Ben Gaddum, Nicci’s cousin, was born to pioneering parents who broke-in back country farm land, transforming it from rough bush to beautiful rolling pastures. Ben was practically raised on the back of a horse until he went off to private boarding school. Since then he has spent most of his life farming the land and relishing the lifestyle.

Ben loves working with nature, the land and the animals. In the main, he is a stock farmer breeding Black Angus cattle, sheep and deer.

Ben and his partner, Rae, live three kilometres from Havelock North in an historic 100 year-old homestead called Arapata, which Rae has helped to renovate and restore to the beautiful home it is today.

It is surrounded by large trees, extensive lawns, gardens and farmland. There are many birds including pheasant, quail, woodpigeon, tui, bell birds and the dawn chorus is something to be heard.

Rae is mad about cooking and devours cookbooks. She has worked in the wine industry for a number of years so has an educated palate and loves to entertain and socialise with guests. Both Hawkes Bay people, having lived all their lives in the area, they enjoy meeting new people and making their stay at Arapata as comfortable and pleasant as possible.