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Waiau Estate Cafe & Winery – CLOSED

4 star rating
11 reviews

Cuisine: New Zealand, A La Carte, Cafe, Family

19 Onaero Beach Rd
New Plymouth District
06-752 3609


  • Thu 10.30am – 2:30pm
  • Fri & Sat 10.30am – Late
  • Sun 10am – 3pm
  • Facilities/Features:
    • Business Dining
    • Children's Menu
    • Conference Facilities
    • Scenic View
    • Live Music
    • Private Functions
    • Wedding Functions
  • Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
  • Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
  • Dress Code: Smart casual
  • Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
  • Seating for: inside 100, outside 250
  • BYO/Corkage: No BYO
  • Good For Groups: Yes
  • Good For Children: Yes
  • Takeaways: No
  • Delivers: No
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Meals: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
  • Wi-Fi: Free

Beautiful relaxed dining in the expansive grounds. Out door dining a specialty in summer. Favourite venue for weddings and functions. Live music every Sunday afternoon from Labour Weekend on. The menu is all about shared plates, big flavours freshly prepared from local produce where possible.

11 Reviews for Waiau Estate Cafe & Winery – CLOSED

14th December 2013
1 star rating
I think a 1 star rating out of 5 is incredibly generous, considering the hideous experience we had.

We came for brunch with our two children, however as soon as we walked in the door the atmosphere was potent and there seemed to be tension between staff and management.
We were seated outside and 10 minutes later we were still waiting for a menu and wondered whether they had remembered we were there. There was only one other table of guests. We waited and we politely requested if they could heat up a jar of baby food for us while we looked at the menu.
The waitress said she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to do that (it seemed to be a big deal) and she ran quickly to ask her boss.
If staff cannot make their own decision on something like that, what were they allowed to do, we wondered.
It became obvious very quickly that the staff seemed unhappy, sullen, didn’t know the answers to questions and were running everything past the boss lady, to be frank the staff seem scared and afraid to make a wrong move.

Looking at the menu we were disappointed as it appeared the meals were small entree size and meant to be shared. Whereas coming for brunch, we were expecting eggs Benedict, pancakes and big breakfast type of food; as this is what we had remembered in the past, before the changes I guess.
We asked for a chai latte and caramel latte but the waitress had to check that this was part of the menu.
It was disappointing to see that obviously management have not taken the time to train staff.
We the witnessed the boss lady bullying her staff. Yelling at them and talking to them in a totally unacceptable manner!
She was on their case at their every move and we knew right then the staff were unhappy and scared of her.
We do not blame the staff at all for our experience, I think considering the pressure and incredibly tense circumstances, they were doing their best to just keep a smile on their facMorees.
We couldn’t get out of there fast enough, needless to say we didn’t bother to try the food as we didn’t want to stay in that kind of atmosphere.
Just as well, as when we got up to pay for our drinks, the boss lady shamelessly with no discretion at all went mad at two staff members for leaving a plate on the bench by the till.
If she had bothered to calm down she would have realized that they were trying to fix a computer problem the till was having do that we could pay.
It took everything in our being to stop us from pulling her up on her incredibly bad behaviour.
So out the door we went and headed to a delightful restaurant 10 minutes further down the road in Urenui.

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29th October 2013
1 star rating
Went for sunday brunch with family. All though the setting was beautiful, (best in taranaki) and wine was lovely with a great selection, Waiau was lacking in both service and food.
Waitresses were clueless and seemed to not have had much training, and the meal was ridiculously small for its price. Its a bit of a drive so you kinda expect A+ service so its worth it. Probably wont bother with the drive again.

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14th October 2013
5 star rating
I am a regular at Waiau and I have always had wonderful experiences. I enjoy being able to access fine food at a reasonable price in Taranaki, and it always hits the mark. The 25 minute drive from central New Plymouth is well worth the experience.

I was disgusted to see a personal attack on the owner, who I have only ever seen to be professional and welcoming.

It’s exciting to see them willing to try new things and I look forward to tasting their summer street food menu.

Visited September 2013

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23rd July 2013
1 star rating
I have attended 3 weddings and quite a few lunch/dinners over the years here since opening. It has always been my favourite place to dine, well trained staff, amazing food and a laid back happy atmosphere. HOWEVER.

