The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Sitting comfortably on rolling hills 1000 feet above the Pacific, as one of three sister properties owned by Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is as close to iconic Kiwi luxury as can be.

Captain James Cook, the famed British explorer, named this area after local Maori failed to 'kidnap' a member of his crew. Located in a gorgeous location high above Hawke’s Bay this 24 suite “farm” encompasses 6000+ acres and includes panoramic views of the Pacific. Luxurious rooms and a world-class golf course aside, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers remains a working farm with tours for guests as one of the many activities to do on property.

The decor of the property lends itself from the fact that indeed it is a working farm with both sheep and cattle raised nearby. In fact the sheep are used from time to time to tend to the rough on the course as done in some places within Ireland and Scotland. Perhaps best defined as a refined rustic style, the rooms and lodge combine materials like river stone and wood to create a cozy feel, while implements like vintage farm and other small reminders dot the walls and tables throughout.

Every suite opens to a private porch with panoramic views. Large rooms with high ceilings lend an air of space and have walk-in closets, double vanity sinks in the bathroom and Californian King beds.

Each suite has high-speed Wifi, flatscreen LCD TV, fully stocked complimentary mini-bar (domestic beers, excluding wine and liquor), walk-in closet and oversized bath with twin vanities. 180-degree panoramic views of the farm, golf course and Pacific Ocean are enjoyed from each suite's private balcony.

4 Lodge Suites, located in the lodge itself, are the largest at 708 square feet and offer the easiest access to the facilities.

8 Ridge Suites are situated above the skyline ridge and a short walk from the lodge. At 683 square feet, these suites are spacious with private fireplaces, full wet bar and large private balconies.

10 Hilltop Suites are located on the hill above the lodge and offer spectacular vistas. At 500 square feet these suites have the option of adding a connecting smaller bedroom for families.

An important aspect of The Farm is its predator fence which surrounds the entire property. This prevents pests like stoats and rats from entering (which are not native and were brought to New Zealand on ships). The result is that The Farm is also a conservation sanctuary for birds. 

Guests interested in observing the Kiwi in its natural habitat may book evening walks with an expert who will provide education and track the bird via wireless transmitter. During the day a variety of nature walks include trails from cliff side hikes above the sea to more moderate walks along the beach and forest walks among the native bush.

One does not need to be a bird lover to appreciate the beauty of the property's onsite gannet reserve. As the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world, these beautiful birds are designed for graceful dives from great heights into the seat to catch fish. The adults and their chicks can be observed from very close range.

In addition to relaxing with massive views overlooking Hawke's Bay, guests will enjoy luxury spas, pools and gym facilities. An infinity edge heated lap pool, jacuzzi and cabana overlook the farm, golf course and Pacific. Massage treatments and facials may be taken in one of three treatment rooms, including a couple's spa suite.

Arrangements can be made to wine taste throughout the nearby Hawk'es Bay area, or guests may simply opt to tour the wine cellar and receive a tasting on premises.

Dining can be enjoyed in many unique spaces throughout the property. Classical French and English techniques fuse with local flavors, and like many of the more upscale properties, The Farm includes a large breakfast spread of cereals, fruits and baked goods in addition to a fully cooked menu option.

A full three-course lunch is available, however this is not included with the tariff. A variety of coups, sandwiches, salads and desserts are available, however many will opt for a light lunch in the clubhouse.

At the end of the day pre-dinner glasses of wine and light canapés are taken with other guests in the main lodge at cocktail hour. An a la carte dinner menu changes nightly and features local produce, seafood and New Zealand lamb and beef. Dinner is included with your stay and you may chose from a few shared dining locations. 

If dining or taking canapés in the lodge, jackets are required for men (one will be provided if you did not pack one). Private dining is also always available.

Customer reviews

The Henley was incredible. What a find. Incredible grounds, the staff was waiting for us when we pulled up, great rooms, lovely breakfast. We could have stayed another day or two. Definitely the perfect place for us to recharge after the flight and a busy day... Everyone has been enjoying the trip.

—S Kucirek, CA

We had a spectacular time on our trip after leaving Port Douglas and all the arrangements that you made for us came off without a hitch. All flights and transportation that you arranged were on time and we were well taken care of at all the places we went to.

The Boatshed was incredible. We met Johnathan and had a small dinner with him on our second night. We were the only guests at the hotel and he and his staff just made us feel right at home. Jack and Jen, Johnathan’s staff, took us out to a couple of wineries and we had lunch together. When we got back Johnathan treated us to dinner prepared by his own self. Fantastic.

Next up was Napier/Hastings and the Craggy Range cottage. Excellent choice for us. We were close enough to Havelock North to be able to easily drive into the town and wander around. We went and played Cape Kidnapers as well. The course was wet so no carts were allowed out. Craggy Range winery was great to us and we had dinner at Terroire. Great staff and good eats to be sure. On to Queenstown.

What a wonderfully European feel Queenstown had. Small intimate streets and people all over the place. The Spire was perfect for us. Florence greeted us and was superlative in her suggestions and ideas for us to do. We did take a plane ride out to Milford Sound and the cruise. We went wine tasting and went to Amisfield for lunch where there was a spectacular sunset. It was so good that the staff came outside to take pictures. Simply wonderful. We took the gondola ride up the hill and enjoyed a glass of champagne while we took in the view. That was our last day and really enjoyable. We left the next day and flew back home.

Again, all the arrangements you made of us came off without a hitch. I even drove on the left side of the road without incident. It’s not so bad once you figure out the roundabouts. Thanks to you and your team for setting this up. Will highly recommend this service to our friends should they need to journey down under.

—​Bob E & Sharyn B, San Francisco