Celebrating 25 years of Boomrock
Celebrating 25 years of Boomrock
Both Boomrock and Papanui Station (the farm we exist on) have a rich history, so to celebrate an incredible 25 years we’ve dug up some old photos and stories. We’d love you to join us on a little trip down memory lane.
Generations on the farm
Dick and Captain John Eastwick - two generations. Captain John sailed out from the UK and purchased the property. This image was taken for the local Wellington newspaper.
In the early 1920s, Captain John Eastwick set sail from the United Kingdom after serving in World War I. He was searching for farming opportunities in New Zealand. By 1926 he had purchased and settled upon Papanui Station, a 1600-acre sheep and beef farm on the west coast of Wellington.
Pa (Captain John) in an original Land Rover on Papanui Station.
With 4.5km of rugged coastline and unparalleled views over the Cook Strait, this incredible backdrop also provided many challenges for farming on the harsh landscape.
Dick & Peg Eastwick with baby Dinks on Papanui Station, 1953.
In 1955 his son Dick Eastwick and wife Peg took over Papanui Station. They successfully developed Papanui by purchasing extra land and having an early vision to keep this place pristine. Good farming practices, such as eliminating gorse and good fertilisation were their strengths.
A visit from the Queen Mother
The Queen Mother at Papanui Station, 1966.
During autumn of 1966, the phone rang just after lunch - it was Dick’s friend, the Commander of the Queen's Flight. He asked if the Queen Mother could visit for a farm tour and a cup of tea with the family. "No problem," Dick said.
When off the phone Peg asked, “Who was that on the phone?” Dick explained the Queen Mother is coming to visit.
Peg answered, “How lovely, and when would this be?”
Dick replied, “In 1 hour and 20 minutes!!”
Everyone was called in to help tidy and get ready, Land Rover cleaned, windows and lawns done, children home from school, dressed and hair brushed. The Queen Mother arrived, on-time, in two black Rolls-Royces and a contingent of paparazzi. Dick took her in the front of the Land Rover for the farm tour and then they came back to meet the family, and enjoy a cup of tea and pikelets. As the Queen Mother was leaving she noticed the Labrador under the dining room table and got down on her hands and knees to give him a good old pat. What a day!
Jonny & Big Ears, 1988.
Third generation, Jonny Eastwick took over the farm in 1988. He and his wife, Mildy, farmed the property for a decade. Realising the challenges of the land and the beauty it had to offer they couldn’t resist sharing this spectacular property.
From Jonny’s farming days in the early 90s - when he would run one mob of 6000 sheep!
Jonny, Dick and friends James and Spanner drafting sheep at Papanui Station.
Where the Lodge sits today, before it was built.
Head of an international airline visits Papanui Station.
In the 1980s, the head of an international airline and a local farmer rode their horses up to where the lodge now sit. They jumped off, opened their saddle bag, pulled out a bottle of wine and enjoyed the incredible sunset over the Cook Strait.
The airline head commented to his farming mate “I’ve travelled the world, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it”
The local farmer shared this story with Jonny and Mildy, giving them validation that they had something pretty special.
Boomrock was born
Construction began in the late 90s. Jonny and Mildy took a leap of faith, having absolutely no idea whether it would work! Building the Lodge on the top of a cliff added a few extra challenges too…
Nervous truck drivers, on edge, literally. They had to stay focused that day!
Many hands make light work!
The exposed jarrah beams inside the lodge were originally part of the Wellington wharf. Jonny was down helping one of the local Ohariu Valley farmers and came across the beams in his woolshed. He knew the perfect home for them. Heavy things!
The posts seen here were deliberately placed to stop people from driving of the 850ft cliff!
The lodge was designed by Charlie Knott, a renowned architect who has designed many commercial and residential buildings across New Zealand.
The lodge has aged incredibly well, and sits in nicely with the surroundings even after 25 years and some pretty extreme weather events! Pictured here following a huge snow storm, 2011.
Over the years
Our team are part of the DNA at Boomrock, we’ve always made time for our own fun.
Staff party down at the coast below Boomrock, 2002.
Celebrating at the Bunkers, 2014.
Amy, The Panman Ian and Head Chef, Mark - always having a laugh!
Guests enjoying Boomrock over the years:
And some rather well-known guests...
The Extreme Golf holes were built by the NZ Territorials as part of their work experience.
We had a relationship with a fighter pilot from the UK. Guests would have competitions and the winner would get to jump in the plane and do acrobatic stunts in front of the lodge.
Purpose-built EVO3 - an experience we offered in the past.
Thanks for joining us on this trip down memory lane - what an incredible 25 years it has been!