Just 15 minutes from Whangamata lies one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets – Welcome to Wharekawa Coastal Farm.
Located north of Onemana on a remote strip of the Coromandel Peninsula is where you’ll find this utterly unique coastal farm. Sitting pretty on a plot of 50 hectares, wrapped to the North by the Wharekawa River Estuary that winds its way out to the Pacific Ocean, and to the South by an ancient Pohutukawa forest – creating a land island and the ultimate sense of privacy. Boasting two private beaches – both reminiscent of a scene from Castaway, picnic spots galore, friendly dairy cows and stunning secret walking tracks – you’re guaranteed to experience some of the best natural beauty NZ has to offer.
To reach your retreat, you’ll first travel down a 6km unpaved road – building anticipation that you’re about to discover a true hidden treasure. Instantly feel worlds away as you make the journey towards the farm, with the veins of the estuary to one side; water winding its way through the landscape, and lush forestry on the other. Expect to come across some inquisitive cows along the way – be sure to stop and say hello! Signed markers will let you know when you have reached your destination, and you’ll see the ranch style summer house and sleep out.
The two quaint dwellings are located in a paddock, looking out to the commanding surrounds. Both spaces instantly make you feel at ease, and its instantly clear that attention to homely details has been paramount in the design. Expect to find unique art, a multitude of books and quirky keepsakes scattered throughout, bought back from the owners travels. The main Summerhouse enjoys open-plan living, extending out onto the generous size deck. Perfectly positioned for you to sit and contemplate what a special place this is, while enjoying your morning cup of coffee or a candle lit BBQ, al fresco style. Windows are positioned along each side of the home, allowing you to take in the magic scenery from every room.
There are two bedrooms in the summer house, one with a queen bed, and the other with two single beds. Your rural base is completed with a bathroom and laundry area. To the rear of the home you’ll find the sleep out. This dwelling consists of 4 single beds and a cosy lounge area. There is also a bathroom with 2 showers and 2 toilets. Designed with extended families and groups in mind – this space is perfect if you have a group of children or young adults travelling with you.
Upon un-packing and settling in, study the maps that have been provided to explore the vast landscape that surrounds you. Wander across the paddock to the estuary where you’ll find a shed with kayaks and boogie boards, ideal for those that are keen to get their paddle on. For a more relaxed approach, simply follow the waters edge at mid-low tide for a beautiful 1km walk – especially stunning at sunrise when the place holds an eery stillness that truly calms the mind and soul.
Continue on your explorations of the farm, heading up towards the ancient Pohutukawa forest. Stop off at the first of 2 private beaches – Cricket Bay. A gorgeous spot for a dip, or to simply park up with your morning coffee or evening wine. The Pohutukawas are spread right out along the coastline, demanding your attention as they hug the shore – blooming a brilliant crimson during summer months.
Continue up through the forest to a historic Maori Pa site and the headland, where you will find a picnic table and running water. This is the ideal vantage point to experience a pinch-me moment, as you admire the untouched raw beauty of the river, the farm, the surf crashing into the hamlet of Oputere and out to the Coromandel ranges.
Perhaps saving the best till last, continue on your voyage to Maomao Cove. Reached via a secret staircase that clings to the headlands cliff face, you’ll descend down through wild native bush. After about 10 minutes, you’ll soon see why this place was worth the trek (especially when you have to climb back up!). Prepare to have your breath taken away as you step out into a cove that looks like its straight out of the movies. Completely private, the cove is cocooned by grand rock formations, and to the rear by a steep cliff and vast vegetation – leaving you with an intimate sandy shore and the most idyllic ocean swimming spot imaginable! We recommend packing a picnic and spending hours here – trust us, you won’t want to leave!
For the fisherman in your group, Nosy Parker Rock offers excellent ocean fishing from the rocks; weather permitting. Enjoy meandering through the numerous dirt tracks and across paddocks to discover the farm’s many hidden treasures and lookouts. Head back to your retreat once you’re content with your dose of adventure for the day, and settle in for a sumptuous sunrise. Watch as the golden hour hues descend upon the land, bringing a raw glow to everything it touches.
You can’t help but reflect a little on life during a stay at Wharekawa Farm, it has a way of reminding you what’s important in life, and just how beautiful Aotearoa is. The splendidly secluded nature of the farm provides those needing some breathing room the perfect space to unwind and re-energise. An undeniably special stay awaits you Wharekawa Farm…
Feeling Drawn Towards This Magical Happy Place?