Otahuna was built in 1895 for Sir Heaton Rhodes, a high-profile pioneer of Canterbury, and his wife Jessie.
Sir Heaton is remembered as a Victorian country gentleman and benefactor known for his enthusiasm for life and kindness towards others. He was a long-term parliamentarian, a military officer, stockbreeder and keen horticulturist whose contributions are integral to the history of Canterbury. Otahuna would remain his home for more than 60 years until he passed away at the age of 95.
The name “Otahuna” is Maori and popularly translates as “little hill among the hills.” The homestead sits atop a small hill, between the rocky outcrops of the Banks Peninsula, providing commanding views of the gardens and across the plains to the Southern Alps.
Otahuna is Sir Heaton Rhodes’ greatest legacy, an enduring testament to his love for the finer things in life. The homestead is considered one of the best examples of unspoiled Queen Anne architecture in Australasia. Praised for its irregular shape, romantic rooflines, extensive use of New Zealand timber, and elaborate architectural detail, Otahuna is now protected by a Category One listing from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Influenced by the style and scale of noble English country estates, Otahuna Lodge entertains its guests in the refined tradition of Sir Heaton Rhodes.