Waipiata Motel

Our Story

Jennifer Balle lost her heart to Central Otago as a student at Otago University in Dunedin and her career as a celebrated book publicist has brought her back to this magnificent place many times over the years as she worked to help share the extraordinary stories of our pioneering families’ pluck and courage who created legendary farming lifestyles in this harsh and hearty land.

One of Central’s iconic voices is the poet and author Brian Turner, whose books evoke the magic of the Maniototo’s landscapes, skyscapes, rivers and local characters. A selection of his books and others telling the many stories of the people and land from the wider Central region populate tables around Waipiata Motel.

Jen knew that when she was to hang up her book publicist's hat for good, it would need to be for something completely different but equally as enriching and Waipiata Motel is it. She recently packed her Auckland life into a lorry and headed to Central with her partner Grant, who works as a honey merchant, by her side.