Wallingford Homestead is a historic country home that offers the perfect blend of elegance and intimacy.
The homestead provides spacious bedrooms, and an abundance of private verandahs, courtyards and intimate spaces where you can enjoy your stay, plan your perfect wedding or corporate event. The history of the estate and its many activities that can be enjoyed during your stay our outlined below.
Wallingford Homestead is a historic country home that offers the perfect blend of elegance and intimacy. The homestead provides spacious bedrooms, and an abundance of private verandahs, courtyards and intimate spaces where you can enjoy your stay with us while travelling or simply a romantic night away.
Wallingford has been a gracious host to many romantic weddings – each one unique and enriched by the homestead’s lovely ambiance. By choosing Wallingford as the setting for your special day, you can feel confident your wedding will be imbued with gravitas, charm and the sophisticated comfort of today.
The homestead remains an ideal venue for corporate retreats, executive meetings and sophisticated networking with key stakeholders, with the largest meeting room seating up to 40 people. Hawkes Bay is a short plane trip from Auckland, Wellington or Taupo.
Golf is a strong suit of Wallingford, with six courses within twenty minutes’ drive, and one hour drive away is the world-class Cape Kidnappers course with a no-prisoners reputation. Ask us about the full list of golf courses nearby.
Hawkes Bay is blessed with an abundance of fly-fishing rivers. The Tuki Tuki and Ngaruroro are the closest, at only twenty minutes drive from Wallingford. There are many local guides for 4X4 fishing trips or heli-fishing.
For the competitive, there is always a regulation croquet pitch set on the front lawn. If you have not played, croquet is a wonderful sport to play in the evening with drinks and canapés. Archery and pétanque are also available.
The solar heated pool is maintained from September to April. The pool pavilion has a fully licensed bar, open fireplace, overhead heaters for the winter.
Off the front of the homestead we offer elevated clay bird shooting. Clay bird shooting is a fantastic sport for bonding and competition, and we are happy to cater to large and small groups of shooters.
Wallingford has a truffiere in which 1600 Oak Trees have been innoculated with Black Truffle – Tuber Melanosporum. Come walk through the orchard to see how truffles are grown.
The homestead was originally built by “the Master” the Hon J D Ormond (1831 – 1917). In December 1847 before either Canterbury or Otago were colonised (aged 15) J D stepped ashore in Auckland from his home of Wallingford Berkshire in England as the secretary to E J Eyre, the Lieutenant-Governor of New Munster.
By the end of 1860 all the creeks from Waipukurau to Blackhead (Blackhead reef provided the wool loading and incoming goods landing area serviced by small coastal vessels) had been bridged and by 1862 Wallingford Village had a store, a blacksmith and two hotels, one of them with eleven bedrooms.
It is not known how large the homestead was at this point suffice to say that Hannah Ormond’s 1864 journals indicate it was a sizeable house. By 1873 a map of Hawkes Bay shows Ormond owning the Mangangarara Block, 14,226 acres which included the homestead, and adjacent, to the North East, the Eparaima Block of 4,849 acres. With a flock of 25,354 sheep Ormond ranked sixth among the landowners of Hawke’s Bay. By 1872 he also owned land to the south of Wallingford and at Karamu in Hastings, and later purchased land at Woodville and Mahia. By 1852 JD had settled Wallingford Station, he built the homestead around 1853-54.
In 1869 Ormond was elected to the Superintendency of Hawke’s Bay and the family moved to Tintagel in Napier to live, returning to Wallingford for the summer holidays. They had spent the first 9 years of married life at Wallingford but never returned to live there.
John Davies (Jack) Ormond the sixth and youngest of Hannah & J D’s children was born in 1873. He married “Gran Ormond” Emilie Mary Gladys Wilder (1881-1958) in 1902. Jack and Gladys Ormond raised twelve children at Wallingford, six boys and six girls, see the list below.
By 1905 Wallingford was a prosperous and well-developed sheep and cattle station of some 34,000 acres. The village, which existed mainly to complement the farm, consisted of a blacksmith (the village centre), a boarding house, a telephone exchange (set up and paid for by the Hon J D to assist his work on the Legislative Council) and a school. In 1905 Wallingford was still an important stopping post on the journey from Porangahau and the coast and was linked by a daily horse-drawn coach to Waipukurau.
The four-horse carriages that were used for mail delivery and transportation on the coastal run changed horses at the Wallingford stables until their replacement in 1912 by service cars. During 1908 the Nursery wing of the homestead was added.
With the extra hardships imposed by the war and a rapidly growing family – ten by 1918 – Wallingford was a busy homestead. In 1917/18 a new wing was added to accommodate the growing family and a number of servants including two nurses, a cook, a gardener, a scullery maid, and with the arrival of Miss Farrow in 1916, a schoolteacher. The house also had its own tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course. Hurst Seager from Christchurch was the architect for the final alterations made during 1917/18.
(Sir) John Davies Wilder Ormond, (second eldest of the twelve children) was born on 8th September 1905; he died on 8th March 1995. His wife-to-be Judith Wall was born on 15th June 1920 (married on 26th August 1939); she died on 2nd July 2000. Sir John chaired a number of boards in New Zealand including the NZ Meat Producers Board, the Exports and Shipping Council and the New Zealand Shipping Line, the latter established by the Kirk Labour Government.
These were interesting times for agriculture in New Zealand with the change from the bulk purchase of many of NZ’s agricultural products by the British Government, vital to Britain during the war years, to the era of British entry into the EEC. Four very powerful producer controlled Boards – the Meat, Wool, Dairy and Apple and Pear Boards – working in close cooperation with the Exports & Shipping Council guided us through these troublesome times for New Zealand.
There were a number of well known personalities involved on these boards at the time but special among those was Sir Jack Acland of Mt Peel in Canterbury, Chairman of the NZ Wool Board, and married to Sir John’s sister Kit Ormond. Another was Sir Tom Skinner President of the Federation of Labour, his close association and friendship with Sir John signalled the beginning of a new era of understanding in New Zealand that producers and workers are vital to each other’s fortunes.
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