Wharekauhau Country Estate, Palliser Bay

Wharekauhau Country Estate strikes the perfect balance between authenticity and contemporary luxury, celebrating its 19th-century heritage while providing modern creature comforts in a seamless fusion of the two.

Their 3,000 private acres spread out towards 12 miles of coastline in the south of New Zealand’s North Island, with rippling mountains rising to the west and glassy Lake Oneke to the east. The land is picture-perfect, all silver fern and Podocarp forests, babbling streams, rich pastures and the property’s very own gardens, comprising vegetable patches and fruit orchards that provide ingredients for the hotel kitchen, such as lemons, courgettes, sweet potatoes and plums. Beehives producing Manuka honey, a large hen coop plus thousands of sheep and cattle point to the ongoing farm work at Wharekauhau, all of which contribute towards what’s on offer in the lodge’s restaurant.

Before sitting down to dinner in the grand dining room, meet other guests of Wharekauhau over an aperitif or two in the lounge. Then, prepare for a sensory feast as you’re served creative New Zealand dishes that draw on the natural bounty of the estate itself, as well as foraged foods like kelp and wild tomatoes. Every day brings new taste bud-tingling menus, all included in your stay with Wharekauhau Country Estate.

Such exquisite food fuels exciting adventures here in the North Island too, so you can spend your days out hiking, mountain or quad biking and fishing; perhaps indulging in some wine tasting or trying your hand as a chef to snag some insider tips. Soak up the coastal views as you embark on a walk through the estate, exploring the gardens and farmland, or find a perch by the window to enjoy a good book as you’re warmed by the fire. You can swim in the indoor pool, hit the spa, go for croquet or tennis and head to a nearby golf course too. Though all of that said, you also wouldn’t be blamed for simply wanting to curl up in your private living room or sit out on the veranda, just taking a moment to breathe in the sea air and soak up these pristine New Zealand surroundings


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Prepare to be spoilt rotten with some of the freshest, most mouth-watering fare anywhere in New Zealand, courtesy of Wharekaukau Country Estate’s vast kitchen gardens, wild coastal produce and passionate team of chefs who turn it all into a magical feast. The whole gourmet experience is something very special, as the estate’s vegetable patches and fruit orchards grow a bewildering array of ingredients, and food is also foraged from the surrounds; think wild fennel, seaweed and honey. The way that Wharekaukau embraces traditional methods and strives to be self-sufficient is just fantastic.


You couldn’t ask for more effortlessly elegant accommodation than that of Wharekaukau Country Estate, where every inch of the guestrooms have been lovingly designed and decorated. Stay cosy with the gas fireplace on and heated floors adjusted to your liking, before settling down to read a book on one of the sumptuous sofas. Each room is also bedecked in a super king-size bed (lined with luxury drapes for added romance), a walk-in wardrobe, iPod docking station, well-stocked minibar and flat-screen TV; while ceiling fans (rather than air-conditioning) keep things cool in summer. The light-hued bathrooms have tubs facing the sea, and there are also verandas for al fresco moments, drinking in the scenery as well as a glass of fine New Zealand wine.

Activities and Entertainment

As you might imagine, since Wharekauhau has 3,000 private acres at its disposal, you’ll find that there’s a wealth of activities to try out during your stay. Clay pigeon shooting, archery, quad biking, fishing, golf (at Royal Wellington or Martinborough courses), hiking and biking are some of the more active pursuits available for adventurers. You can also partake in a farm tour and see the day-to-day running of the estate, wine tasting experiences with the hotel’s sommelier, day trips to any of the 29 wineries within easy reach, cookery classes with the Wharekauhau chefs, and even wildlife watching excursions to witness Sea Lions in their natural habitat. All this, plus the chance to simply stroll through the grounds and gardens, means that there’s always something to do at Wharekauhau Country Estate.


This luxury New Zealand lodge has thought of everything to make your stay as comfortable (and fun) as possible. On-property there’s a gym, 24m heated indoor pool, bikes to borrow, a croquet lawn and tennis court, hiking trails and maps to show you where to find it all. On top of this, Wharekauhau Country Estate features a spa, Hauora, which means ‘health and wellbeing’ in Maori; a reflection of what to expect when you book a treatment here. From a hot stone massage to green tea body wrap, AquaQuench facial to mani-pedi, there’s a spa therapy waiting just for you. If you’re unsure of which to go for, the signature Hauora body treatment is always a good choice; incorporating a Manuka honey and salt scrub exfoliation, followed by a fig and grapefruit milk massage.


Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand. Wharekaukau Country Estate is blissfully secluded in the southern edge of North Island, 30 minutes from the nearest town of Martinborough and 1 hour 30 minutes’ drive from Wellington (or scenic ten-minute helicopter flight), where the nearest international airport is found. Surrounded by rugged coastline, native forest, undulating mountains, Lake Onoke and lush pastures, it’s a stunning bucolic setting.

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