Four of Central Hawke's Bay's historic homesteads are opening their doors together for the first time at the end of next month as a feature event in the Central Hawke's Bay Spring Fling.
Visitors are offered a weekend of grandeur, history, gorgeous food and wine and a chance to explore these wonderful residences and their expansive grounds.
The Homestead Trail weekend includes special events at Gwavas Homestead and Garden, Oruawharo Homestead, Chapelwick Coastal Estate and Wallingford Homestead, all landmarks of Central Hawke's Bay.
"To have them open together for visitors to explore and enjoy over a weekend is unprecedented," says Anna Baldwin, CHB tourism co-ordinator for Hawke's Bay Tourism, organisers of the Spring Fling.
"The historic homesteads all attract attention as people are intrigued by the history and want to experience the grandeur and stateliness for themselves.
"The scale and size of these homes - built as long as 150 years ago, set on beautiful grounds with impressive plantings and trees - is mesmerising," says Baldwin.
As well as history, tours and a chance to explore each homestead's gardens and grounds, the Homestead Trail will be extra special because visitors will be treated to an event at each homestead, including tea in the garden at Gwavas, a garden party at Chapelwick, a delicious lunch at Oruawharo and alfresco dining at Wallingford.
Visitors will be able to experience these magnificent homes, see intricate timber panelling and original wallpapers, impressive ceilings and staircases, hear their history from the owners - some of who are descendants of the original residents - and imagine a time long ago led by tradition, etiquette and status.
"This will be an exceptional experience. There's an element of wonder to these homesteads. People love to walk the hallways and staircases and experience that incredible history," Baldwin says.
"The Homestead Trail is an incredibly unique opportunity to explore the four homesteads over the course of a weekend, but also be treated to four special experiences at each homestead with gorgeous food and live music."
Tickets to the Homestead Trail weekend are limited and are selling quickly.
The Spring Fling is an initiative of Hawke's Bay Tourism and the CHB District Council to invite visitors into the district and showcase the best of Central Hawke's Bay.
Tickets for the Spring Fling are on sale now and a full details of events and ticketing can be found at www.thespringfling.nz