FARM & ESTATE
Entrenched in history and steeped in pride.
Like all of life's best-kept secrets, Wharekauhau boasts a myriad of layers that reveal themselves when you scratch beneath the surface.
Behind Wharekauhau’s achingly-beautiful farmland surroundings is a hugely successful farming operation that put it on the map in the mid-1800s. One of the oldest Romney studs in the land, the vast 5,000-acre estate is dotted with Romney and Texel sheep roaming among the Speckle Park, Angus and Simmental beef cattle breeds.
Every season breathes new life and magic across Wharekauhau, highlighted by the arrival of 10,000 Spring lambs and the seasonal muster to shear the flock.
Nestled between the vibrant Capital City of Wellington and the tranquil surroundings of Wairarapa, we are proud of our picturesque place on earth and the contrasts our neighbouring regions provide.
Wharekauhau is located in a small rural area of New Zealand known as the Wairarapa; translating to ‘land of glistening waters' in our native tongue. Unsurprisingly, water is abundant throughout and is the backbone of the region.
An iconic rural region of our nation, the Wairarapa has built everything on the back of old-fashioned hard work, a quality still widely evident today. No shopping malls or over-crowded streets, but instead small family-run businesses dedicated to refining their chosen craft.
Ninety minutes’ drive away lies Wellington City. With its vibrant café, coffee and restaurant culture, keen sporting public, thriving arts scene, historical parliament buildings and rugged landscapes overlooking its stunning harbour, Wellington is a city spoilt with entertainment variety. Wellington is more than just the nation’s capital; it’s the beating heart of culture.
HERITAGE AND HISTORY
Wharekauhau began life as a sheep station in the 1840s, and remains a working sheep station to this day—surely the grandest in New Zealand.
In pre-European times it was considered a place of learning, a place where the Tohunga—‘the wise’—would come and learn their craft. In Maori, Wharekauhau means ‘place of knowledge’ and the rich history of the estate is testament to this original name.
When the station first began exporting wool over 150 years ago, the remoteness of the location demanded unusual solutions. This ingenuity is showcased superbly by the enduring symbol of the rowlock, originally used to brand wool bales during a snap decision on the rowboats loading sailing ships beyond the breakers in Palliser Bay.
It is said that within the upturned cup of the rowlock there is good health, fortune and spiritual contentment for all those who encounter it.
This is where the Wharekauhau brand was born, and today it still stands for the same qualities of uniqueness and individuality which inspired it.