Your luxury stay awaits

Experience the timeless beauty of Japanese design in harmony with the pristine New Zealand landscape at Kumiko’s Guesthouse – your perfect haven amongst the vineyards of Waipara.


Kumiko’s Story

Kumiko’s was built in 1995 by Waipara wine pioneer Russell Black for his wife Kumiko. It was purchased in 2018 by Paul and Sue, your hosts, who have extensively renovated and upgraded the property since taking ownership, while staying true to the intent of the design.

Influenced by Kumiko’s heritage, the house comprises many of the elements found in the gracious architecture of traditional Japan: an internal courtyard (genken) featuring the timeless composition of a zen garden; wide verandas designed for sitting within nature; interior spaces that include the extensive use of wood and stone; sliding screens that divide or expand spaces; a sunken dining room that encourages a sense of occasion at the table; and extensive architectural gardens that reflect the dramatic views of the shifting North Canterbury skies.

Kumiko’s is imbued with an overall sense of wabi-sabi, the Japanese design concept that can be loosely translated as the celebration of “perfect imperfection.” Wabi-sabi favours the handmade, the crafted, the bespoke, the tactile, the sensory and is the impulse behind our desire to revitalise the beautiful design inherent here, and offer Kumiko’s as a haven for all those who yearn for the harmony of handmade beauty within nature.

Come and experience the luxury of Kumiko’s

The Guest House

When you book to stay with us at Kumiko’s, you are booking the full use of the house and gardens. Everything on offer here is yours to enjoy. The house caters comfortably to families, small groups, special occasions, and because of its generous design, is flexible to many configurations.

We’re also happy to accommodate pets by negotiation.

Contact us so we can accommodate your needs

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The Kitchen

Located in one of the most well provisioned parts of New Zealand, our chef’s kitchen has been renovated to include all the comforts of contemporary home cooking, though you may have absolutely no intention of using any of them. By all means make the most of the professional oven with induction cook top, fridge with ice maker, and a dish drawer for low stress clean ups. But hey, no one would blame you for simply choosing to dine out or assemble from our abundant larder.


The Dining Room

The dining room is designed in Japanese style to be slightly sunken, encouraging convivial conversation and a lingering stay. With 90 degree views, it is likely to be a favourite spot at any time of the day or night.

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The Living Room

Our living room looks directly to the Three Sisters and features an expansive view of the ever-changing Canterbury skies. There are lots of lovely spots from which to curl up and contemplate the view, read novels, listen to music, sample the local wines, or taste the quality of the local provisions. A huge log burner offers a tantalising prospect for stormy winter days and nights spent indoors with good friends and a dram of something special. Equally, in the summer, the room opens onto a northern terrace that is perfectly set up for an afternoon Pimms.

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The Billiards Room

Chalk up your cue, charge your glasses because Kumiko’s has a billiard table and it’s epic.

The Willow Suite

The Willow Suite is located on the ground floor of the house, and offers a generous sized bedroom with a king-size bed, featuring Seneca linens, and feather topper and duvet. The doors open onto a sheltered terrace that looks directly to the Omihi hills. The Willow Room includes a spacious natural stone bathroom with rain-head shower, underfloor heating, a dressing room, kimonos for wafting around and lounging in, and the Real World range of sustainably sourced and created products.

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The Beech and Maple Rooms

The Beech and Maples Room are located on the first floor of the house in the east wing. Each room offers a generous sized space with queen-size bed, Seneca linens, feather topper and duvet. The shared bathroom features a natural stone shower space, kimonos for wafting and lounging in, and the Real World range of sustainably sourced and created products. There is a small kitchen space located in the east wing.

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Kumiko’s Garden

Kumiko’s garden has been painstakingly designed by Christchurch designer and stonemason Mark Robberds of Terraforma to reflect the most harmonious blend of Japanese design principles with the dramatic environment that is the essence of North Canterbury. Marvel at the enormous views, but savour too the pared back palette featuring local lime stone and basalt in harmony with wood; the small vistas of water; and the carefully curated plantings. Just beyond the northern terrace an outside fireplace provides an idyllic spot to enjoy the sunset. The north eastern garden offers an outdoor shower with a huge rain-head, and a cedar hot tub that presents the best seat in the house, both summer and winter.        


