Otahuna Lodge

At the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island is a place of replenishment and refinement. It is a place where prestigious luxury accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the context of an elegant, historic country estate.

A place where guests receive the warmest welcome and indulge wholeheartedly in the sense of occasion presented by lavish surroundings. This is Otahuna Lodge. This is New Zealand at its finest.

Otahuna Lodge is an exclusive country estate offering 5 suites and 2 master suites. Each retains architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All luxury suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.

More about this hotel


Massage & Fitness

After a busy day exploring Canterbury, guests might indulge in a relaxing or therapeutic massage. Therapists provide a range of treatments, styles and pressures to accommodate a wide variety of preferences. Guests can enjoy a 60 or 90 minute massage in the massage room located in the historic laundry buildings of the Otahuna estate.

The Otahuna swimming pool is open from November through March and heated to a comfortable 26C (79F). Meanwhile the outdoor spa pool is available for use throughout the year.

For those who find relaxation in active pursuits, a hard-surface tennis court is available with the use of racquets and balls. A small gym is also available offering an elliptical machine, rowing machine and stationary bicycle as well as free weights.

Swimming Pool

If the warm breezes of a Canterbury summer occasionally feel enervating, a refreshing dip in the swimming pool is the right tonic for a weary constitution. After dark, from a position in the outdoor jacuzzi, the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere seem just beyond arms’ reach.

Energetic guests might strike up a match of tennis on the Lodge’s hard-surface court, with complimentary use of the Lodge’s racquets and balls.


The Christchurch area is home to over twenty-five golf courses.

Excellent golfing is available throughout the region from the nearby nine-hole country course at Tai Tapu to the internationally acclaimed resort courses at Terrace Downs and Clearwater.

Terrace Downs

Terrace Downs, pictured above, is rated as one of the top courses and golfing destinations in New Zealand. Based at the foothills of the Southern Alps, there are very few scenic alpine courses like it. The course offers a unique mixture of parklands and links style with views of the Rakaia Gorge and nearby mountain ranges. At par 72, the course is challenging. However, a choice of four tees on each hole ensures the course caters for a range of golfing abilities.


The par 72 course is home to the New Zealand PGA Championship. Designed by John Darby in consultation with New Zealand golfing legend, Sir Bob Charles, the course combines elements of links golf inspired by the great Scottish courses with parkland golf, more reminiscent of Florida. Playable year-round, the course meanders around a succession of spring-fed lakes and trout-filled streams.

Tai Tapu Golf Club

Less than 2 kilometres from the front gate of Otahuna lies the beautiful Tai Tapu Club course. The course is only 9 holes but offers differing tee positions for guests wishing to play 18 holes (par 70).

Guides are available for any guests wishing to play with a local golfer.

Hiking & Biking

Canterbury’s diverse landscape offers an array of trails for walking and biking. The Lodge offers the complimentary use of 4 bicycles for exploring the immediate area with many guests enjoying the easy 6-kilometre loop in the Otahuna Valley. The quiet country roads are perfect for cycling and visits can be made to a local Tai Tapu café or the Longueville Art Gallery. More adventurous guests might cycle 20 kilometres into Christchurch or follow a cycling guide along the summit road with spectacular views over Christchurch city and the nearby coastline.

Meanwhile the Banks Peninsula contains an excellent system of trails for walking. Popular options include the sea-cliffs at Taylor’s Mistake and Godley Head or the hike up Kaituna Valley through native forest with views over Lyttelton Harbour and Lake Ellesmere.

Horseback Riding

Near Otahuna Lodge, local guides offer private horseback riding excursions to suit any level of experience.

Guests who are new to horseback riding learn basic skills such as how to mount and dismount, hold reins in an English saddle and communicate with the horse before departing on a leisurely one to three hour ride through local farms and woodlands alongside the scenic, braided riverbed of the Waimakariri river.

More experienced riders will enjoy crossing the tributaries of the river and the challenge of steeper inclines with plenty of wide trails and spaces to canter or gallop. Or they may opt for a full-day adventure along spectacular stretches of the wild Pacific coastline.


