Take a couple of days and dive into some early New Zealand history by visiting Central Hawke's Bay's historic homesteads, many of which have been lovingly preserved to represent a era gone by.
Gwavas Garden & Homestead
If “living history” appeals to you then Gwavas Garden and Homestead is the place to soak up over 120 years of it. The homestead is category 1 listed with Heritage New Zealand and contains one of the best examples of interior Totara panelling in New Zealand, a majestic Rimu staircase back lit by a huge stained glass window containing the family’s Marshalling of Arms. Time in many places in the house stands still.
The homestead has three lovely bedrooms available for bed & breakfast style accommodation and is situated in the middle of a mature 9 hectare Woodland Garden of National Significance, the oldest plantings dating back to 1860. Enjoy the Phyllida and Stuart’s relaxed hospitality while you explore Hawke’s Bay.
Oruawharo Homstead is an absolute treasure. Built nearly 140 years old, it is stepped in history, having played a major role in the history and development of Central Hawke’s Bay.
Sitting proudly in Takapau amongst 17 acres of wonderful gardens, large trees and several outbuildings, Oruawharo’s history is full of aristocracy, grand house parties and lavish events, but also a time as a Territorial Army camp and even a host venue for an Army mutiny!
Peter and Dianne Harris have restored this beauty from near demolition, into an exquisite home, filled with beautiful historical treasures, and host to hundreds of weddings and special events.
You can visit Oruawharo and experience the history and beauty for yourself. Enjoy a delicious high tea and some of Oruawharo’s own, specially brewed teas and Peter will amaze you with his expert knowledge of the house and its’ history.
Wallingford Homestead was built between 1853 and 1854 for the Ormond family, the family owned the house until very recently. It is an iconic New Zealand home, at over 1000 square metres in size, and uniquely single storied when many other homes of the time were several stories high.
Wallingford could tell many stories of a pioneering farming family, with a wonderful history, it sits at the heart of a large sheep and beef station.
Managers Chris and Jeanette Stockdale, recently from Double Bay in Sydney, have stamped their mark on Wallingford, creating an incredible fine dining experience for guests and visitors.
Chris is a celebrated chef and Jeanette a fantastic host. Come to the Wallingford Kitchen to experience Chris’ magic come together on your plate, delivering delicious, wholesome, generous fare sourced from Wallingford itself and local suppliers.
Wallingford can accommodate 24 guests across several wings of the house, with large communal living areas, outdoor courtyard and expansive gardens, it is a fantastic corporate location for events and destination weddings.
Chapelwick Coastal Estate
Chapelwick is a fine stately home, tucked away in the Central Hawke’s Bay countryside, surrounded by coastal farmland with expansive views of beautiful Porangahau beach.
Originally, the homestead of Porangahau Station it was established by The Hunter family in 1854. The home was rebuilt in the early 1920s and has been renovated and modernised to provide luxury bed & breakfast accommodation. New hosts, since August 2014, Deborah, Sandra and Pat, provide a warm welcome and thoughtful hospitality.
Set on 18 acres, the estate includes sweeping lawns and gardens, an orchard, swimming pool, tennis court, pentaque, croquet lawn, stables, a range of friendly farm animals and its own historic chapel. Free wifi and Sky TV are available.
A spectacular homestead from 1893, listed with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. 4.5 star Qualmark rated Bed and Breakfast, Woburn can also host private functions and parties, cooking classes, weddings and special dinners.
Nestled in the heart of Central Hawkes Bay, Ashcott Homestead has stood for 160 years as a grand reminder of the prosperity of this fascinating region. Positioned in ten beautiful acres from the original 20,000 acre estate, the home and gardens retain their significant place in New Zealand history and invite the traveller to relax and take in the delights of the surrounding countryside. The Homestead features three beautifully appointed bedrooms with private bathrooms; modern comforts add to the feeling of luxury and indulgence.
Natalie and David Beamish will ensure your stay is unforgettable and enjoyable, providing warm hospitality and local advice pertaining to events and places that will enhance your Central Hawkes Bay experience.
Where to find them
Gwavas Garden & Homestead
Hosts: Phyllida & Stuart Gibson
5740 State Highway 50
PH: 06 856 5810
Hosts: Peter & Dianne Harris
379 Oruawharo Road
PH: 06 855 8274
Hosts: Jeanette & Chris Stockdale
2914 Porangahau Road
PH: 06 855 4701
Chapelwick Coastal Estate
Hosts: Deborah, Sandra & Pat
482 Hunter Road
PH: 06855 5119
Host: Heatha Edwards
213 Hatuma Road
PH: 0274 529 112
Hosts: John & Giovanni
2318 Highway 50
PH: 027 504 1605