Arthurs Point’s Mt Dewar Station might soon be home to a few ‘yurtmates’.

Treespace Queenstown Ltd’s looking to pop five yurts — portable, round, insulated tents — on the hillside for worker digs.

Subject to Queenstown council’s approval, staff living in them will manage and maintain the native plantings and land till Treespace is ready to build its 55-lot subdivision, to include cabins, chalets and a lodge.

Treespace director Adam Smith tells Mountain Scene they need comprehensive management on site for the native tree they’re planting over almost 400 hectares — to date, they’ve planted out 150ha — which have to mature for several years, as well as weed eradication and exotic management.

The plan’s to house up to two people per yurt — each one’s 7m in diameter and 4m high, will be covered in a recessive black canvas material, and will include a domestic low-emission woodburner, gas cooker, composting toilet and potable water supply.

The residents will in turn look after a share of the land around their yurt, ‘‘as if it’s their backyard’’.

Noting it’s a ‘‘fantastic location to live in’’, he says it seems like a synergistic way to use the larger mountain and manage the land with a high amenity value for those tending it.

‘‘It is [unusual worker accommodation], but the sort of person it appeals to is the sort of person who would enjoy the work that they would be doing.

‘‘It’s not for everyone, but for the people it does appeal to, it would be how they would choose to live … it’s somewhere I’d be quite happy to stay.’’

For those wondering about where one might bathe, Smith says because each yurt will have a potable water supply, a shower can be hooked up.

Alternatively, there’s a facility under construction which will have a sauna, shower, plunge pool and bathroom area near a garden, which can be used to provide produce for communal meals.

Smith says the yurts will only be required for three to five years, after which ‘‘we’d probably sell them’’.

‘‘We figured it’s a great way to be able to solve the accommodation shortage issues and utilise the beautiful land that we’ve got to experience, and benefit in, Queenstown.

‘‘It’s a low-key, practical solution that we’ve come up with, so hopefully the council is able to help facilitate it as a solution for the worker
accommodation issue, and in light of the ecological outcomes that it will help sustain.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -