Gwavas Garden Homestead

GWAVAS STATION AND EARLY HAWKE'S BAY

Gwavas Station was a pioneering enterprise in many ways and, over the years, saw many firsts.

Major Carlyon first imported Exmoor stallions to Hawke's Bay in 1858; these were
crossed with local stock and a sure-footed pony known as the Carlyon pony resulted. Some of the first registered polled Angus cattle bred in the North Island were raised on this station. ASG Carlyon owned the region's first private motor vehicle; he also owned two Rolls Royce, one of which is now in the Puketitiri Museum.

Gwavas was also a very successful business; at its peak, under the astute
management of ASG Carlyon, the station comprised 33,000 acres, carried a winter
stock of over 25,000 sheep, and a herd of 800 cattle, including a stud herd of fifty
eight. Upwards of fifty horses were in constant use, and permanent employment was provided for twenty five persons, rising to sixty five during the shearing season.

Life in early New Zealand meant living under the shadow of the Maori wars. Although the major never participated in the conflict, he did give rifle practice to station hands every morning during this time.

The Gwavas homestead was damaged during the severe 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, when all the chimneys collapsed or were damaged; one crashed through the kitchen where Mrs Jones the cook had been standing just minutes  before. Despite this, given the severity of the quake, the homestead remained largely intact.
Gwavas Garden Homestead 5740 State Highway 50, Tikokino, Central Hawke's Bay New Zealand phone +64 6 856 5810 email us
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