Wharekauhau Lodge and Country Estate

On a 5,500 acre haven located just a 40-minute drive from Martinsborough at the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island along Palliser Bay, Wharekauhau Lodge and Country Estate makes any outdoor activity dream a reality. Wharekauhau boasts 15 comfortable, spacious and luxurious cottages and two additional guest homes, all with access to exclusive activities including hiking and mountain biking, a Wharekauhau sheep farm tour, a tour of the region’s wild coastal environment, the Cape Palliser Seal Colony and Lighthouse tour, as well as wine tours, jet boating, horseback riding, ATV adventure tours, clay target shooting, archery, and a luxury golf tour. Other activities include swimming with dolphins, whale watching, and walking tours of the immense estate with completely customizable routes for difficulty and timing. Wharekauhau was rewarded for Best Ambience and Design by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in 2011, and received the award for Best in the World from Condé Nast readers in 2008.

Wharekauhau Cottage

Experience the great outdoors at Wharekauhau, where anything is possible.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

With 5,500 acres of private land, including ancient forests, peaceful lakes, rivers, rolling pastureland and a wild and breathtaking coast, there is little shortage of choice when it comes to choosing a route for walking, or mountain biking. Slightly more strenuous tramping expeditions are also available. Some guests head off around a coastal trail while others take to the hills to experience the song of native birds and the distinctive smell and texture of the New Zealand Podocarp forest.

Wharekauhau Farm Tour

No visit to Wharekauhau is complete without a tour of the surrounding farm. Bordered by the Rimutaka Ranges and Pacific Ocean, this classic New Zealand Romney sheep station features all the activities that have created New Zealand’s legendary farming heritage, including sheep shearing demonstrations, sheep dogs in action and daily farm events. This working sheep station tour is an absolute must for all Wharekauhau Visitors. Explore the far reaches of the farm and surrounding forest in a comfortable late model 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Wharekauhau Coastline Tour

Take a spectacular and breathtaking drive along the coastline following the original stock route established in 1844 when sheep and cattle were first introduced to the region. Watch thunderous surf pound into the rocky coastline of Palliser Bay and feel the exhilaration of this wild coastal environment. In 1855 a major earthquake raised this incredible coastline by eight feet. Today, this dramatic landscape of mountainous boulders, sheer cliffs and windswept flora is a photographer’s dream.

Cape Palliser Seal Colony and Lighthouse Tour

Travel along the rugged coastline to the picturesque, historic fishing village of Ngawi. The golf course there is actually mown by sheep. Then travel on to one of New Zealand’s largest Brown Fur Seal colonies where seals bask in this unspoiled natural environment. While there climb to the top of the lighthouse for magnificent views out over Palliser Bay. Travelling back to Wharekauhau stop at the historical Lake Ferry Hotel for a spot of lunch and maybe a few local beverages.

Wine Tour

Located in close proximity to Wharekauhau, 29 boutique wineries are situated around the small rural village of Martinborough. Discover the pleasures of the local wineries, tasting some of the world’s best Pinot Noir. International wine experts rate Martinborough as one of the finest wine growing regions in New Zealand and its Pinot Noir equal to anything that Burgundy has on offer. Your personal guide will chauffer you around the best vineyards and serious enthusiasts will be given the opportunity to meet with wine makers and have a behind the scenes tour of a vineyard. Included with this tour will be lunch at one of the vineyard cafes or at one of the excellent cafes in the village, where you will also have the opportunity to visit the boutique shops.

Jet boating

Add a little excitement to your stay. Travel up Lake Onoke to the Ruamahunga River by jet boat for close-up views of superb scenery. Experience fast turns and exhilarating fun on the way. Stop off at the Lake Ferry Hotel for lunch or refreshments and admire the amazing view back to Wharekauhau Lodge.

Horse riding

Trekking Trek over “one of the most spectacular farms on earth”. Enjoy a picnic, carefully prepared by the Lodge kitchen, and stop along the way to eat lunch by a babbling brook, or overlooking the rugged and dramatic coastline of Palliser Bay.

ATV quad bikes

Ideal for the adventurous, these bikes are loads of fun. A great way to travel along the black sand beaches, over scenic riverbanks and along open fields. After 20 minutes of tuition, enjoy wonderful views and local scenery in the company of an experienced guide. Protective clothing is provided.

Clay target shooting

Clay shooting tests the reflexes like no other sport and what better place to enjoy a shoot than Wharekauhau’ s own clay-target field, one of the best in the region. Small caliber guns and rifles are available: .22, .22 magnum, .410 shotgun, 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotguns. 30 caliber rifle available by arrangement. Firearms, ammunition, targets, and instruction are provided.


Archery has enjoyed resurgence in popularity since the filming of The Lord of the Rings. Expert archer and Lord of the Rings trainer Jan Kozler set up Wharekauhau’ s range and trained the instructors. Lots of fun for all levels of skill. Full instruction and a range of archery equipment is available at Wharekauhau: recurve bows, left and right handed and compound bows for the more advanced archer. Stationary and flying targets provided.

Luxury Golf Tour

Fly from Wharekauhau and head north west over the Rimutaka ranges to the west coast of the lower North Island to the championship Paraparaumu Golf Course on the Kapiti Coast. Paraparaumu Beach Links is rated as one of the best courses in the country and ranks 79th in the world.

Others activities are available in the South part of the Island, as swimming with the dolphins, watch the whales, Martinborough wine tour.

For more information on Wharekauhau, room rates and availability, please visit www.wharekauhau.co.nz.