Last month I returned after not being out since a wedding last January. I normally don’t write about my bad experiences on here as everyone has off days, but with the things I’ve been hearing and what I seen myself prompted me to speak out.

Food is nothing like what it used to be, which was decent sized good range of healthy, hearty and also elegant meals to choose from, day and night. The new owners have decided on the high class gourmet overpriced tiny serving theme now, not appropriate after nearly an hours drive to get there and leaving starving (and the foods taste was average, nothing to make up for the lack of it and LARGE pricetag)

With all my earlier visits to the estate, the staff and owners were well trained, friendly and happy to be there. This visit showed staff who were sullen and not even smiling, forgot drinks and seemed uninterested in the job. Who I found out is the owner was drinking and yelling in the corner with some friends and ordering the staff around like her pet dogs (which were also running around the restaurant). She also felt the need to interrupt our lunch (and other tables) with her drunken slurring and generally making everybody uncomfortable.

Considering I was told by a friend afterwards that she had lost her liquor license for drunk driving you would think she would want to be a tad more discreet in her own restaurant/bar?

Really disappointed Waiau. Will not be back after the changes.

Visited June 2013

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Comment from Natasha C. of Waiau Estate Cafe & Winery – CLOSED 15/10/2013   
The personal attack in this review is not worthy of response. I note that Sammy waited a month after her visit to make her post. Sammy does not seem to realise that Waiau has been under the same ownership over the whole period of time that she refers to. My…    More »

Lyn B.


7th January 2013
5 star rating
Waiau Estate is simply the best venue in Taranaki. On New Years Day, our second NY Day visit, the food, live band, attentive friendly staff and child friendly atmosphere together with the beautiful gardens all combine to make an experience you have no hesitation to repeat. Well done staff. Keep up the wonderful atmosphere. We will be back.

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9th October 2012
5 star rating
mike/jenny mckoy
a year ago jenny and i were in new plymouth on a holiday visiting family .we both grew up in the town .we drove out to the estate one sunday for lunch ,we had a loverly lunch,and the live band was so great.
This year we both decided to return from australia to take our relatives back there for mothers day lunch ,we had the best table out side in front of the fire my mother-in-law is 88 years old .we had 16 on our table.every thing was spot-on,great food an wine.
my mother-in-law turns 89 on 11/11/2012 we are flying back over from australia with our immediate family of 9 to have lunch on her bithday.
guess where we are having lunch.(SO WRIGHT)yes,because thats where she wanted to enjoy her day.and yes at the same good is that day going to be for her.
so thanks to moira and her great team.

Visited May 2012

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16th April 2012
5 star rating
We had our wedding at Waiau, 14th April 2012, we are a middle aged couple and wished an informal ceremony with a gathering/dinner, drinks to be shared with family and friends. It exceeded our expectations!! The venue is superb and a treat for photo opportunities. Everyone literally raved about the food, again and again. Moira made our event effortless and we ourselves felt like family, along with our celebrant making it relaxed and interactive, a bit of fun for us all to enjoy. We really wish to thank Moira for her relaxed approach and long lasting ‘great ‘ memories to share. Thank you for making our day very special and we will be recommending this beautiful venue and staff to many, Cheers x x x x

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19th April 2012
4 star rating
My wife and I enjoyed a great lunch here. The food was delicious and the staff were very attentive and extremely helpful. They had no problems catering for my many food allergies and made sure I could eat everything in the dish they prepared for me.We will definitely return!

So we did return and it was easily as good as last time. Delicious food in a great setting and great staff………with chocolate brownie and carrot cake to die for!! Thanks goodness it isn’t in town….I would never leave:-)

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17th May 2010
5 star rating
Fabulous dining experience!! Food was superb & affordable & wait staff were lovely & attentive. Awesome atmosphere, would recommend to everyone!

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26th March 2010
5 star rating
We went out there for some kai. It was great.. awesome flavors, everything worked well together, Highly reccommended by myself (a Great chef)

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29th July 2008
5 star rating
My husband & I had our wedding reception at Waiau Estate, the venue is superb with a cosy outdoor fire & beautiful gardens, the food was fantastic & plentiful,staff were efficient & friendly, they even have a florist available who took care of all the wedding flowers. Management were professional & so easy to deal with, we had a wonderful experience and would highly recommend this venue.

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