Kowhai Cottage

Kowhai Bach


I am a born and raised Duntroonian, which makes running our accommodation based in central Duntroon is such a thrill! In 2003, I met a beautiful young elf, Daniel, living in Otematata, and I was living in Oamaru. We decided to meet halfway to have our combined stepfamilies settle in Duntroon. My husband is based in the valley for work, and I work for several employers, such as WW (Weightwatchers reimaged), and Ritchies driving school buses (my dream job with kids). We have been part of the local community group DDDA (Duntroon District Development Association), a small base of under 10 members who have roles such as helping maintain the public toilets. We also created and look after the Duntroon Community Wetlands with other Duntroon villagers.

In 2010, we spent 16 months in Germany, which was phenomenal for 2 country bumpkins to experience the wide world. Upon returning home, we chose to sell my Oamaru house and buy a home for long term renting. In March 2013, we purchased a home on the next street and started renovating the inside. We started hearing about the Alps 2 Ocean trail, so I contacted Jason Menard, a passionate advocate for the trail and super kind human. Jason encouraged us to rent as a holiday BNB, and we opened in December 2013.

Our holiday home, which we happily share with guests, is 3 houses up the road from our home base. We have created a secure private home surrounded by mature gardens. My personal passion is flowers and trees, and my husband's passion is natives, so we have grown 4000sq metres of colourful garden and houses.

There was nowhere to eat in Duntroon in previous years, so I planted and maintained the vegetable garden and fruit orchard for guests to eat from. This was the best asset, as guests just love to pick and eat the produce we grow. The compliments have been overwhelming! As food was difficult for guests to purchase, I attended a Food Safety course at the local polytechnic and currently refresh it every 2 years, as I take food safety for all guests seriously.

The influx of cyclists and visitors has been fantastic for the growth of local businesses, and I am often seeing repeat riders of the trail, which is awesome! More often than not, we have guests staying more than 1 night. It's fun to meet riders in the township and share the highlights of Duntroon they may not know.

Without my husbands help and support, and my parents' strong work ethic and country hospitality, we could never have succeeded in growing into a well-known long-term business. Thanks to them xxx

- Kat


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