Tell us about Punawaitai Station and where you are situated?

Punawaitai Station is a coastal hill country farm, we are a private secluded out of the way place where you can create your dream wedding, big or small, providing every amenity available; beach front accommodation for all your family and guests, experienced international chefs, caterers, marquees, tepees and floral designers, wedding/event planners, photographers, all within an hour or less of our venues.  Punawaitai means “Salt Water Spring”, this bubbles out of the ground further up the valley and then meanders back down through our gardens to the sea.

How many people can you accommodate?

Ceremonies in the homestead gardens can cater for 6 to 200+, there is 1.5ha area to plan the best day of your life.  The wool shed will seat 90 for a ceremony plus a further 40 standing in the night pens looking on. Ceremonies at the sheep yards, under the oak trees or the whare paddock are other wonderful options also, we can discuss all of these with our guests.  These areas come with catering facilities and are places to let your imagination run wild to create your day.

How long have you owned the venue?

Punawaitai Station is 100 years old in June 2017, John’s grandfather purchased the land upon the division of Pourerere Station in 1917. We have had the Holiday Accommodation in the whare paddock for some 30 odd years along with events  such as horse treks, vintage car rallies, school camps, pony club champs, family reunions, charity fund raisers, and now the perfect venue for dream weddings.

Tell us some more about what you provide for a wedding?

Our venue creates the atmosphere and ambience for the best day of your life, rustic, contemporary, rural with elegant gardens.  Punawaitai is the place to build your dream wedding, whether you do it yourself or we also have recommended wedding planners that can help you create your dream. We have provided a long list of vendors and suppliers on our webpage www.punawaitai.nz /weddings/need help, for everything you will need to create your day.

We noticed there are a few areas where ceremonies can take place tell us some more about those.

There are areas for small intimate ceremonies; under the 130 year old plane tree with the bridge as a back drop, by the pool,  or by ‘Magnolia’ the statue on the Magnolia stump, at the bottom of the steps by the rose arch, on the thyme lawn, there is also a an old morris minor (for the grandchildren) in the garden! And then the new large oval lawn that will seat 200+ and the tennis court with its concrete base for the stiletto heels. The new plantings now provide flowers, daffodils, iris, tulips, lillies, hydrangeas, roses, bella donna lillies from early spring through to autumn colourings of deciduous trees, ornamental grape  in May. A winter wedding, in June, can be stunning with the colourful barks and structural elegance of deciduous trees as a backdrop for the simplicity of winter white wool gowns and furs.

The Woolshed is fun, raw timber, raised board so everybody can see, decorated with flags and flowers and more.  The Sheep Yards with rustic rails and gates shaded by the 150 year old Oak trees or The Whare Paddock with the hills in behind and the setting sun can create a very romantic backdrop and colours especially in Autumn. There is a place for everyone to have as their special area.

Your number one tip for couples who are venue scouting.

Your Wedding Day is one of the best day’s of your Life, have it just how you want it…. Know your Budget. Know everything you dreamed of is possible, sometimes even more wonderful than you ever thought, with imagination, simplicity, energy and help from your family and friends or wedding planner magic happens every day here at Punawaitai.

As a husband and wife team do you both have certain roles within the business.

We are a team and have deliberately set out to have Punawaitai as a place to celebrate love, joy and happiness. Naturally there is “boys work” of mowing the 2ha. paddock by the Woolshed and The Whare Paddock and “ girls work” of gardens and flowers and keeping up with the webpage and facebook enquiries and bookings, overall we do most things together just whenever, whatever needs attending too at the time.

Your top tip for a Hawkes Bay Wedding.

Abundance, everything you need is here, fine (local) food, fine wines, flowers, accommodation, the Hawkes Bay is full of professional people with international experience to create the best day of your life, an out of city experience.

What do you love most about what you do?

Being the 3rd generation to farm this beautiful coastal property, a mere 5 minutes’  walk from the white sands of Pourerere Beach, we wanted to share the peace and tranquillity surrounding our home and gardens, farm and Holiday Accommodation, as a special place for others to build and make forever happy memories too.

Punawaitai Station | Photography by Heather Liddell at the wedding of James and Helen…….

We had a summer wedding at Punawaitai Station and it was the best day of our lives! We were married in the woolshed – a rustic, charming, and quintessentially kiwi spot for a wedding. We had drinks and canapes outside the woolshed, with the reception on the lawn under a Tipi. 
 
Sue & John were incredible hosts – entirely flexible when we had to make last minute venue changes due to rain. We utilised all of their facilities including the kitchens and bunk rooms. Sue even gave us flowers out of her beautiful garden! They were very accommodating with multiple visits of the venue prior to the wedding, and in the days leading up to the big event. There are an infinite number of spots for wedding photos on their property and down at Pourerere Beach. 
 
We’d do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing!… James and Helen