a3map closeup

Some time back Thecartoonist.net was called on to provide a map for the guests at Taitapu’s luxury Hotel, Otahuna Lodge.
I haven’t looked lately, but this place was popping up on lists for the elite all over the world. If I recall it won top awards in one of those tasty foreign magazines that wealthy folks look at. …The ones they peruse to decide where they’ll go in the world today to sup and dine.

Hand drawn map of the estate

Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home…

This is one of those instances where google earth wasn’t much help… the established bush covered everything! Most of the research was on foot taking hundreds of photos, plus digging in the archives for aerial photos when the whole joint belonged to Sir Heaton Rhodes. The trees were smaller then… but the landscaping was all there.
Google shows faded photos of Victorian ladies swanning amongst the Daffodils too, quite the place then as now, 120 years on.
The driveway and spreading oak appeared in one of Peter Jackson’s films, but he wasn’t there when I visited.

those country roads- in watercolour and pencil

How to get to the luxury lodge of Tai Tapu

Later a smaller map was commissioned to help folks find their way THERE… The area around Tai Tapu has delicious, oak-lined and winding country roads, but a “turn left at the lights” doesn’t quite cut it in these surroundings.

portrait of the house

The venue depicted for a Wedding invitation

A party in Australia had the place booked for a wedding, so we embellished their invitations with a sort of “caricature” of the place.
The INSIDE of the place is incredible, crafted woods restored to pristine freshness. If I ever owned a mansion I would hope it looks like this place…

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