Welcome to Waikonini Homestead

1880's Historic Homestead Bed and Breakfast, Peel Forest


Waikonini Homestead is a seven bedroom historic home, located five minutes from the village of Peel Forest on acres of lush botanic gardens. Welcoming visitors from local regions and across the world, it is a place to unwind, enjoy local food & produce and 'just be'. Wake each morning to the sound of birdsong and nature and go to bed under the clear starry skies.


Waikonini Homestead and gardens is available for functions, as small as an afternoon tea for nature lovers or historic homes enthusiasts, to functions as big as a wedding ceremony and reception for 100 people. We've welcomed Christenings, Birthdays and Memorials too. Group and club visits can also be arranged by appointment.


If you're looking for a base to explore the Geraldine area's great outdoors, Waikonini is the perfect base. Peel Forest Scenic Reserve's numerous bush walks, Horse Trekking, the climb to Little Mount Peel and Whitewater rafting in the Rangitata Gorge is right on our doorstep. If you'd rather something a little more relaxed, there's plenty of lovely spots for a picnic too.

Your Host

Greetings! My name is Mary Casey and I am the current custodian of Waikonini Homestead.

I am an energetic person who has worked in a caring role for all of my professional life. A well travelled world citizen, locally born and bred. Family focused, with an appreciation of cultural diversity and meeting people from all over the world. I have lived and worked overseas at different times during my life and have a broad-minded view of the world.

I have interests in cooking, food, travel, home-decoration, sewing, gardening, simple-living, animals and friendships. I look forwd to making you feel welcome at Waikonini Homestead, be it for an afternoon visit, or for a full-week stay.

About Waikonini

Peace and Quiet

Nestled at the base of Mount Peel near Geraldine, this lovingly restored home is an exceptional accommodation and event venue destination, the perfect place to unwind and "just be". You will receive a warm country welcome, be it for a specific event, overnight visit of full-week stay, waking each morning to the sound of birdsong, nature and the smells of home-style cooking.


Waikonini Homestead Waikonini Homestead is a seven bedroom historic home, located five minutes from the village of Peel Forest on 10 acres of lush botanic gardens. The home was built in 1882 of timber and with a corrugated iron roof for a Mr William Barker. The architect was a Mr J.P. Pritchett of Darlington, UK. The T-shaped house has a verandah and a high, vaulted roofline, typical of its period.

William Barker was one of Peel Forest's well known residents. He was an orchardist / bee-keeper and his fruits were reputed across the south island of NZ. Mr Barker also founded the Mount Peel Floral and Horticultural Society.

The gardens of Waikonini are majestic and hold the original charm that was bestowed by William Barker. Atlantis Pine, Tamanian Blackwood, Oak and other varieties of tree frame the gardens. Mt Peel's famous Himalayan Lillies are mixed with Rhododendrons, Primroses, Violets and Strawberries. Even the original Pear and Apple trees are fruit-bearing today, over one hundred and twenty years since they were first established.

The home is as cherished today as yesteryear, painstakingly restored by its current owner and your host, Mary Casey. Under Mary's stewardship Waikonini has been painted inside and out and she has also honoured Pritchett's original plans, having a conservatory constructed and completed in 2014, in position, beside the kitchen.

What our guests say

Don't just take our word for it - this is what our guests think of Waikonini Homestead
We were most impressed with our visit. The home has lots of character & charm, particularly the well kept expansive gardens & also the interior which boasts a magnificent hung staircase. This dwelling is unique in the way Mary has preserved its old worldly charm. She is a delightful host who made us most welcome with her enthusiasm & charm. It's well worth a visit & there's plenty to do & see. We only stayed one night but on reflection we should have stayed longer as there are lots of walks & things to do using here as a base.

Waikonini is a lovely place for a relaxing retreat, away from the hustle & bustle of city life, yet only 20 minutes from the village of Geraldine which offers basic shops, cafes and attractions. The host, Mary, will go out of her way to make you feel at home, and the size of the house allows you to stay with privacy and really relax. The house is surrounded with a beautiful established garden, lush farmland, and native bush. It was lovely to wake to the sound of the birds signing from the native bush less than 100m from the house. The homestead is a Victorian masterpiece and has a brilliant new kitchen and conservatory. We enjoyed t seeing and hearing stags in the roar, as well as sitting on the veranda with a book taking in the peace and quiet on an autumn afternoon.

We stayed for a few nights in Feb. Mary the owner is the most friendly host you could hope for. The house is beatifully restored but retains its charm. The location is fantastic at the foot of the southern Highlands and close to Geraldine. One of our favourite bnb stays. Highly recommended!!

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