Otahuna is an elegant, opulent lodge set at the heart of a rolling country estate. With commanding views of its landscaped gardens and far beyond to the surrounding plains, the views take you to the foot of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Nowhere else will you get such a strong sense of history - Sir Heaton and Jessie Rhodes' memory is very much alive in the house that they built and the refined traditions that continue here
The menu celebrates fresh New Zealand produce with an emphasis on estate-grown offerings
Otahuna Lodge is the ideal place from which to explore Canterbury and the Banks Peninsula
Each of the Suites is individually designed with a distinct feel and personality
Otahuna is the largest private historic residence in New Zealand and dating back to 1895, is regarded as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Australasia. Distinctive features such as a hand-carved Kauri staircase, Rimu panelling, original lead lights and fifteen working wood-burning fireplaces have brought Otahuna Lodge the honour of a Category 1 listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and make this one of the most luxury homesteads there is.
Each guest suite retains architectural features from the nineteenth century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows whilst boasting modern décor that is sensitive to Otahuna's historic past. The suites all differ so much in style, size and shape but all are styled in character with their original use. It is easy to imagine the lady of the house, Jessie Rhodes, and other fine ladies of the Canterbury region taking their morning tea at 11 o'clock sharp in the Botanical Suite (originally the Morning Room) overlooking the manicured gardens. Similarly, the Veranda Suite epitomises a 'room with a view' with a huge veranda with cane furniture provoking strong images of times past.
The 30 acres of manicured gardens and rambling, semi-wild woodlands include an orchard with a variety of fruit and nut trees, a one-acre vegetable garden, a mushroom garden, a rose garden and a field that blooms with millions of daffodils in the spring.
At dinner, you can eat communally in the formal dining room or alternatively, you may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret or another location of your choosing. Aside from formal dining, you can pursue many culinary experiences on the property, including cooking classes and even seasonal mushroom foraging.
Beyond Otahuna, hiking, cycling, horse riding, golf and fishing are all easily arranged and the vineyards and cellar doors of the Waipara wine region and the fascinating city of Christchurch are easily explored in a day trip.
When to visit
In September, the meadows at Otahuna are overrun with beautiful daffodils - the Verandah Suite is perfectly positioned to enjoy this floral flourish. For real country-side chic, try the Garrett Suite in the eaves of this stunning lodge, with quirky corners and a unique outdoorsy vibe.
Otahuna Lodge is located on Rhodes Road in the secluded Port Hills valley in Tai Tapu, just twenty minutes drive from Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand.
Dolphin Encounter off the coast of Kaikoura - Shared
Make one of life's dream a reality and not only watch dolphins in the wild but get the chance to swim with them as well, just off the coast of Kiakoura.
Heli Hiking on the Tasman Glacier - Shared
This fly-in, fly-out heli-hike combines the excitement of walk on the mighty Tasman Glacier and the dramatic scenery of the Southern Alps, which will impress you beyond expectations.
TranzAlpine Adventure Day Trip - By Train and Road - Shared
Enjoy a scenic train journey from Christchurch to visit Arthur's Pass. Crossing the Canterbury Plains, you will visit this beautiful National Park, which sits 740m above sea level.
TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch to Greymouth - Shared
The fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, deep gorges and glacial rivers await as you take one of the world’s most iconic train journeys from Christchurch to Greymouth.