This Otago High-Country Sheep Farm Has Just Made Condé Nast's Gold List of the World's Best Accommodation
A far cry from the list's usual five-star hotels, this sheep-and-cattle station offers four accommodation options in the middle of a working farm.
December 16, 2022
If you're starting to think hard about next year's travel plans, we've got a stay that warrants an extra stop on the list — and it's not a beachfront villa or five-star skyrise. South Island sheep and cattle farm Lake Hāwea Station is the only New Zealand property to have made Condé Nast's prestigious Gold List of accommodation options for 2023.
Now in its 29th year, the international publication's hand-selected Gold List consists of the international team of writers' favourite places to stay around the world. And, recognised for its eco-practices and luxe transformation of the farm's historic cottages, Lake Hāwea Station made the cut in the publishing house's brand-new Best Sustainable Hotels category.
We can see why — just 15 minutes from Wanaka, Lake Hāwea Station is the first certified carbon-zero farm in Australasia, offering travellers an authentic farm experience while they stay on-site in one of its four luxe accommodation options.
In their notes, Condé Nast editors wrote that it was "simply, one of the most impressive, can't-believe-this-place-could-possibly-exist retreats you'll ever be lucky enough to stay in."
"[The] property's true point of difference is its pioneering ethos in New Zealand's approach to cultivation and sustainability."
The farm has four accommodation options available: the three-bedroom glass-walled Lake House, the studio-like Little L tiny house (which comes complete with a miniature library), the simple two-bedroom Homespur cottage and the historic Packhouse cottage, which sleeps six. All houses boast stellar lake views, outdoor firepits, hot tubs and outdoor dining.
Owners Jussie and Geoff Ross received recognition for their renovation and transformation of the 16,000-acre property which they purchased in 2018. They were also recognised for the farm's focus on animal welfare practices, enhanced farm biodiversity and their work to slow climate change — including the planting of more than 100,000 native trees.
Jussie says that it's a sign of a changing travel industry to see a working farm on a list usually reserved for luxury hotels.
"It shows that high-end travellers want to be part of a climate-positive experience," she said in a statement.
"In an age of increasing demand for both climate action and transparency, Lake Hāwea Station immerses its guests in every aspect of their fight for the climate."
Lake Hawea Station is the only New Zealand property to be crowned in Conde Nast's Gold List for 2023. You can find more info about the station's sustainability practices — and perhaps book your stay — on the official website.
Top image: Thomas Greenway
Concrete Playground Trips
Book unique getaways and adventures dreamed up by our editors