Frequently asked questions

Ranginui Retreat is in the Wairarapa, in the lower North Island of New Zealand. We are just a 10-minute drive north of Masterton, 90 minutes from Wellington, and 150 minutes from the Hawkes Bay. We are located right on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, and you can literally walk across the paddocks to a boutique vineyard, with others in close proximity.

The Wairarapa is a breathtaking backdrop of big skies, expansive plains, high mountains and forest tracks offering visitors the opportunity to retreat and experience space and relaxation, or participate in outdoor activity and adventure. With distinctive towns and villages nestled in stunning hills, amazing farmland, and acres of vineyards. The historic settlements follow a network of deep rivers and meandering creeks, stretching out to some of the most spectacular coastlines in New Zealand.

Hot summer months and crisp winters add to the diversity and charm of the Wairarapa and the different seasons mean the garden at Ranginui Retreat is always changing.

We love living here because it is a place where you can really experience many of the things New Zealand has to offer, yet also have the opportunity to meet and talk with people who live and work here without feeling you are just another visitor.

The answer is found by looking at the sky in the Wairarapa.

The Wairarapa is well known for its big skies, and this was further confirmed recently when it was granted official Dark Sky Reserve status. This means our night sky is among the best places in the world to view the never-ending star filled skies above. Just an hour's drive from Wellington, Wairarapa is arguably the most accessible dark sky destination in the world.

Take this with Māori mythology that personified the heavens as a sky father, naming him variously Rangi (heavens), Ranginui (great heavens), Rangiroa (expansive heavens), or Te Ranginui-e-tū-nei (the great-standing heavens). Ranginui played a pivotal role in the birth of the sun, moon, planets, stars and constellations – collectively called Te Whānau Mārama (the family of light).

So, in the evening you can sit back by the brazier and just gaze at the heavens, or we can arrange a number of things for you to experience. Under the Stars - can come to Ranginui Retreat with all the equipment needed for a memorable night of private stargazing. Star Safari - visit their site and be amazed as qualified guides introduce you to the night sky using the largest telescopes available in the Wairarapa. Stonehenge Aotearoa is New Zealand's unique open air astronomical observatory, built following ancient knowledge of the stone circles and adapted to the conditions of New Zealand.

Our logo is the artichoke, a plant we grow here in the garden at Ranginui Retreat.

Artichokes are an ancient vegetable that are full of symbolism. Artichokes have a tender heart at their core representing hope, peace and prosperity, but they are protected by strong outer layers – lending themselves to deep symbolism including, we like to think, a place where people feel they can retreat to explore, unwind and rejuvenate.
Artichokes are one of the oldest know foods, dating to antiquity. According to legend, when Zeus spotted Cynara, a beautiful young mortal, he transformed her into a goddess. Homesick, Cynara sneaked back into the mortal world. When Zeus discovered her deception, he turned her into an artichoke. The artichoke's scientific name, Cynara scolymus, reflects this story.

The Ranginui Retreat logo is made up of a combination of 3 main elements - The property + the artichoke flower (representing abundance, comfort, food, farm to table) + the letter ‘R’ -the initials of the brand name.

We look forward to welcoming you to Ranginui Retreat soon and sharing this magical place and living our logo with you.

When you book your accommodation at Ranginui Retreat it includes
- Your room which has incredibly comfortable beds, high quality linen and careful attention lavished on every detail to make your stay unforgettable.
- Tea, coffee, homemade biscuits and fruit plate
- Highspeed wifi
- Beautiful gardens and quiet countryside to explore
- Use of the guest lounge
- Use of the solar-heated pool, the all-weather tennis court, or to play petanque or croquet in the gardens, or sit and chat with your hosts
- Welcome afternoon tea and refreshments
- A delicious continental breakfast with seasonal produce home-made granola and jams
- Pre-dinner drinks with local wine and canapes
- Free car parking.

