Peter Cooper's labour of love up north in the Bay of Islands is now definitely back on the scene. After a few years under the horizon, the place now boasts an excellent hospitality team and a new-found commitment to connect with the high-end tourism sector. For us this is nothing but good news. Those who know us are aware that we were involved with Mountain Landing (as it was then known) from the beginning - which was when the photo displayed above was taken - and have long been fans of the vision and the absolutely superb piece of land which it is. A number of our clients were fortunate enough in the early years to experience the place, and they would appreciate what has now reappeared - a few more years of growth for possibly the finest landscaping project in the country; some substantial new properties; and a team capable of handling some of the world's most exigent clients.
The property has come of age. Now called The Landings, the change of name points to a growing confidence and sense of self. The 'Mountain' in the original name was there to honour the previous, long-term owners. They are still very much honoured, but the new name focuses on the deeper history, which anchors this place firmly in the history of New Zealand as a country. There are few more historically important properties in the country, situated as it is right next to Marsden Cross, and as the site which saw the first tentative joint steps taken by Maori and European settlers.
And the touch of Peter Cooper and his team is very special indeed. Idiosyncratic in the absence of swimming pools, the same idiosyncrasy has given rise to the magnificent landscaping, original architecture and design decisions taken very much from a kaitiakitanga (guardianship) perspective.
I'm a big fan of the Boathouse, but my breath was simply taken away by the Cooper Residence. Superb views, materials, architecture etc, but the real game changers here are the Maori artifacts collected by Peter Cooper. Phenomenal pieces resonating with mana and power. And what a setting to enjoy them in!
The new Vineyard Cottage has sliding glass doors which open right up to remove any barrier between people and nature. Another place I'd like to spend more time.
And the jetty allows quick and easy access to the water of the Bay of Islands. Unsurprisingly, the property's game fishing boat is the finest in the Bay.
So yes - we've lost a mountain but gained a landing. We look forward to supporting this icon of New Zealand excellence for a long time.