Historic appeal: Renovated Islay Cottage, originally built in the early 1900s, is newly on the market


A restored country cottage dating back to the very early 1900s is for sale in Queenstown’s Dalefield.

Islay Cottage, on Lower Shotover Road, is named after the Scottish island of Islay, which original property owner Alexander Brown left in 1864 to come to New Zealand.

His son John built the then two-bedroom cottage, originally sited nearby, between 1900 and 1905, but by the time Chris and Ted Cassidy bought the property it now sits on, in 1990, it was a derelict woolshed.

After winning a protracted Environment Court case, following neighbours’ objections, the couple commissioned Arrowtown builder George Page, who did a wonderful restoration job, including rimu detailing, and also added two bedrooms and a kitchen at the back.

In recent years, the Cassidys, who have a home on the hill above the subdivided-off cottage, have run it as an Airbnb.

They’re selling it, Chris says, “because we’ve got other things we want to do, and one less lawn to mow is quite handy”.

Sellers: Ted and Chris Cassidy have owned Islay Cottage since 1990

The 2984 square metre property has a fruit tree orchard including Black Doris plums.

Chris sells them at the gate – “we have people knocking on the door asking if they’re ready”.

There’s also a large garage with a studio.

Local Harcourts agent Megan Osborne, who’s marketing the property with her brother-in-law Warwick Osborne, says “it’s incredible”.

“It ticks all the boxes – four bedrooms, four bathrooms, views, very close to town and it’s got a visitor accommodation resource consent so it’s a business or a home or it can be both.

“If we had a dollar for every time we’re asked for a cottage in the country …”

Though the original cottage is rooted in history, Chris says the house is well heated.

“You can imagine sitting there at nighttime with the radiators on, the fire going and a glass of wine.”

The property, listed this week, is for sale by ‘price by negotiation’.