Historic Homesteads

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 Phyllida and Stuart’s relaxed hospitality while you explore Hawke’s Bay.

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Oruawharo Homestead

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 hectares 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!

Rob, Dr Erica, Will & Bianca invite visitors to share their pleasure in the charm of their Historic Homestead, Historic Church and Gardens. Oruawharo’s Homestead, gardens and woodlands offer possibilities for all.

A superb wedding venue, the Homestead and surrounds create a unique environment for an almost limitless variety of special occasions, from business functions to family parties and festive dinners. The restaurant is also open every Friday evening from 5pm - bookings recommended. Check the website to confirm current hospitality options.

Oruawharo makes a wonderful destination for outings for interest groups and clubs. On selected events Oruawharo's owners will introduce you to the history of their home and visitors can wander and view the extensive gardens, the Homestead and its New Zealand timbers.

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Wallingford Homestead

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. 

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Woburn Homestead

A spectacular homestead fully restored 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. Get away from it all and catch up with your reading in the spa, soak up the Hawke's Bay sun with a glass of wine by the pool, ot play croquet on the lawn. When night falls, enjoy a hearty home cooked meal, featuring our own seasonal organic produce with homemade bread baked daily. There is certainly something special about a stay at Woburn Homestead. Free Wi-Fi, Swimming pool, spa.

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Ashcott Homestead

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.

John and Giovanni 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.

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Where to find them


Gwavas Garden & Homestead
Hosts: Phyllida & Stuart Gibson
5740 State Highway 50

PH: 06 856 5810

Oruawharo Homestead
Hosts: Rob and Dr Erica Lauder, William Lauder & Bianca du Toit
379 Oruawharo Road

PH: 027 379 0201

Wallingford Homestead
Hosts: Jeanette & Chris Stockdale
2914 Porangahau Road

PH: 06 855 4701

Woburn Homestead
Host: Heatha Edwards
213 Hatuma Road

PH: 0274 529 112

Ashcott Homestead
Hosts: John & Giovanni
2318 Highway 50
Ashley Clinton

PH: 027 504 1605