Country charm: This Arrow Junction property is for sale

The listing of an historic cottage in an idyllic setting near Arrowtown is creating a lot of interest.

Bordered by recreation reserve, the 4047 square metre or one hectare property, at 90 Whitechapel Road, Arrow Junction, has been owned for 35 years by Jan Tomes, who’s well known in local equestrian circles.

What she bought was a one-bedroom cottage with a lean-to kitchen, which she’s extended with two more double bedrooms, a lounge and a mezzanine.

Combined with a sleepout, the property’s capable of sleeping 10.

The original cottage is thought to have been built by goldminer Daniel O’Fee around the 1860s.

It was built with mud brick and plaster, as against wood, stone and corrugated iron, which were more commonly used in those days.

The property also comes with grazing opportunities – Tomes recently renewed her council lease over an adjoining three acres, or 1.2ha.

Her property’s for sale by ‘price by negotiation’ and is being marketed by New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty’s Arrowtown-based sales associates, Vanessa Sharp and Carl Johnston.

“Carl and I feel very honoured to be chosen to market this property,” says Sharp, who adds they’ve never had so much attention lavished on a property they’ve listed.

“It’s an iconic part of Arrowtown history and the location is magical, bordered by reserve land, the cycle trail and amazing swimming holes.”

Whitechapel Rd’s on part of the Queenstown Trails Trust’s walking/cycling trail – Arrowtown’s about a 20-minute ride away – while the Arrow River’s just a two-minute walk away.

Tomes says the nearest neighbour’s at least a kilometre away.

She bought the cottage in 1984 after seeing it listed in the window of a Queenstown agency while pushing her 18-month daughter in a pram.

When driven out to see it, “I thought, cute, and the location is just a dream, and of course the location is still absolutely marvellous”.

Tomes got Arrowtown builder Rudi Hinterleitner to extend the cottage.

“He got the character I was looking for in that great room.

“And the wonderful wood fire in the middle is just marvellous in the winter.”

Speaking of winter, Tomes says that in June the sun comes over the back of the property at about 11am and stays all afternoon – “I’ve got more sun than many of the houses down by the river in Arrowtown”.

Her property became well known when she hosted summer pony club camps – she had up to six ponies at one stage.

She also converted one end of a big hay barn into a stable.

Tomes says she’s selling so she can be with her daughter and her family in Waiuku, south of Auckland, “and have a retirement, hopefully”.

She believes the property would suit a family, someone wanting it for a summer or winter bach, or an investor who’d rent it out.

“I made this property what I wanted it to be, and I’m sure the next person can do exactly the same.”