Arapawa Homestead, Arapawa Island, Marlborough Sounds

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Arapawa Homestead

If you're considering a holiday in New Zealand's magnificent Marlborough Sounds, look no further than Arapawa Homestead. Located on Arapawa Island (18,500 acres) at the northern region of the South Island, Arapawa Homestead invites you to take a break, relax and enjoy the ever-changing views.

2021 SPECAL OFFER - Couples Discount Special - no minimum stay.

  • Stay in the Gunyah Homestead for only $150.00 per night, up to 2 people 
  • Stay in the Little Colonsay Beach House next to the beach for only $150.00 per night, up to 2 people


Boat or water taxi only access to the island ensures your peace and privacy for those who wish to get away from it all. It takes approximately 35 minutes by private charter. The mail boat from Picton arrives twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays, leaving Picton around 1pm the leisurely trip takes between 1-3 hours.

Boat owners coming to Whekenui Bay would launch at Waikawa Marina. Out Queen Charlotte sounds, turn right at Tory Channel. Travel approx 10ks almost to the entrance to Cook Strait. Our wharf is located to the left of the leading lights, on left side of channel going out.For those without boats there are a number of ways to reach Whekenui Bay. If you are coming to us from Picton you can either take a trip on the mail boat or there are water taxis available. For a quick trip from Wellington, indulge in a short Helicopter ride.

Water taxi tours from Whekenui Bay to the outer Marlborough Sounds can be arranged. Dinghy and boat mooring is included in the tariff. 

Accommodation on Arapawa Island

Prices quoted in NZ$, subject to change

At Arapawa, there are three accommodation options to match your particular needs whether it be for a family holiday, a romantic getaway or a group reunion. The Arapawa lifestyle offers a glimpse of an old world New Zealand you will never forget. You won't want to leave our little piece of paradise.


Refurbished in keeping wth the original 1940s character, the homestead is a fully equipped, private and cosy home-away-from-home. Gunyah sleeps up to 13 people and includes a fold-out bed and a cot for families with a younger child.

Tarrif | Gunyah - Arapawa Homestead Minimum stay 2 nights

Summer (October - May inclusive) - $330 up to 5 people | $22 per night each additional person.
Off Season (June - September inclusive) - $270.00 up to 5 people | $22 per night each additional person.
We are also offering a Couples Discount Special this summer season: $150 per night, up to two people.


The School Cottage, which is the remodelled school, was where the whaler's children were educated. This special, cosy cottage is located on the grassy flats at Whekenui Bay, Tory Channel. The cottage sleeps 6 comfortably, a maximum of 7 people. There is one set of double bunks and one set of single bunks. A fold down bed is also available.

Tarrif | School Cottage Minimum stay 2 nights
Summer (October - May inclusive)
$210 up to 6 people | $22 per night each additional person if additional camping is required.
Off Season (June - September inclusive) $190.00 up to 3 people | $22 per night each additional person if additional camping is required.
Off Season Special - Stay 6 nights and get a 7th night FREE.


We have recently added this lovely beach home to our accommodation offering. Situated right near the beach, so close you can hear the waves and the sea, this beach house is a true Kiwi bach experience. The home is situated with easy access to the sandy beach, which is perfect to stroll along. Sleeps up to 12 people.

Summer (October - May inclusive) - $420.00 up to 5 people | $22 per night each additional person.
Off Season (June - September inclusive) - $380.00 up to 5 people | $22 per night each additional person.
We also have a Couples Special for this summer season: $150 per night, up to two people.


Arapawa Island offers a range of activities for both the daring and the sedate. To best appreciate the tranquillity of Arapawa, take a five-minute stroll down the hill to Whekenui Bay's private, white sandy beach of where there is plenty of space for children to play safely.

Your stay at Arapawa Homestead offers the opportunity to enjoy some of the wildlife that abounds on the island. There is a multitude of native birds to be seen while you walk around the bay and playful dolphins can be seen from the beach or boat. And if you love the sea, the fishing from either the wharf or boat is unbeatable and diving in the area is awesome. Sea kayaking is a very popular activity in the Marlborough Sounds and there are three kayaks available for use by our guests.

For the adventurous - and the reasonably fit - the island's terrain is perfect for hiking or mountain biking, and keen walkers and cyclists are rewarded with amazing views of our farm. Wild pig and goat hunting on our property can also be arranged by request.

We have a 4 wheeler motorbike for hire ($60) according to availability.

Also a big attraction for kids and adults alike are our eels that live in the creek by the main house. They love to be fed fish or anything disposable. There are over 20 eels. Not to be eaten or caught though. Also, if you feel like exploring, you can take the walk to the Whaling Station, which is very close by. We can also arrange a visit to our very own Paua farm (small charge applies).

Paua Farm Tours

Extensive paua farm tours are available upon request. The cost is $60 per person, with a short video and a walk around the farm. Tour includes a sample of cooked Paua as well as home baking. Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to see paua of all sizes, from dust-specs in a larval rearing tank to size paua with pearl inserts. Don’t miss this opportunity to glimpse a unique part of New Zealand marine life and spend time with experts in the paua industry. Tours take approximately 90 minutes. Pearls are available to purchase -

Arapawa Homestead, Arapawa Island, Marlborough Sounds Enquiry Form


Whekenui Bay
Arapawa Island
Marlborough 7281

Phone: +64 3 579 9075

Mobile: 021 943395


Web: Visit website

The Arapawa Homestead, Arapawa Island, Marlborough Sounds Enquiry Form