Need to know
11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $1104.53 (NZ$1,609), excluding tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include all meals, afternoon teas, refreshments, picnics and pre-dinner drinks and canapés. A three per cent surcharge applies to all credit card payments.
The property covers over 200 square miles and includes four still-working stations – Motatapu, Mr Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak. To ensure that the owner’s conservation initiatives continue, over 90 per cent of the land has been legally protected in perpetuity, making it the largest conservation undertaking on private land in New Zealand.
Annually from 26 May to 20 June.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, media and games room, library. In rooms: a TV; free minibar; free bottled water; tea- and coffee-making kit and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
The Kereru Guest Suite has gorgeous valley views; you’ll likely spot horses grazing in the morning. If you prefer to look out to the mountains, pick a cosy cottage for your stay.
The pool, next to the main lodge, has valley and mountain views. It’s a welcoming 28–30°C from October to May and supervised little Smiths are welcome to take a dip. There’s also a small spa pool with mountain views.
Bring layers for days exploring the hotel’s extensive grounds and binoculars for spotting the local wildlife (mostly of the winged variety).
Uneven paving on the driveway and steps to the homestead mean Mahu Whenua is not best suited to guests with mobility issues.
Welcome. It’s NZ$250 a night for tots under two (cots can be provided on request) and NZ$550 a night for under-12s. One rollaway bed can be added to the Kereru Suite.
Extremely. Mahu Whenua’s owner has initiated extensive plant regeneration and native-bird-breeding programmes to regenerate the land after a long history of high-country farming. These conservation efforts have been protected by Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants that effectively make Mahu Whenua New Zealand’s first privately owned national park.