Built in the 1840s as a sheep station that still operates today, Wharekauhau—meaning “place of knowledge” in Maori—pays homage to the area’s tradition of feeding the wise and the cultured. Thirteen cottage suites were positioned to take in this dramatic slice of North Island pasture that landslides into Palliser Bay southeast of Wellington. The cottages are unpretentious yet filled with such luxuries as four-poster beds with curtains, private terraces, separate lounge areas, writing desks, gas fireplaces, double baths, and walk-in showers. Each space is homey, cushioned by soft rugs and upholstery and enclosed by rustic wood panels and beams. The Edwardian main lodge, adorned with cream-toned furniture and antiques, invites guests to curl up by the fire, or chat with the chef in the open kitchen that flows into a charming country dining room. Outside, there’s inspiration all around, extending from the sheep herds to the Palliser Bay lighthouse.
A resort on a sheep farm surrounded by pasture and water, Wharekauhau Lodge offers horseback riding, hiking, and fishing. Four-course meals are paired with local pinot noir, chardonnay, and cabernet. (And yes, lamb is on the menu.)