By PHILIP CHANDLER
One of Queenstown’s best-known wedding venues, spectacularly located above the Shotover River, is for sale for the first time.
Built in the mid-‘70s, Trelawn Place, off Arthurs Point’s Watties Track, comprises a three-bedroom home, attached studio cottage and two-bedroom and one-bedroom cottages nearby that are all used for luxury boutique accommodation.
It also includes well-kept grounds housing a spa, gazebo and orchard.
Owner Nery Howard, who bought the 2428 square metre site with her former husband, says she used to walk from central Queenstown with her corgi and from the road ‘‘look at this flat piece of land which was covered in tussocks and thistles — all the trees weren’t there, so you could see quite easily’’.
‘‘And I just said to my corgi, ‘that’s where I’m going to live’.’’
She named the property ‘Trelawn’, as they’d lived in Auckland in Cockle Bay’s Trelawn Place, ‘‘and I’m very fond of Cornwall [in England], and everything there is ‘Tre’-something’’.
Howard wanted a stacked stone building, ‘‘and in those days there were no stonemasons so I just had to do it myself’’.
‘‘I had a Mini and I used to go up to the Glenorchy Road, which was being pushed through, and collect a boot-load of stone — I’d do that at midday and then after 5 o’clock when the guys finished.’’
She recalls her first guests stayed at Christmas, ‘78 — ‘‘I’m still in touch with them’’.
‘‘We’ve had two New Zealand governors-general stay, and lots of diplomats and film stars and various people like that.’’
From ‘86, Trelawn Place has also been a popular wedding venue.
She’s done hundreds, Howards says — ‘‘I keep two photos of every wedding, and I’ve got four albums’’.
It’s popular for other functions, too.
The property hit the headlines after the then-NZ Historic Places Trust advised she should move an old miner’s hut that had been undermined by tree roots and rot.
It was relocated by chopper to another part of her land just above the Shotover.
Mystery surrounded the sudden death of the hut’s last owner, miner Paddy McEnroe, in 1931.
Howard said they used to blame his ghost if anything went wrong at Trelawn.
The property not only looks over the Shotover but has great views of Coronet Peak.
Howard’s partner, Michael Clark, says it takes him just 12 minutes from home before he’s skiing First Tracks.
She says Trelawn — which underwent alterations in 2000 — would suit anyone wanting to carry on her business, or else would be ‘‘a lovely family home’’.
The property’s for tender closing January 15.
Local New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty agent David Penrose, who’s listed the property, has a special interest in it — he had a daughter married there.
‘‘I remember it ‘cos the ladies all wore beautiful hats,’’ Howard says.