During our trip to New Zealand, we needed a base in the north island near enough to Dannevirke for the wedding but that was also comfortable and secluded. I decided on Otawa Lodge which is is short drive from a little farming community called Kumeroa, just outside of Woodville.

It was once the grand homestead of a wealthy farmer. 

Built in 1914 it is an excellent example of Edwardian architecture with wonderful Art Nouveau features.


It has been turned into luxury accommodation by the current owners Del and Sue Trew. They have done a lot of restoration work and have filled the house with gorgeous antiques and art nouveau collectibles.

 We were the only guests for the three days we stayed there, so we had exclusive access to the north wing of the house – our room and bathroom, the formal sitting and dining room, and the octagonal library.

It was pure bliss. We spent time wandering though the 2 acres of formal gardens, did a little bushwalk in the nearby nature reserve, read books in the library, and basically relaxed.

Del also gave us a tour of the old shearing sheds and blacksmith’s forge and spend some time sharing the history of the property with us. At any time we could ring the bell and order tea or coffee, served with delicious scones, muffins or biscuits.


Service was polite, discreet and total. Breakfast would take over an hour – toast, jams and honeys, freshly baked bread, cereals, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, muffins, cakes, smoked fish, kedgeree (Mark’s favourite), juice, coffee, tea – the list goes on. We also had dinner there two nights.

Sue does fabulous seafood dishes – we had a poached salmon one night and snapper the other.

Gorgeous canapes, things like seared scallops or pear and blue cheese salad for entree, and fantastic desserts like this one.

 They were wonderful hosts. If ever we are back in that part of the world we will be sure to stay again.