Happy 125th Birthday to Otahuna Lodge

Otahuna Lodge celebrates 125 years

Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand’s most historic luxury lodge, is celebrating 125 years in 2020. An integral component to New Zealand’s history since its conception in 1895, the lodge is globally renowned for its remarkable architecture, award-winning gardens and sophisticated cuisine.

Serving as the primary residence to noted New Zealand politician Sir Heaton Rhodes for over 60 years, the property was purchased in 2006 by Hall Cannon and Miles Refo.  Cannon and Refo, committed to maintaining its legacy, transformed Otahuna into a seven-suite lodge that evokes the romantic British Colonial sensibility from which it was first born.

An incomparable example of majestic yet elegantly understated historic architecture, the lodge is located in pastoral surroundings against the fluted cone of an ancient volcano; a beguiling Victorian mansion that offers its guests a unique sense of wonder and discovery.

As New Zealand’s largest private historic residence, the grace and charm of its grounds and its refined yet personable service sees Otahuna combine the romance of the past with the cosmopolitan pleasures of the present - the very best of both worlds.

The name ‘Otahuna’, like every other part of this exceptional estate, is wrapped in storytelling and means ‘little hill among the hills’ in Maori. Perched on a hill, the lodge lies between the rocky outcrops of the Banks Peninsula, commanding views of the breath-taking Southern Alps’ and vast Canterbury Plains.

Regarded as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Australasia, the property’s 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 “icon” listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

In 2010 the grounds of the property were recognized as “A Garden of National Significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Hosted on 30 acres, these extraordinary gardens are among Sir Rhodes’ greatest legacies and contain an orchard with peach, pear, plum, quince, walnut and hazelnut trees; a 1⁄2 acre potager (vegetable garden); a mushroom garden; a windmill-shaped Dutch Garden and a field that blooms with millions of daffodils each September.

An equally significant feat to the estate’s portfolio, is their private Art collection – one of the most important collections in the country. Twenty-eight major works have been specifically commissioned for the Lodge including works by well-known artists such as Peter Beadle, Anna Caselberg and Craig Primrose.

The property itself features seven elegant suites, each an enclave of refined comfort, distinguished by their history, classical ambience and individuality. Each suite retains architectural features from the nineteenth century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks, deluxe textiles, lavish bathrooms and stained-glass windows.

The menu at Otahuna Lodge is a celebration of fresh, seasonal flavours inspired by the 120 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown organically in the Lodge’s own potager garden and orchard. Entirley organic, each evening at the lodge sees the property’sesteemed chefs orchestrate a bespoke five-course degustation menu paired with the finest New Zealand wines.


Located 30 minutes from Christchurch, Otahuna Lodge is perfectly positioned to explore the majestic wonders of the area including the picturesque Banks Peninsula, the city of Christchurch, and the greater Canterbury region.

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