My parents Dick and Ann were born on sheep farms on the East coast on the North Island.

My father was determined to own his own farm and his pathway started in a tent in the middle of the scrub and bush where he set about clearing the land and building a beautiful farm. By the time he died he owned approximately 9000 acres including Arapata, which was 400 acres.

Bought in 1970, Dick and Ann farmed sheep and cattle at Arapata and lived in the lovely old homestead, which was built in 1910. Arapata had never had children living there, so it became a playground for me and my siblings and a wonderful home for the whole family to always gravitate back to. I came to live at Arapata in 1998 after my wife died, while continuing to farm sheep and cattle and develop my deer farming.

I bought a coffee roasting business called Hawthorne Coffee which my daughter Benita and her husband Tom have since taken over. I have brought two of my sons Harry and Rupert into my farming business. We farm a black Angus beef herd, a flock of sheep and a deer herd which we breed for venison and velvet.

Having divided Arapata up with my siblings, I inherited the homestead, which included two old cottages and 15 hectares. My daughter moved into one of them and the other I renovated into what we now know as Arapata Lodge. Originally a one bedroom gardeners cottage with double garage is now 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and large kitchen and open plan sitting room with two decks, combining the old with the new, it has been described as the perfect plan and place to live. The converted loft and ensuite nearby used to be the animal feed store,  above the barn, it has a rustic uniqueness of its own which has to be experienced.

Ngamoe, named after my mother’s childhood home under the shadow of Mt Hikarangi  Ruatoria, was the result of a long time dream beginning with my parents then passing to me. It was completed in December 2018 and is designed to catch the sun and views when you need it, we are thrilled with the result. Big spaces but intimate, unique in its furnishings and style one can only experience when you arrive. 

Ben Gaddum

A Unique Place

Rich in History