The river-side Homestead was built for Earl Wilson, a local doctor who commissioned a renowned architect (Donald Architectural Design) back in the early 90’s, with the specification “all workmanship and materials shall be best quality throughout”. The interior features redwood and local heart Rimu.
Owners and hosts Chris Wharehinga Swannell and Michael Hooper invite you to share the peace and comfort of this natural riverside haven. Sheltered sun-facing decks look over sweeping front lawns descending past native and flowering bushes and trees down to the Waitangi River. At the nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Maori and European first formally agreed to live together in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Chris, who is part Maori, can share with you his people’s history.
The guest lounge and dining room have high, solid timber ceilings supported on substantial Douglas Fir beams, while the light-filled junior suites are all in the privacy of their own wing. The high, sloping ceilings of the river-side Homestead’s guest lounge lead the eye down to the river and some older treasures including a hand-carved Victorian chaise longue and even a vintage Austrian grand piano for musical guests. A short stroll down the lawn leads you to the banks of the river, where you’ll see the only big bills of your stay! Perhaps the ducks are also looking for the elusive brown trout which evidently lurk in the rapids and quiet ponds of the 37-kilometre-long river.
With its oxygen-rich cloak of tall trees, the river-side Homestead’s spray-free estate is fresh and healthful. We try to respect and reflect that in all we offer.
No setting in New Zealand is richer in history or nature than the Bay of Islands.