About Us

“What an amazing property! One of the best airbnb’s we have ever stayed in!” ~ Jess, USA

Your first impression is of the sheer beauty of the estuary and the Kenepuru Sound. The sense of the isolation and wildness is accentuated by the wekas at your feet and the songs of bellbirds and Tuis. With glow worms and Moreporks at night you are easily able to feel your connection with the earth and stars.

Ngahere Hou is 16.2 hectares of regenerating native forest at the head of the Kenepuru Sound. With road access from Picton and Havelock and direct walking access from the halfway point of the Queen Charlotte Track. The land is designated on the Marlborough Sounds District Plan as “an area of outstanding Landscape” and it is indeed outstanding in many ways. As the new forest returns so have countless species of native wildlife.

Kayaking towards a spotlit Ngahere Hou with the QC Track on the ridge above

Entirely off-the-grid, Glam Camping at Ngahere Hou offers an eco-experience of a very real connection to the earth and bush, the tides and stars available in such a remote location – all with a touch of luxury thrown in! Sleeps up to 6 in a luxury Yurt and deluxe Summerhouse cabin. An organic Breakfast is included. The Shared kitchen has everything required for Self catering and we also offer the $25 pizza if it’s been a long day on the Track!

The best times to visit are October through April. However if you want to visit through the winter months or for a special retreat, check out our winter rates.

Check availability and book now

shared kitchen and bathroom facilities

  • organic breakfast provided
  • $25 pizzas available on request
  • Private outside hot shower and composting toilet
  • Indoor and outdoor dining
  • Hammocks
  • Free (people and/or luggage) transfers from Torea Bay
  • Private swimming Beach
  • BBQ
  • wood fired Hot tub under the stars
  • Wood burner fires
  • 2 Kayaks
  • 2 mountain Bikes
    img_2347Ngahere Hou at the Kenepuru Head, halfway between Punga Cove and Torea Bay, access track from the QC Track in yellow

Getting here:

By road: it’s beautiful but a long and winding road out to us so allow just under an hour from Linkwater on the Queen Charlotte Drive. That’s not including photo stops or visits to the many bays along the way, we’re on your right about 5 minutes past Sandy Bay. Allow 2 hours from Blenheim, an hour and a half from Picton, an hour twenty from Havelock and about two and a half hours from Nelson.

From the QCT: we’re at the halfway point of the track opposite Ruakaka Bay. You’ll see our sign where the powerlines cross it. It takes about half an hour to walk down and about 30-40 minutes back up. Come down the electricity track for about 200m till you see our other sign then follow the yellow tags to the waiting hot tub.

By watertaxi: it’s only a 15 minute trip from Picton to Torea Bay where we will pick you up for the 20 drive to Ngahere Hou. Both Cougarline and Beachcomber Cruises have scheduled services and you can also hire a private trip through Picton Watertaxis.

By Air: both Air NZ and Soundsair fly to Blenheim and there are rental cars available from the airport. Soundsair also fly to Picton from Wellington and do a shuttle to the waterfront where you can connect to a watertaxi to Torea Bay.

Our Vision:

Our values align with Tiaki so we’re embracing the Tiaki Promise and invite all visitors to Marlborough to act as guardians of Aotearoa New Zealand too.

We’re supporters of the Tiaki – Care for New Zealand project which has been set up by The NZ Government and Tourism operators to actively encourage local and international travellers to care for our country as much as we do. Tiaki means to care for people and place and  the Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations.

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We are Kate Betteley and  Ian Hamlin……..

and Ngahere Hou is our vision unfolding

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We bought the 40acre (16 hectare) hillside of farmland at the Head of the Kenepuru Sound in 1999.

On the bare land we have built a couple of small cabins and a 6 metre yurt and planted countless native trees and an olive grove. Living entirely off the grid with solar powered electricity, we collect our own water and practice sustainable living.  We share our paradise with an incredibly rich bio diversity, and it has recently been given Significant Natural Area status by the Marlborough District Council.

In 2004 we placed 14 hectares into a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust open space covenant. This effectively means it will be preserved in perpetuity as a private reserve regardless of any changes in ownership,  We’ve had to fence out the wild pigs and deer, and we have a possum pest control program. With our ongoing tree planting, and now the carbon offset scheme in place, the forest is returning and with it the wildlife. It is intensely satisfying to live so closely within the natural environment and to share our special place with friends and visitors.

On the land thats not part of the covenant we grow lavender and olives. We’re not certified organic but by imitating the natural processes as much as possible and harvesting by hand we have been able to work without chemicals. The Sounds are famous for their green lipped mussels and we use the mussel shells as mulch around the lavender and olives. We have a beekeeper collecting the highly sought after Manuka Honey.

Our olive oil is from the Tuscan varieties; frantoio, pendolino and minerva. Its delicious and very peppery when fresh, mellowing out over time. Harvest time is May- June So if you fancy a winter break helping us harvest and some oil to take home, contact us here for our Olive Pickers Special!

In 2010 we were awarded a gold medal for our Lavender oil by the NZ Lavender Growers Association.

“This place is just amazing! Ian and Kate are beautiful people. You can expect a lot of kindness and gentleness which made our stay a unique experience. The surroundings are breathtaking and the place is created with a lot of love. You simply get in touch with what really matters! To receive the beauty that Nature and people bring. We are grateful to have stayed with Ian and Kate.” ~ Rasmus & Mette, Denmark (Airbnb)

2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hi Ian. My review as promised.

    We spent a night in the yurt while walking the Queen Charlotte track. The private track weaving through the bush was a charming introduction to the wonderful experience that awaited. Ian’s welcome was warm, the hot tub was steaming and the afternoon sun shone on the hammock. We enjoyed preparing our dinner in the summerhouse and the night in the yurt was warm luxurious and delightfully calm. In the morning we loved the fresh bread and croissants Ian brought down and were grateful for the lift back to carry on our walk from Torea Saddle. Ngahere Hou was a highlight of our Queen Charlotte track experience.

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