Fodor's Expert Review Wharekauhau

Western Lake Rd., Palliser Bay, Featherston, Wellington, 5773, New Zealand Fodor's Choice

A working sheep station meets bygone-era elegance at this unique coastal getaway, 90 minutes from Wellington; the 5,000-acre estate comes complete with an Edwardian-style main lodge surrounded by 13 guest cottages, each with king-size bed, small patio, and open fireplace. Wharekauhau began as a sheep-farming station in 1840 and continues to house sheep and cattle today–only now the grazing herds are joined by world travelers roaming the property. On-site activities range from relaxing in private courtyards, gardens, or the spa and chatting with the chefs around the open kitchen, to swimming, tennis, and croquet. Hiking and farm tours can also be arranged, as can vineyard visits and excursions around the gloriously remote coastline. The dining room menu highlights the best local ingredients—especially lamb and fish—which can be paired with fine Martinborough wines.


  • local history and flavor
  • on-site working farm
  • unique range of activities
  • luxury and privacy
  • spa using local products and herbal remedies


  • steep price
  • you won't want to move far from the fireplaces in rough weather
  • don't expect the nightlife to set you alight


Near the beach


Phones: 06-307–7581


13 cottages
Rate Includes: Some meals

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