Mahu Whenua

Location: Otago & The Southern Alps | New Zealand

Price guide: $$$$$ $350-$500 per person per night

This exceptional hilltop retreat offers luxury and seclusion, gourmet New Zealand cuisine, unforgettable experiences and impeccable personalised service. It is set in 200 square miles of quintessential New Zealand beauty - amongst the soaring mountains of the Southern Alps, lush green forests and winding rivers - which you can explore on foot, by bike and by helicopter.

Perfect forCouples, families and groups looking to indulge their sense of adventure in ultimate New Zealand style.
In the know
  • Stunning natural setting in some of New Zealand’s most scenic landscapes
  • Incredible views
  • Beautiful, exclusive accommodation
  • A dedicated concierge team and expert chefs
  • Adventures from horse riding to heli-hiking around mountains, lakes and rivers

Recommended for...

  • Seriously special
  • Adventure
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Private Groups

Hotel Overview

Sense of Place

Mahu Whenua is nestled in some of New Zealand’s most majestic alpine landscapes, amongst four sheep stations – Motatapu, Mt Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak (owned by record producer Mutt Lange) - that stretch from Glendhu Bay in Wanaka to Queenstown. Mahu Whenua translates as ‘healing the land’, and the private farmland is protected, with a focus on sustainability and regeneration of the natural ecosystem. There is also a native bird breeding programme, including weka and pukeko.

Rooms at Mahu Whenua

There are four Ridgeline suites (two Homestead suites within the homestead and two Cottage suites set in native beech forest next door), which each sleep two people and can be reserved individually, or alternatively the whole homestead can be reserved for exclusive use. The homestead offers stylish farmhouse living for up to 12 guests (including a family bunkroom that can sleep up to four), with a large kitchen, lounge, dining room and media room offering plenty of space. You can also dine outdoors or lounge by the pool – and there’s even a helipad on the front lawn to whisk you away to the mountain peaks.

The suites are full of character, with plush beds and copper bathtubs perfectly placed to make the most of the views, stone walls, cosy fireplaces and chandeliers hanging from high wooden-beamed ceilings. Look out over the mountains from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge, or head out onto your terrace for a sunset cocktail to enjoy the panoramic uninterrupted vistas of Mount Aspiring National Park, Lake Wanaka and the Motatapu Valley.

Food & Drink

Your personal chefs will create delicious breakfasts, morning and afternoon tea, picnic lunches, canapés and dinners, all making the most of local, seasonal produce such as fresh fish and local cheeses, with both classic and innovative dishes served with award-winning local wines.

Find out more about where your meal comes from by going on a gourmet safari with your chef to forage for ingredients for your supper.


There’s a lovely pool to cool off in after a day’s adventures, or you can soak up the views poolside while enjoy a morning yoga session. After a strenuous hike or bike ride, soothe your aches and pains in the hot tub or unwind with a blissful spa treatment.

Activities at Mahu Whenua

Your concierge team is on hand to curate your daily exclusive activities, which are tailored to suit you - from 4WD trips and swimming in the gorge to horse riding in the valley and hiking around snow-capped mountains. Enjoy a scenic helicopter ride to a mountain summit and hike or bike your way back down, weaving around forest trails, alpine lakes and rivers. Or venture further afield and fly over the glaciers of Fiordland National Park to the beaches of the West Coast, where your guide will catch a crayfish and cook it for your lunch on a mountaintop, accompanied by a glass of champagne.  

The Motatapu River was named by the Maoris (‘Mota’ means river and ‘Tapu’ means sacred), and was used as an access route between Lake Wanaka and Lake Wakatipu for food gathering. Europeans discovered the area during the Gold Rush of 1862, when thousands of miners scoured the rivers for gold – try your luck at gold-panning!

Back at base, you can also see the working farm in action, meet the local weka and pukeko birds and give them their evening meal.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Mahu Whenua has a remote and secluded feel, yet is just a 20-minute drive from Wanaka or a scenic 10-minute helicopter ride from Queenstown.

More places to stay in Otago & The Southern Alps


call us on +66 265 613 63 to start planning your perfect trip

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