A luxury homestead and eco-sanctuary with true country soul. Mahu Whenua is just a 20-minute drive from Wanaka in New Zealand’s South Island.
Mahu Whenua feels like your own private national park, with stunning views from the lodge across 55,000 hectares of mountains, native beech forests, and lush valleys carved by fast-flowing rivers.
The property is a combination of four high-country sheep stations, 90% of which is ‘protected by the covenants’, making it the largest conservation undertaking on private land in New Zealand’s history. The name Mahu Whenua translates as ‘healing the land’ – the property is committed to regenerating the land, operating sustainable farming practices and running successful tree planting and native bird breeding programmes.
Take the entire homestead exclusively for a party of 12, sleeping in 3 Homestead Suites and 2 Cottage Suites. Each Suite is rustic in style, with modern, luxurious features to ensure the most comfortable stay.
Rooms are fitted with King beds, ensuite baths and floor-to-ceiling windows to show off the stunning views of pristine alpine scenery and Lake Wanaka.
The homestead is a warm and inviting retreat, with open-plan dining and living spaces, furnished verandas, a huge farmhouse kitchen, library and open fireplaces for cooler winter nights. The swimming pool and hot tub boast breathtaking views, and we can arrange massage and beauty treatments at the lodge, as well as yoga al fresco, taking in the inspiring mountain scenery.
A wonderful team of staff is on hand to take care of guests, including a dedicated concierge and resident chef, who prepares superb cuisine using fresh local ingredients. All meals are included: delicious afternoon teas, sprawling picnics to fuel outdoor adventures, Champagne and canapes, and a cellar of complimentary premium wines to accompany gourmet dinners.
Some of New Zealand’s most striking scenery is at your fingertips from the base of Mahu Whenua. Setting off from the homestead, there are mountains to be scaled by bike, rivers to be crossed on horseback, and beautiful forest trails that make for breathtaking guided hikes.
Watersports such as kayaking or jet boating can be enjoyed on Lake Wanaka, and helicopter adventures can be taken directly from the homestead lawn, as there is a helipad on site.
Helicopter flights are completely magical and this is the best means of exploring this vast region, and visiting nearby wonders such as Mt Aspiring National Park and Milford Sound. Heli-biking, heli-fishing and heli-skiing can be easily arranged, as well as a scenic wine tour by helicopter, visiting privately owned vineyards and craft breweries.
It is well worth spending a morning exploring the property by 4WD on a conservation tour, visiting shepherds huts and learning about the farms’ projects.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...