The Landing in the Bay of Islands offers more than just luxury accommodation
Set on a historic pā site, complete with Māori artifacts and its very own vineyard, The Landing is a luxury escape with a story to tell.
The Landing is the love child of Peter Cooper, a Kaitaia boy made good who now counts among his many homes a 405ha farm on the Purerua Peninsula in the Bay of Islands, with a million new native trees he and his team have planted, a landscaped and extended wetland, a bird sanctuary, private beaches, and four superb homes designed by lauded architect Pip Cheshire.
Arriving by boat from Russell, our skipper, Dane Hawker, took us the long way round to give us a view of the black cliffs and a startling example of a pā site complete with defensive trenches you can still see from the water, set to his stories of working in the region.
We were met at the wharf by guest service manager Laura Moreno, whose former life saw her stewarding on multimillionaires’ private jets.
She took us on a tour of the property’s significant sites, including their own vineyards and greenhouses, and remnants of kūmara pits and the oldest schoolhouse in New Zealand.
I’d heard about Peter’s private collection of Māori artifacts, but to see these pieces on display in a pristine and perfect home is not an experience to be taken lightly.
An entire day could be devoted to admiring the hei tiki, adzes and patu (clubs), not to mention the antique holy korowai (cloaks) adorning mannequins in the Cooper Residence. Along with these relics are pieces by native artists such as Chris Bailey, and some deftly curated poetry.
If your budget doesn’t extend to overnighting here, you may instead opt for a tour of The Landing’s winery. As he sampled barrels along the way, head vintner Ben Byrne ensured we understood the care that goes into every bottle. We were treated like royalty, right down to the tasting platter from the Coopers’ private chef, and one of the softest rosés I’ve had the pleasure of supping.