain leaves guests spoiled for thrilling activities, especially hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and ATV quad bike adventures. Clay target shooting, archery, surfcasting, and wine tours and tastings are also available. For a more relaxing day, take in a game of petanque or crochet with wine in hand or bring a picnic on a walk along the cliffs. Whatever the activity, the options are resplendent in this coastal paradise, where guests are made to feel like part of the family.

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