Make yourself at home

North Canterbury is renowned for the quality of its locally grown and crafted food and wine. Consequently, Kumiko’s is proud to offer our guests an assembled menu of seasonal fare that provides a quintessential taste of the region. We encourage our guests to visit the local providores to taste and see the creation of some of these iconic products and take some home with you.

We provide an abundant larder of luxury local produce for you to create meals at Kumiko’s to your liking. Our larder changes from season to season but will always include some of the following local offerings:


Breakfast supplies   (complementary)    

  • Rachel Scott bread - Rachel’s handmade bread is legendary, and made just down the road from Kumiko’s

  • Home made jam

  • Allpress Coffee

  • Ritual Tea

  • Local free range eggs

  • Lewis Road Butter

  • Locally made museli

  • Fresh organic milk and non-dairy options also available

  • Fresh yoghurt

Larder supplies (by request/additional charge)

  • Local olives and olive oil from Waipara Groves

  • Rachel Scott bread

  • Locally made crackers

  • Local cheeses

  • Locally grown vegetables

  • Lewis Road butter

  • Local Free range eggs

  • Truffles (in season)

  • Rachel Scott chocolate

  • Rachel Scott caramels

  • Brew moon beer

  • A wide selection of local wines

  • Locally made Elderflower cordial

  • Homegrown lemons

  • Local Gin from Curiosity

  • Fevertree Tonic

  • The best of our locally grown organic meat

  • Seasonal berries

  • Local organic cream

  • Ice cream

Black Estate  

Guests at Kumiko’s have the opportunity to dine with our neighbours at Black Estate winery. Deservedly awarded New Zealand Winery of the Year in 2017 and sporting 2 Cuisine hats, Black Estate is that rarest of fine dining restaurants able to combine a welcoming, relaxed experience with utterly exceptional food and wine. Like Kumiko’s, Black Estate is all about the perfection of seasonal eating and drinking, and its menu showcases everything our unique part of the world has on offer. Check the Black Estate website for menu options. Let us also help you arrange additional off-menu requests with Black Estate.


Host your special event at Kumiko's

The spectacular vistas of Kumiko’s provide a perfect backdrop for your special occasion. Let us help you host your guests in memorable style .



Tie the knot in style at Kumiko’s. Our breath-taking location will make your special day one to remember for you and your guests. Talk to us about your requirements and we can plan a wedding package that is tailor-made for you.



When nothing but the best will do, why not bring your next event to Kumiko’s? Get in touch with us to help you plan.



Kumiko’s is the perfect location for your next creative event. Let us help you curate the perfect maker-space for your and your guests.


Birthdays christenings anniversaries anything

Kumiko’s would love to help you make your special event one to remember. Contact us so we can sprinkle the glitter and add the rainbows for your big day.

We’re in love with the beautiful Hurunui region, and you will be too. Let’s help you design a perfect day out exploring all this hidden gem has to offer.

Not wanting to blow our own trumpet or anything, but we really are blessed to be located in the most amazing region of New Zealand. Not only are we deep in the heart of wine country, within easy access to multiple outstanding wineries and vineyards, but we are also in that magic sweet spot between the mountains and the sea.

We’re an easy drive to the hot pools in nearby spa town Hanmer, which has a wealth of cafes and boutique shopping available as well. Golfers are well served by the nearby Amberley Golf Course There is incredible fishing just up the road at Motunau if you feel like catching your own dinner. You can enjoy some wonderful whale watching in Kaikoura, or surf the world renowned Mangamaunu break also in the Kaikoura area. For those who crave peace and quiet, go off grid and head to Gore Bay where you can luxuriate in everything beach without fear of interruption.

Did we mention the people? Like New Zealand in general, our region is renowned for friendly service from passionate locals living their best lives. They’d love to see you soon.

