Lodge linked to murder case for sale

Last updated 13:53 28/03/2014
Furneaux Lodge

BEAUTIFUL SETTING: Furneaux Lodge in Endeavour Inlet, where Captain James Cook visited in 1769.

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Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds - which featured in a notorious murder case 16 years ago - is up for sale by tender.

The lodge, in Endeavour Inlet, featured in the trial of Scott Watson, who was convicted of the murders of Ben Smart, 21, and Olivia Hope, 17, who were last seen boarding a yacht early on New Year's Day 1998.

Furneaux Lodge, set in a beautiful watefront spot surrounded by natural bush, is popular with boaties, tourists and it is the first overnight stop for many walkers on the Queen Charlotte Track.

Bayleys Marlborough agent Glenn Dick said it was a busy destination for national and international travellers.

"Queen Charlotte Track receives up to 25,000 overnight and day walkers, kayakers and boat travellers each year - providing a steady flow of visitors to the region.

"Set among 1.2 hectares of flat land, surrounded by 800 hectares of native forest, the beauty of the historic area has remained largely unchanged since Captain James Cook's first visit to the inlet in 1769."

There is no road access. Patrons arrive by water taxi, ferry cruise, private boat, helicopter, floatplane or straight off the Queen Charlotte Track.

This was a niche tourism business, with an established reputation and relationships with suppliers, in a very special part of the country, said Dick.

"The future of tourism in this special slice of New Zealand is just waiting for a new owner to take over and stamp their own personality on this highly-regarded Kiwi lodge.

"This business caters to a range of guests from international travellers to Kiwi families and couples looking for a romantic retreat, corporate events, weddings and fishing trips."

It has 14 luxury one-bedroom apartments and hiker cabins, able to accommodate two to four people. It also has lease agreements for eight, 2-bedroom chalets. Rates, which vary between high summer and winter, range from $45 per adult per night in a hiker cabin to $269 per night per twin for the luxury suites.

The colonial-style main lodge building, originally built as a homestead in 1890, has seven upstairs bedrooms for staff accommodation. The Furneaux Bar, The Howden Room restaurant, a conference room, shop, office, main kitchen and cellar are downstairs.

The restaurant can seat up to 65 diners and there is room for a marquee on the lawn.

Other buildings include a stone built four-bedroom house, a two-bedroom chalet, a boat shed with storeroom and workshop areas. The property also has 13 permanent moorings and a floating jetty.

The property, which has a capital value of $2.75 million (a figure that does not include its value as a going concern) is up for tender closing on April 28.

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- The Dominion Post

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