Canterbury’s rivers provide excellent chances for both the novice and expert fly-fisherman to test their skills.

Guests benefit from the knowledge of a local guide who will choose a location to ensure the best chances of making a successful catch. Brown and rainbow trout can be caught in both the high country as well as lowland streams from October through April. It is also possible during these months to catch Chinook salmon.

Guides provide licenses, tackle equipment, waders, instruction and transport in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Access to remote mountain streams via helicopter provides an alternative option.

Cooking Class

Culinary adventure is a cornerstone of the Otahuna experience. A three-hour, hands-on cooking lesson with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre provides an overview of the philosophies behind the Lodge’s celebrated food and wine programme. Classes incorporate time in Otahuna’s organic potager garden and offer a chance to learn first-hand cooking techniques in our kitchen.
Classes can be tailored to any dietary requests.

Meetings and Events

Otahuna Lodge is the perfect venue for 6 to 64 guests to celebrate unique special occasions including corporate retreats, family celebrations and exquisite weddings.


Otahuna offers many beautiful sites for wedding ceremonies throughout its 30 acres of original gardens, including the Great Lawn beside the property’s lake or under the century-old oaks of the formal Dutch Garden. Alternatively, the rich detail, open fires and elaborate stained glass of the Lodge’s Entry Hall and Drawing Room provide an elegant ambience for indoor ceremonies.

The Ballroom is ideally situated to host reception dinners, providing historic charm with its original wood panelling, 7-metre vaulted ceiling, large bay window overlooking the gardens and French doors opening directly onto the Lodge’s verandah. The Ballroom can accommodate a maximum of 64 guests for a seated dinner and can also accommodate a band for dancing after dinner. Our experienced team will personalise your requirements and tailor-make an experience alongside the best local suppliers to create an unforgettable wedding day. Wedding couples consult personally with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre to design their own wedding menu, with cuisine drawing upon the seasonal bounty of Otahuna’s vast potager gardens.


Otahuna also welcomes small groups of 6 to 14 people wishing to celebrate a special occasion at certain times of the year. The formal Dining Room, with its original Victorian wallpaper and ornately carved fireplace is the perfect setting for an unforgettable five-course degustation dinner with perfectly matched New Zealand wines. The Lodge’s celebrated team of chefs are delighted to accommodate any requests to help best celebrate milestone birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions or any other special occasion by prior reservation.


Otahuna offers an ideal setting for small conferences, product launches and board meetings. Larger groups of 64 people are accommodated in the wood-panelled Ballroom while smaller groups may prefer the Lodge’s Dining Room or an array of indoor and outdoor breakout locations. Additionally, with its 30 acres providing complete privacy Otahuna regularly welcomes groups of up to16 people for overnight retreats. The Lodge’s distinctive facilities and renowned kitchens ensure the most memorable of occasions.


Otahuna Lodge is an exclusive country estate offering 5 suites and 2 master suites. Each retains architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All luxury suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.

Master Suites

Rhodes Suite

Originally the master bedroom, the Rhodes Suite is actually a series of four rooms which embodies the gracious character of Sir Heaton and Jessie Rhodes. The palatial bedroom boasts a magnificent Victorian fireplace with inglenook seating and stained glass windows. A separate octagonal sitting room situated in the turret is the perfect spot to read a book, work a jigsaw puzzle, enjoy a quiet candlelit dinner or simply gaze out to the gardens.

The ensuite bathroom is luxuriously appointed with a double shower and separate spa tub, ideal for soothing tired muscles at the close of an active day.

Outside, the private balcony affords spectacular views across the Canterbury plains to the distant Southern Alps.

Verandah Suite

Epitomising the phrase “room with a view,” the Verandah Suite is the perfect base from which to start exploring Canterbury. Four doors open onto an enormous arched verandah, reserved exclusively for the suite. Here, guests may quietly contemplate the birdsong from the gardens, or toast with a glass of champagne as the sun sets across the Canterbury Plains behind the Southern Alps.

