Luxury getaway at Holmes' lodge

By Sam Hurley

Sir Paul and Lady Holmes' Poukawa Valley property has been converted into a luxury getaway estate.

Mana Lodge and its 18 hectares of prime Hawke's Bay farmland can be booked from mid-August at $1380 a night.

The estate is run by the late broadcaster's widow and can accommodate for up to 10 adults as a holiday home, wedding or function venue.

Sir Paul, who grew up in Hawke's Bay, acquired Mana Lodge in 2000 after falling in love with the property. He declared it "a lovely little farm with a charisma all of its own".

During the next decade, he and Lady Deborah set about landscaping the grounds, which included building a 40-metre pergola extending out from the lodge conservatory into the gardens themselves.

The couple further developed the property and planted an olive grove of 3000 trees, which produce the Mana Lodge signature olive oils. The amphitheatre, originally built to parade horses, was opened up and a circular swimming pool constructed in place of the original semi-circular pool that had been covered in.

Built in 1948, the lodge underwent an extensive programme of planting native and significant trees. The grounds were landscaped into formal tiered terraces and redesigned to include one of the largest private swimming pools in the country.

The property now boasts six bedrooms, a study, conservatory, two lounges and catering is available for guests.

Lady Deborah yesterday declined to comment.

In the New Year's Honours, Sir Paul was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting and the community. His investiture ceremony was held at the estate and his funeral took place at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland.


- Hawkes Bay Today

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