No time to stand and stare as we had a date with the Matthews family at Wairongomai Station on the western side of Lake Wairarapa between the lake and the Rimutaka Ranges.
This is another traditional station, settled more than 160 years ago with Charlie the sixth generation to farm it. He and wife Karla and their three children just love the place…”nobody ever leaves Wairongomai,” said Karla, who is an Otago girl originally.
Charlie still tends the Romney flock, the oldest in the country…his forebears drove the sheep around the coast from Wellington, across rocks and along the beach between tides. Once there was around 20 staff which left a legacy of 14 homes on the property. Partly to conserve them and partly diversifying their income, Karla has renovated three of them – one the house where her in-laws lived until retiring to town – as holiday lets and with the property on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail, it’s a great stopover or an ideal centre for a family holiday. They have even had weddings on the farm.