Indoors, guests can lose themselves in the crackle of a fire – either from a deep armchair in the bedroom or from the freestanding bathtub in the spacious ensuite bathroom.


Botanical Suite

The Botanical Suite is situated in the original Morning Room of the house, where tea was served to Jessie Rhodes and other fine Canterbury ladies every day at 11 o’clock sharp. A floor-to-ceiling mantle featuring gingerbread woodwork and a wood-burning fireplace anchors one corner of the room. In another, an enormous bay window faces east to the gardens and receives bright sunlight through painted glass in the mornings.

Located on the ground floor, the Botanical Suite offers its guests access to the gardens through a private exterior door ensuring that a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk is never more than a few steps away.

Butler Suite

The Butler Suite comprises a series of rooms looking over the terracotta roof of the sunken game house – now a wine cellar – to the woodland beyond. The bedroom, separate full sitting room, and two bathrooms feature classic depictions of the evocative Canterbury landscape as well as Otahuna’s historic past.

The decorative scheme reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts period features dark wood, original fireplace tiles and classic furniture. The butler never had it so good.

Clark Suite

Named for the Lady of the House, Jessie Clark, the Clark Suite looks east over the treetops to the Port Hills. The soft yellows and blues of this classic suite draw their inspiration from the expansive stained glass windows, tiled fireplace and traditional English country ambience of the estate.

After a day of exploring Canterbury, the Clark suite is an ideal place to relax, either in front of the fire or in the spa tub. The paintings of nearby Akaroa harbour will inspire one to see what lies just beyond the hill outside the window.

Garret Suite

Perched at the top of the house, this eyrie invokes Heaton Rhodes’ passion for the great outdoors. Writers may draw inspiration from the desk which looks out across eaves and gables to the treetops, while the views from the sitting area extend all the way across the province to the mountains.

Fishing and hunting memorabilia line the warm, wood-panelled walls and an eclectic collection of antiques and mementos will convince one that there is such a thing as a luxury attic.

Polo Suite

So named for the tradition of the game at Otahuna, the Polo Suite occupies a sunny position at the front of the house overlooking a courtyard on one side and the great lawn on the other. Heaton played regularly on the lawn, which had to be mown by horses wearing special leather shoes.

The classic leathers, houndstooth fabrics and oak furniture of the suite provide the perfect inspiration to plan one’s own horseback adventures from the comfort of a deep double-ended bathtub. Or settled in by one of the suite’s two fireplaces with a good book from the Otahuna library.

Gastronomy & Bar

The cuisine celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh Otahuna estate-grown offerings. Dinner is a five-course chef’s degustation menu which changes daily, making use of the fresh produce sourced from the property’s own potager garden and orchard. Honest, uncluttered flavours, the finest local ingredients and elegantly restrained presentation are the hallmarks of the Otahuna table.

Should this pique one’s taste buds, many culinary experiences may be pursued on the property including cooking classes and seasonal mushroom foraging. Private tours of local, artisanal food providers are arranged upon request.

Dining Room

The cuisine celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh Otahuna estate-grown offerings. Dinner is a five-course chef’s degustation menu which changes daily, making use of the best fresh produce and guests’ dietary requirements. Honest, uncluttered flavours, the finest local ingredients and elegantly restrained presentation are the hallmarks of the Otahuna table.

At dinner, guests dine communally in the opulent formal dining room – ornate original wallpaper, a roaring fire and sparkling candlesticks exemplify the gracious living of the Victorian era. Alternatively, they may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret, or a location of their choosing.

Wine Cellar

The old game house – where game and fowl were hung to dry – now houses Otahuna Lodge’s wine cellar. Set into a hillside, the cellar maintains ideal temperature and humidity for the careful maturation of New Zealand wines.

Otahuna Lodge offers a different flight of complementary wine pairings with each dinner, emphasising Canterbury and New Zealand wines. Should guests wish to celebrate with a particular vintage, a list is always available.


Otahuna Lodge

224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu 7672,
Christchurch, New Zealand

Tel: +64 3 329 6333
Fax: +64 3 329 6336
Email: enquiries@otahuna.co.nz


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