Spy understands British acting superstar Benedict Cumberbatch has spent lockdown at a picturesque Hawke's Bay luxury lodge.

A well-placed source tells Spy that Cumberbatch, who has been in New Zealand filming Netflix drama The Power of the Dog, chose to stay at Summerlee Luxury Retreat instead of fighting to get back to the UK when the world went into lockdown.

Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020
Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020

The magnificent secluded property is set in 4ha of gardens with spectacular coastal views. It's understood he has been hunkered down with wife, theatre and opera director and playwright Sophie Hunter, and their two children.

The Power of the Dog, directed by Jane Campion, is filming in two stages. The first was in the scenery of the deep south of the South Island, where the Otago Daily Times reported the family was staying in a palatial Alexandra home.

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The cast and crew headed to Auckland for stage two in early March and Spy understands Cumberbatch took up residence in a smart Ponsonby home.

When Level 4 Lockdown came, it's understood the Sherlock Holmes' star decamped to Summerlee.

Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020
Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020

The sprawling home is the original homestead of Cape Kidnappers' Station and has recently undergone a major renovation and restoration. The expansive landscape encompasses a tennis court, large petanque court, and separate pool and pool house area with a spa. It has eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

An industry expert estimated the lodge cost up to $3500 a night to rent.

Rumours have also swirled around Hawke's Bay that Campion has been in the area.

Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020
Summerlee Luxury Retreat Supplied to Spy May 2020

Last week Spy noted that the movie's leading lady, Kirsten Dunst, was still in Auckland just under a month into lockdown, according to an Instagram post.

The resort declined to comment on whether the Cumberbatch was staying there.

It's not a bad place to lockdown - the property is in Te Awanga with wineries, restaurants, a renowned surf break, rivers and one of the world's top golf courses at the doorstep of the Dr Strange star.

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The village is a 25-minute drive from Hawke's Bay's Napier airport - handy for returning to Auckland when production resumes.

This week Cumberbatch joined Taika Waititi and Oscars winner Meryl Streep in the second of a 10-episode virtual charity read-along of James & The Giant Peach.

The star-studded reading of the Roald Dahl classic is raising money to help those affected by Covid-19.