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When choosing a lodge for your next vacation to New Zealand, you are spoiled for choice with so many amazing places on offer.
But if you are looking for something a little different, Wharekauhau Country Estate is one to consider.
Tucked away in an unspoilt corner of New Zealand, Wharekauhau ticks all the right boxes to make your stay truly unique and one you will remember for a lifetime.
I was lucky enough to recently spend one glorious day and night at the property and was blown away by the hosting, the food and wine, the location, and the experience Wharekauhau has to offer!
The drive from Wellington is a winding one, through scenic ranges and forest that will keep you glued to the window. Before the turn off to Wharekauhau, make sure you include a stop at Greytown and Martinborough, two charming little townships.
The final stretch of road is not for the faint at heart, as the sealed road turns into gravel, making its way through pastures and swamps. As you get closer, you are rewarded by a spectacular view of the lodge, standing proud and elegant in the distance, nestled against a stunning backdrop of mountain, lake, sea and forest, with a bunch of sheep and cattle happily grazing, indifferent to the view stretching out.
It is only then that you realize what a special place you’ve reached!
Passing the gate, you will be greeted by Nico or Kristy, the lodge managers whose warm smiles announce that you are in for a treat. The food and wine is sublime and unpretentious. Locally sourced products are showcased at their best; the flavours are clean, sharp and fragrant, far away from country style rustic cuisine one could expect.
The cottages are all very private, a short walk from the main lodge, opening to a grand view out to the open sea.
A farm tour is always a must while touring New Zealand, and what a better place to do it than Wharekauhau. The lodge is located on a 5000 acre working farm whose life began in the mid 1800’s. Here they don’t put on a show for you; the farm experience is real and genuine. Whether you decide on exploring the land with a thrilling quad bike tour or with the 4WD option, you will surely meet amazing locals, happy to share a piece of their life with you.
If you are into wine, Greg the food and wine manager, and a real wine buff, will take you to the small boutique wineries of the Wairarapa valley. Here you will taste some of best ‘’cru’’ of the region, but be warned, you are more likely to do so in the comfort of a winemaker’s house than in a sanitized tasting room! A great occasion to meet passionate people who do their craft with heart and soul...
The list of things to do at Wharekauhau is endless, yet the location is so special that you might decide to stay in and enjoy the view.
So, what makes Wharekauhau so unique? Above all, this place allows you to lose track of time... Here you will enjoy the simple pleasures of yesteryears, when food tasted like it should be and life was free of superficial nuisance.
Wharekauhau surely is one destination to include in any trip to New Zealand. It is one of a kind, soulful and opens a window to the real New Zealand. In fact, I cannot wait to return!