Full Tour Itinerary:
Day 1: Today will begin with morning tea with owners Dianne and Peter Harris at Oruawharo at Takapau before we travel to the outskirts of Palmerston North and to Kaingahou, a house built in 1903 by the influential Monrad family who had strong links to Danish settlement in the central North Island. The Scandinavian influence continues when we also visit the magnificent Category 1 listed Caccia-Birch House, again in Palmerston North. Originally built for a Norwegian family in 1895, the stunningly restored house & stables originally stood on 20 acres overlooking the Hokowhitu Lagoon and has been owned over the decades by such prominent local families as the Strangs’ and CacciaBirchs’ from Marton. This evening we rest at the Copthorne Hotel in the centre of Palmerston North.
Day 2: We start with a trip along the road to the town of Bulls, in the Rangitikei district. Lethenty was built in 1915 in the Arts & Crafts style for Scotsman James Wilson and it’s still in the Wilson family today. We’ll learn of the prominent community work over the decades by the ‘Ladies of Lethenty’. This will be followed by morning tea in the Bulls Town Hall. After refreshments we’re off to Overton, a stunning building designed in 1886 for retired British MP, Francis Arkwright and it stayed in the family until current owners, the Duncans, purchased it in 1986. Lunch is at our third property of the day, Maungaraupi. Designed by architect Charles Natusch and built in 1906 for the Marshall family who owned it until the 1980’s, the homestead is situated to take full advantage of stunning views across the Rangitikei district. Our host, Rita Thomson, will show us around the homestead and gardens. In keeping with our theme, tonight we stay in the Grand Hotel in Whanganui. A feature of the town since it was established in the 1920’s.
Day 3: Today sees our morning spent a little north of Whanganui at Bushy Park, another Natusch designed house built in 1906 for local cattle and racehorse breeder, Frank Moore. We’ll enjoy a tour of the homestead with time to wander the extensive gardens before we have lunch here too. This afternoon we have a lovely drive home via Feilding.