Ranginui Retreat can accommodate up to three couples, each with their own suite:
- The cottage is nestled among the gardens and trees on the property, and you’ll instantly unwind and begin to feel at ease. Contemporary fixtures combine with warm, soft furnishings to offer a space that feels like your own with its own lounge, ensuite and kitchenette.
- Situated on the second floor of the main Ranginui Retreat residence, our luxury king suite is a warm and spacious retreat. Featuring a King Bed with quality linen Sheets, ensuite with bath, separate large shower and double basins, and a generous walk-in wardrobe / dressing room and sitting area
- Also situated on the second floor of the main Ranginui Retreat residence, our luxury queen suite offers views of the garden from a cozy, private retreat. Features include a Queen Bed with 1000 thread Egyptian cotton Sheets, a large wardrobe, and a separate bathroom with large shower and basin

Castlepoint is a great place to visit and it is only 40 minutes from Ranginui Retreat

Things to do around Castlepoint

• The lighthouse. First lit in 1913, it's one of the last two remaining beam lighthouses in NZ. Stroll up and imagine life as a lighthouse keeper - the last one was on the job until 1988.
• Pop into the beachfront store for fish & chips, a classic rolled ice cream or espresso coffee.
• Visit historic Tinui, the site of the world's first Anzac Day service on 25 April 1916 - a defining moment in New Zealand history. This tiny settlement is 40 minutes' drive from Masterton on the road to Castlepoint. Every year on Anzac Day hundreds flock to take part in commemorations. You can visit the church at any time of year or walk up to the cross between 1 November and 25 April (from 2024).
• Climb the Deliverance Track up the magnificent 162-metre-high Castle Rock, named by explorer Captain Cook in 1770, in about 1-2 hours! To find the track, start at the carpark, walk through the pines above the lagoon and follow the reserve boundary to the base of Castle Rock. Or start from the lagoon beach. As you're walking, keep an eye out for seabirds - terns, gulls, black shags and herons all make their home here. You might also spot the incredibly rare Brachyglottic compacta - a daisy that only grows on the crumbly limestone of the reef and Castle Rock.
• Just 15 minutes' drive north of Castlepoint you'll find one of the region's hidden geological gems - the Mataikona Rocks. These fascinating rock formations - some of them in striking, spiky rows - are the result of sandstone being compressed by the weight of the Pacific Ocean, then bent and buckled by colliding tectonic plates. They're usually hidden by the sea. But time your drive for low tide (unfortunately today that is at 1008hrs and 2239hrs) and you'll see them all the way along the winding gravel road from Whakataki to the settlement of Mataikona. There are plenty of rockpools to explore too. Coming from Castlepoint: Heading north out of town, take the right-hand turn just before the golf course and head north up the coast road.
• For Lunch? The Castlepoint Hotel or as the locals call it "The Whakataki".
Whakataki translated from Te Reo means Introduction. Located 5kms from CastlePoint (you pass it on the right as you head towards Castlepoint) the welcome is warm; the beer is cold, and the destination is as big as the journey. open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am.

Things to do around Masterton

• Aratoi Museum of Art and History
o Central Masterton
o Art from the region as well as history

• The Pointon Collection
o Te Ore Ore Road
o Collection of cars and period fashion and memorabilia

• The Woolshed Museum
o Central Masterton
o All things wool and sheep

• Hedleys
o Stock up on holiday reading at Hedleys - a top quality independent bookstore smack bang on the main street.

• Le Gra Vineyard
o 5-minute drive from Ranginui Retreat
o Lovely wines and a great host

Thanks for considering staying with us, we would be delighted to have you as our guest and want you to have a fantastic stay.
As for any business, we do have a few terms and conditions to protect you and us. Our full terms and conditions can be found on our website, but the following summarises some key points:
- There is usually a 2-night minimum stay. If you would like a one-night stay please contact us for availability.
- A deposit of 50% of the total is required to secure your reservation. The balance is due 14 days prior to your arrival. However, cancellations made more than 14 days prior to your arrival will be refunded; cancellations made within 14 days prior to the commencement of the booking will incur a cancellation fee of the greater of 50% of the total booking or the first night’s fee; and cancellations made within 7 days of arrival date will incur a cancellation fee of 100% of the total booking.

What our previous guests have said