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Introducing New Hotspot Ayrburn

Standing out from the crowd, Queenstown’s newly launched food and wine destination, Ayrburn, is set to be summer’s most notable hotspot.

Set amongst the rich 160-year history of one of the region’s most historic farm holdings, Ayrburn offers an unbeatable setting for expansive modern culinary experiences.

The innovative, ambitious new precinct developed by residential land development group Winton is spearheaded by CEO Chris Meehan.

“It’s taken a good five years of construction to get this project to the opening stage, which is a testament to our team’s dedication to crafting exceptional places,” says Chris. “We want Ayrburn not just to be a place to visit but an open invitation for multiple generations to come and experience the best food, wine, and hospitality.”

Located just 5 minutes from Arrowtown, Ayrburn boasts a long agricultural history. Its founder, William Paterson, was a stalwart of the local farming community, and bronze sculptures of his prized Clydesdale and ram now take pride and place in the newly styled precinct.

The Winton group purchased both the farm and neighboring property, Waterfall Park, with the intention of developing a unique locality complete with a luxury residential retirement village.

“Normally, with any of our residential projects, we first establish a hub or heart at the center of the neighborhood,” says Chris. “Looking at the historic buildings on this property, we saw an opportunity to turn them into restaurants, also catering for our wider project.”

The expansive property includes a restored creek, extensive gardens, cycle tracks, a vineyard and outdoor events space.

Five of ultimately ten venues have now opened in stage one including luxe country chic restaurant The Woolshed, stylish Manure Room wine cellar, the upmarket Burr Bar, The Dairy ice-cream store, and an outdoor entertainment area known as The Dell.

Well-respected executive chef Richard Highnam heads up Ayrburn’s culinary team,  and master of wine Sophie Parker-Thompson working alongside winemaker Jody Pagey, are responsible for Ayrburn’s award-winning wine range served exclusively on the premises.

“Our operations manager Lou Edney comes out of Sydney, and we have hired an exceptional group of people with a wealth of global hospitality experience to deliver excellence at this scale,” says Chris.

Ayrburn buildings have been designed by local Architect S.A Studio, with interiors curated by Bondi-based Alexander &CO. Each has been meticulously upgraded and restored to maintain its original character. In contrast, the interiors showcase a rich, contemporary style of furnishings and fittings complemented by extensive artwork.

“First and foremost, Ayrburn is here to cater for the locals who we hope to see regularly buying coffee, a loaf of bread, flowers or enjoying a leisurely lunch, woodfired pizza through to more fulsome, fancy dinners and entertainment,” says Chris. “If we get some visitors and tourists as well, that’s fantastic, and I think they will come – the property gates are now wide open.”

Ayrburn will further expand in 2024 with the unveiling of Billy’s, its flagship restaurant offering lavish dining experiences, alongside The Barrel Room, The Bakehouse and RM’s Butcher.

Chris says that with consent now in place for 200 retirement village apartments to be built alongside a 21-room hotel, the property is set to become a true lifestyle destination.

“This will be a dynamic hub and fantastic amenity for those lucky enough to live here,” says Chris. “Winton is focused on developing our luxury Northbrook brand with five retirement villages underway at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, Hobsonville Point, Avon Loop, Wanaka and here at Ayrburn.”

“Northbrook is what we refer to as the BMW of retirement options with upmarket villages designed mostly for people who said they’d never go to a retirement village. It’s like living in a luxury five-star hotel with your mates – that’s how we pitch it.”

He says there is nothing else quite like it in New Zealand.

“Certainly, buyers just love the concept. The people purchasing our retirement apartments are not looking to play lawn bowls – they want to have fun. The take-up has been fantastic and is currently building momentum, so we’re confident the positioning is right in the market.”

Ayrburn is open every day from 8 am to late, with reservations available online at ayrburn.com