The Mataia Homestead and surrounding farmland has been in the Gardner family for over 150 years. Built in 1891 the homestead has been home to five generations of the Gardner family and is registered as a Category 2 Historic Building with the NZ Historic Places Trust. The unusual M-shaped red roof on the double-storey house has made the homestead the focus of a number of artists over the years. Iconic NZ potter Briar Gardner was also brought up and educated at Mataia in the late 1890s.
Over the generations the house slowly deteriorated and by the late 1980s was virtually uninhabitable when the family made the decision to restore her in time for the centenary celebrations in 1991.
The interior decoration of the homestead and the landscaping of the gardens were never completed at this time as funds ran out and the focus of the family shifted to developing the surrounding farmland. For the next 13 years the house played host to various family friends and groups. In 2005 the family undertook the final restoration of the homestead and surrounding gardens, completing a nearly 20 year restoration project to return the homestead to its former glory and open her up for the public to enjoy.
The homestead is surrounded by approximately five acres of developing gardens.
A wide sweeping lawn in front of the house is large enough to house a cricket game or vintage car club expo. Roses grow abundantly around the homestead and define paths and decorate several old sheds. A long pergola on the western side of the house frames the view westward across the surrounding farmland and the northern facing deck area is bordered by a beautiful curving perennial flower garden.
A large productive vegetable garden a short distance from the house supplies a number of families and is designed for guests to help themselves during their stay.
Alongside the vegetable garden is the formal herb garden in which, dependent on the time of year, can normally be found a good variety of herbs including parsley, chives, basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, mint, tarragon, dill, fennel and giant red mustard.
The large orchard features a variety of heritage fruit and citrus trees including plum, apple, fig, loquat, quince, persimmon, grape, guava, nectarine, peach, pear, cherry, mandarin, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, lime and blueberries. Please feel free to help yourself to in-season fruit during your stay.
A native bush block adjacent to the house gardens has a short walk which meanders its way through, visiting several large Kahikatea trees and an area which is under restoration.
Please be aware that there are several water hazards surrounding the house including the Mataia Creek and ponds at the front and rear of