Wharekauhau Country Estate

Wharekauhau sits on the south coast of the Wairarapa against the ocean to the south and the Rimutaka forest park to the north. It dates back to the 1840s when the land was broken in and sheep were walked around the coast from Wellington and at one point had to be carried one by one through the surf.

The rowlock brand came to life around 1870 when the wool ship anchored in Palliser bay to pick up the bales after shearing, but as the farm hand rowed out to the ship with the first bales he was informed by the ships captain they needed to have a registered brand. So a pot of paint was produced and the rowlock was used to stamp the bales.

The property has also diversified into a luxury lodge where Coastal Spring Lamb regularly features on the menu.

The farm has been managed by Bradley Riggs for the past eight years with help from partner Amelie Aegerter who also doubles as the massage and wellness therapist in the lodge.

We currently run 2000 Romney breeding ewes and 550 hoggets. We will lamb anywhere from 130% to 150% depending on the weather. We try and finish all lambs every year.

The cattle side of the business is all Angus and is made up of 150 cow’s to the bull and we keep 40 heifers as replacements. Most of the steers are sold as weaners in the local sale. And the rest are finished at around 2 year olds.