Wharekauhau Country Estate - A Destinational Experience - Part 1

Wharekauhau Country Estate

Some experiences shape you, some change you & some inspire you. Some are all these plus more... life-changing moments you wish you could just freeze in time & hold onto, they're so unique & precious. Such experiences don't come along too often, when they do you nurture them, tuck them away - a special place in your heart you'll always remember as being a pivotal moment in time... a sanctuary.

This week we experienced such a moment, just a short drive from Martinborough in a location so incredible we were awe-stricken. A coastal farm/paradise, world apart, unique destination, Wharekauhau Country Estate is truly as invigorating as the environment in which it lies. The mansion, the coastline, the farm, the country kitchen, the welcoming people, the incredible cuisine... this destination is a total "get-away" experience you need to discover.

Join us as we share our story of Wharekauhau.

Just a 10 minute flight from Wellington

Wharekauhau - The History

Forty minutes drive from Martinborough Village or a 10 minute helicopter flight from Wellington airport Wharekauhau is one of New Zealand's finest destinations.

Greeted on arrival by lodge manager Richard Rooney we immediately feel welcome as we start a tour of the pristine lodge. Richard gives us some history - Wharekauhau originated as a coastal sheep station in 1840, purchased by the Shaw family in the 70's, this property has a rich history of working the land, a "salt of the earth" ethic steeped in tradition. Around Y2K the lodge had become an elitist escape for the "rich & famous" - in 2010 Texan investor Bill Foley purchased the property - major renovations & refurbishment followed - the lodge is in excellent hands as witnessed by what we see today. A coveted international destination, the vision is to open the lodge to the local market so New Zealanders can also access & enjoy this unique experience.

Foley is a passionate investor, the Foley family wine brand is well known with vineyards in Martinborough & around the world. There's also Wairarapa icon Lighthouse Gin in the portfolio, Wharekauhau spring water is lovingly collected from the farm & shipped into the Martinborough distillery. The wine, gin & lodge complementary to each other - another aspect to the unique "big country farmhouse" experience. Gin & tonic bars on the croquet lawn, Pimms in summertime & wine tasting all integrated with the exceptional cuisine lovingly crafted in an incredible country kitchen. Lamb is farm raised, gardens, orchards & foraging a base for daily menus. The lifestyle here as unique as the land it springs from, food is carefully grown & selected rather than mass produced.

The Lodge Foyer

Guest Lounge

Wharekauhau - The Lodge

An iconic lodge - one of only 10 in New Zealand - Wharekauhau has attracted many well known international visitors including the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. There's a luxurious air to the lodge & it's also homely, welcoming & warm, stunning but not pretentious - you quickly get the feeling all guests are welcomed as friends - no airs or graces - here you are free to relax, a "get away from it all" chance to enjoy unique lodge living amongst incredible coastal surroundings.

Stunning views of Palliser Bay at every vantage point, rugged cliffs towering over Ocean beach with views of the Pacific Ocean. Today the ocean is still - like shimmering glass, it's easy to envisage the same vista in a roaring southerly while warm & safe sipping world class Pinot Noir by the fire in the sentinel lodge.....we're planning to come back for this!

Decor by acclaimed interior designer Virginia Fisher is impeccable, natural timber & tiles inside this Edwardian style mansion with country charm, you immediately feel at home. Sun drenches every room, the library, games room all inviting us to stay longer..there's so much to savor here. Richard tells us lodge living is a communal experience, guests meet in the main lounge for drinks & canap├ęs, often dining together then back to the lounge for after dinner drinks, known to go on into the small hours. Many conversations have been had in this idyllic lodge where relaxing is as natural as breathing... it's part of the plan.

We're enraptured, charmed & enchanted all at once...as though we're on a movie set. The Great Gatsby comes to mind - we don't want this to end... scroll down for more on our Lodge experience!

Wharekauhau - A Luxury Escape

Wharekauhau Cottages

Wharekauhau cottages are captivating, the neutral tone decor blends in with the creamy cliffs, visible in the distance through every window, the softness of the cottage a magnificent contrast to the rugged ocean & sharp rock faces with blankets of green pasture in between. You get a sensation of easiness, finding reasons to be here, a total luxurious relaxing escape, completely private, beautifully comfortable. There's home made shortbread in a jar, fresh fruit in a bowl, finishing touches everywhere to satiate the weary traveller, complete relaxation with every wish & whim catered for.

Guests choose from a range of activities on & off the farm, clay bird shooting, quad bikes, tennis, a private gym. More relaxing choices include massage, slow walks along Ocean Beach, swimming in the luxurious heated indoor pool or strolling around the stunning gardens.

Off site there's Lake Onoke a popular stop & of course Martinborough for wine tasting. Sitting so close to Martinborough, a well established wine region producing world class wines & so easily accessible to Wellington by helicopter, it makes perfect sense to extend the lodge experience into the local market. Wharekauhau is the jewel in New Zealand's heart, & should be on everyone's list of "must visit" destinations.

Wharekauhau Luxury Accommodation

Wharekauhau - Management team

Lodge Manager Richard Rooney, restaurant Manager Aaron Wigg & executive chef Marc Soper provide a friendly welcoming environment where you feel right at home. Describing lodge living as a casual affair, they're ready to make your experience unforgettable. Relax, unwind, "shoot the breeze" discuss fine wine, good food, good living - these guys know their stuff & you'll leave feeling enriched having met them.

A relaxed getaway, group packages, romantic weekends, valentines, weddings, anniversaries, functions, private parties, theme parties, anything's possible... there's a bonfire set up for next New Year at Wharekauhau already, its easy to imagine this being one sensational occasion.

We like the idea of slow dining here with a group of friends, a day trip for lunch or a relaxed dinner - more reason to experience pure relaxation in this idyllic coastal setting. Wharekauhau is often described as heaven on earth....it's easy to see why.

Coming soon.....Wharekauhau - The dining experience - Part 2

For more on Wharekauhau, visit their website here: Wharekauhau Lodge

Trish Higginson & Karina Hailwood
Creative Directors
Martinborough Village
"Let us show you the magic of our special town"

Copyright MV 2015
enquiries to karina@martinborough-village.co.nz

Aaron Wigg, Richard Rooney & Marc Soper


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