Wharekauhau Country Estate
With spectacular views across Palliser Bay this luxury retreat offers a secluded hideaway within the backdrop of the rugged Remutaka Ranges
Situated on a 3,500 acre working sheep and cattle farm this luxury property offers a glimpse of rural life. Rich in history, Wharekauhau originated as a sheep station as far back as the 1840’s and remains one of New Zealand’s oldest farms. The ‘knock your socks off’ location of the lodge offers awe-inspiring views of the dramatic coastline on which it sits. As you drive around the winding road to the lodge, you will catch your first glimpse of its magnificent white buildings contrasting against the lush green surroundings and mighty mountain range – Instantly awakening a level of excitement for your escape to a little piece of country paradise.
On arrival we were welcomed by the warm and inviting staff and were escorted on a tour of the main lodge. This grand Edwardian styled lodge is magnificently designed, optimising the stunning coastline views from every vantage point. Elegantly styled rooms offer multiple spaces in which you can relax and enjoy your surroundings – from the chic and sophisticated lounges to enjoy a cocktail or two; to more tranquil spaces offering the perfect spot to curl up with a great book and savour the serenity.
Lavish surroundings in an opulent setting
Arriving at your cottage the only thing you will wish for is a longer stay!
A short walk from the main lodge takes you to your private entrance to your cottage suite. Expertly designed the cottages have the feeling of absolute remoteness. Positioned to provide complete privacy each cottage offers its own uninterrupted views of the incredible coastline.
On entering the room the exquisite design provides a homely feel of understated luxury. Using a neutral colour palette of natural materials the rooms include a large king size bed and seated table area, as well as a lush soft seated lounge suite framing an inviting fire place. A lovely touch is our welcome message from the lodge manager complete with freshly made shortbread cookies – delicious!
The cottage bi-fold doors open-up to the extensive farmland and its own private patio from which you can view the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets. This is the perfect location to enjoy one of the local wines (in my case the mini-bars Te Kairanga’s Pinot Noir) from the comfort of your patio chair.
The large marble bathroom with its generous sunken bath was just too inviting – a well deserved long soak was impossible to resist before getting ready for evening canapes. With a glorious window looking out to the beautiful countryside it is easy to lose track of time!
The joys of being in a remote location, free of populated light pollution, also provides the opportunity for an evening of spotting some of our famous light constellations.
arm to table is the philosophy at Wharekauhau Country Estate
Included in your nightly rate with Wharekauhau is a four course trust the chef dinner and evening pre-dinner drinks and canapés, as well as a full farmhouse breakfast daily.
Joining the guests in the lodges main sitting room for our pre-dinner drinks and canapés was a great way to meet fellow guests and chat about their experiences. It is always a good sign when you hear some have returned for a second or third visit, while others express sadness in having their stay come to an end.
Sit back and enjoy your preferred apéritif; perhaps a cocktail, a chilled glass of rosé, or a local recommendation from the sommelier only too eager to offer advice to tantalise your tastebuds.
The dining room is intimate and elegant, with windows perfectly framing the sun setting over Palliser Bay. Savour the deliciously curated collection of dishes prepared with the finest ingredients derived from the land. Using local produce from the farm’s own gardens and orchards the ‘farm to table’ concept is brought to life. We opted for sommelier, Adrien’s, wine match recommendations which were expertly paired with the evening dishes.
For breakfast you are spoilt for choice. As you arrive in the breakfast room, the aroma of fresh coffee and freshly baked breads and pastries will awaken your senses. The continental breakfast spread is colourful, inviting and hard to resist.
An a-la-carte menu offers a comprehensive range of cooked breakfasts, which the chef is only too happy to tailor to suit individual tastes. “Would you like to add fresh avocado?” the waitress asked, to which I replied, “Why not?”.
Your experience at Wharekauhau Country Estate is sure to create tasty memories that will last long after you return home.
The exclusive location of the estate may inspire a desire to cocoon yourself away from the outside world and simply enjoy the variety of onsite services and facilities provided.
There is so much to do – hire bikes and explore the cycle trails, hike further into the Remutaka’s, race the ATV quad bikes across the black sand beach, try your hand at clay target shooting or archery, or cast a fishing line in the hope of reeling in a fish or two.
The estate has an indoor swimming pool with comfy soft loungers and large sliding glass doors opening to the outside garden area. Perhaps combine a pool day with a lavish spa treatment at the onsite spa.
You could spread your time between your cottage and the main lodge meeting other guests or perhaps finding a quiet corner to yourself. The estate truly is a destination to escape to and relish in a sanctuary second to none.
One memorable experience was our hike to the black sand beach. Crossing the first turn-style, the resident sheep kept a close eye on our movements as we hiked across the estate-paddocks. We stopped only to take in the the commanding views across the coast – if only these sheep knew how lucky they are!
The air is so clean, so crisp, and the only sounds are the bleating of sheep, singing of birds and the crashing of the waves below.
Standing on the beach, the view of the cliff face and the rugged coastline is equally as impressive. An early morning stroll along the deserted beach gives a superb opportunity to embrace the solitude the estate can provide.
If you can pull yourself away from the grounds, there are many local adventures and experiences to be enjoyed. Only a 30-minute drive and you are in the home of some of the finest and well-respected boutique wineries in New Zealand. The township of Martinborough is a picturesque colonial village surrounded by many family-owned wineries producing internationally acclaimed wines, all just a short walk or cycle from the main village.
Or perhaps make your way to the fishing village of Ngawi; visit the local seal colony or climb to the top of the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. For a spectacular hike in a remote area head to the Putangirua Pinnacles which features the most amazing collection of hoodoos. (Tip: head here very early to experience the morning light which will showcase these amazing formations at their best).
Don’t miss spending time on your patio, enjoying a delicious bottle of one of the fabulous Foley Family wines – a great way to unwind after a fun filled day!