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Your big day out at Kumiko’s

Food and wine

Let us curate a food and wine experience for you that suits your schedule and your taste preferences. Learn more about the art of the vintner. Watch sour dough bread being made by hand. See the first pressing of local olive oil. Savour a sensory chocolate extravaganza. Tour the regional wineries and get familiar with the subtle differences in terroir. We have access to the best makers of the region and can help you create an experience that will remain in your memory long after your stay. Check out the wine region and vineyard offerings here at North Canterbury Wines. And don’t miss the local farmer’s market every Saturday in nearby Amberley.

Health and wellbeing 

Sometimes it’s not all about the food and wine. We get that. Talk to us about yoga, mindfulness and meditation packages, in-house beauty treatments, massage, or manicure/pedicure options.

Adventure and environment

When you need to get back to nature, Kumiko’s provides a jumping off point to some spectacular locations for walking, cycling, surfing and skiing. Less than one hour’s drive in any direction will have you in the mountains, or in the surf, rafting a river, or taking the back road on a bike.   

Bespoke packages

Too hard to choose? Let us create an experience for you. Food, wine, a massage and a surf? No problem. We can take you there.  

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Our guests are amazing. They’ve said some lovely things about us.

Thank you!

In your own words…

Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and what an incredible place. As we sat out on the lawn and looked at the sprawling golden hills I felt as though I could have been in Tuscany” (Feb 2019)

“It truly made me realise how good we have it here in NZ, and that we probably put too much value on these far away places as it's taken us time and money to get there - when we have it all in our back yard” (Feb 2019)

“There’s not much I can say other than it’s superb in all regards” (Feb 2019)”

“The level of detail adds up to a very special stay, well done” (Feb 2019)

“The beds were amazing as well, best sleep I have had in months” (Feb 2019)

“Thanks for the blue cod and whitebait!" (Feb 2019)

'“It really is an extraordinary place you have, made all the more special by your improvements and touches, gloriously situated in a glorious country!(April 2019)

“My husband and I, from California, just spent a lovely weekend at Kumiko's, and we can report that there is nothing that compares in our Napa Sonoma wine region! The home and garden are beautifully and sensitively designed, warm yet spacious, and brilliantly appointed.” (April 2019)

“After enjoying an amazing lunch at Black Estate Winery, we walked down to the guest house and mounted the e-bikes for an invigorating ride around the vineyards. Returning to our nest, it was easy to relax, drink some wine and enjoy the changing afternoon light on the dynamic landscape displayed before us.” (April 2019)

“We cooked a lovely dinner in the fabulous kitchen and savored it in the exquisite sunken dining area, after which we had a game of pool and took a tub under the stars.” (April 2019)

“Usually going to bed is a non-event, but the beds were so comfortable that it's worth noting! With many moments to savor, Kumiko's Guest House was a very memorable part of our trip to New Zealand.” (April 2019)

“We had a fabulous weekend. We had a great time truffle hunting… . Everyone just loved Kumiko’s House…thank you so much for providing an amazing and beautiful environment! I couldn’t recommend it highly enough!” (July 2019)

“Our dinner … was super delicious and so well organised for us to sort ourselves…[ ..] totally A++++ Everyone wants to come back and do it all again.” (July 2019)

“I can’t think of anything that we could’ve wanted that wasn’t there! (Oh btw we did use the BBQ for the steak….yes in the rain…but we wanted the BBQ flavour )” (July 2019)

“Loved working with you … thank you again!” (July 2019)


Cancellation Policy

Guests can cancel free of charge until 5 days before arrival. Guests will be charged the cost of the first night if they cancel in the 5 days before arrival. If a guest doesn’t arrive they will be charged the total price. Guests will be charged a prepayment of the first night in the 5 days before arrival.

Specific needs

We’re super keen to talk to you about your specific needs so we can make your stay at Kumiko’s utterly perfect. Talk to us about your food preferences, and if you have a pet you’d like to bring along for the visit, we’re happy to discuss that too.

Arriving from the airport? Get in touch with us about transport or transfer options. We have some pretty nifty rides. Let’s get you to Kumiko’s in style.

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