Brackenridge Country Retreat and Spa & The Patuna Chasm – Martinborough

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Kia ora koutou! Hello everyone! 

We’ve stayed at Brackenridge that many times it’s safe to say it’s one of our favorite Martinborough accommodation venues to enjoy and refer to whānau and friends. Only a 90 minute (or so) roadie from the capital and situated on 14 acres of splendid countryside. It’s the complete package and ideal base for your Wairarapa adventures.

We’ve booked the country cottages each time we’ve visited, which are designed and furnished with every comfort in mind. There is also enough private fenced-off space for a family to enjoy and lots of room for the kids to run and play outside. Nothing says family-friendly like an accommodation that welcomes furry friends, pets are allowed at certain cottages on the premises.

Our 2 bedroom cottage featured two bathrooms with under-floor heating and bath, I enjoyed my very own bathroom while the boys accessed the other. Tip! Ensure to book the cottages that also have laundry facilities, which ours did, always a bonus when traveling with children or if you plan on being active and in the outdoors, which we were.

Around the time of our visit I had a serious case of writer’s block (with a deadline approaching), Isaac was also in desperate need of relaxation. When I am stuck blankly staring at my screen feeling flat, when I can see hubby needs to recharge, and the flow-on effects from our misery starting to rub-off on the kids, I know it’s time to hit the road for a retreat. On most occasions that looks more like being off-the-grid or camping, but with work due and the internet needed, a working holiday at a country escape is just the trick needed to pull us out of a funk, and get my creative juices flowing!

One standout feature for me at Brackenridge is the comfy beds and bedding, (which can be made into a super king or twin on request) dense, fluffy, luxurious and homely, the BEST words to describe sleeping quarters.

You’ll find everything you need to make yourself at home at Brackenridge Country Retreat including continental breakfast provisions for self-catering.

The Brackenridge Spa offers a full treatment menu of body treatments and massage, specialised facials, hair removal as well as wedding make-up, eyelash extensions, manicures, and pedicures. Brackenridge was so kind to gift us an afternoon of spoilings, it was bliss. We tag-teamed the kids and regrouped at the indoor 20m salt-water lap pool for some splashing good quality time.

What most people are super surprised to learn when we share how much we love this place is that you don’t have to be a guest to experience the spa, gym or pool! Brackenridge Country Retreat offers a gym membership here OR day passes for $10 for either pool or gym access and $15 combined. So it’s a great spot for a dip in Martinborough.

Brackenridge is perfectly positioned close to Martinborough’s wineries and breweries while still being away from the town’s bustle. Visitors are within reach of tramping spots & family walks, horse-riding, farm activities, sightseeing, and scenic landscape drives.

If you’ve got time book a wine tour with Martinborough Wine Walks (one we have previously enjoyed ourselves) walk or hire a bike (Green Jersey Tours) and cycle through the many cellar doors and dynamic eateries.

The kids love the food at Margrain Vineyard, another great family-friendly winery here in the Wairarapa. They say the chippies here are the best! The tasting rooms here are also one of my favorites, it’s both an educating and a very entertaining experience.

After a stroll around the grounds, a beautiful family walk, we swung past reception to pick up some games and DVDs to watch.

Whenever we stay in Martinborough we try to find a new activity to do as a whanau. We have been itching to get out and explore Wairarapa’s spectacular limestone chasm. A stunning walk through the bush, chasm, and Ruakokoputuna river. I’ve never quite seen anything like the native bush and limestone gorge that exists at Patuna Chasm. From fossils, ferns, stalactites, waterfalls, eels, wildlife, native birds, and LOTS of river water (up to my hips in it at stages!). It has to be my top Wairarapa experience and a must-do activity for the adventurous at heart.

Sunsets in Martinborough are our favorite, so much so we hope to build our forever home here one day. Until then, cup-filling stays like this in our favorite town, at glorious destinations like Brackenridge Country Spa and Retreat is MORE than enough!


Mā te wā! – Hope to see you back soon for another adventure.


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