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The Waldmann Cottage

High on Queenstown Hill overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Waldmann Cottage is a beautifully restored historic property which successfully blends its fascinating past with modern day, contemporary features to create an exceptional home in an outstanding location.

Built in 1874 the York Street house has a certain notoriety being the original home of German stonemason, Philipp Waldmann, who was convicted of arson after starting one of the worst fires in Queenstown’s history in January 1882, which ultimately destroyed an entire block of Ballarat Street shops.

Waldmann opened a grocery and confectionery shop in Queenstown’s Ballarat Street in 1880 and according to his advertisement on opening he hoped “by strict attention and moderate charges to merit a share of patronage”. But it appears things didn’t go according to plan and after taking out significant insurance on all his properties, he deliberately lit the fire and left town for several days.

Evidence of the arson was found in Waldmann’s house and he was subsequently charged and imprisoned.

Today the character house is still reminiscent of the 1870s with its original stone walls preserved and incorporated into the refurbished interior, retaining the home’s all-important historic links.

Redesigned by the current owner the four-bedroom, three-bathroom property is split over two levels and the living, dining and kitchen areas flow on to a large outdoor courtyard with fireplace at the rear. An extensive deck at the front of the house provides a superb setting for a spa pool, with expansive lake and alpine views.

Three bedrooms are located on the property’s lower level while the luxurious master bedroom occupies the upper level, providing spectacular views of Queenstown Bay through picture windows. The stylish, elegant interior skillfully mixes a mid-century and alpine theme and the contemporary finish has been expertly achieved.

The property has been proficiently landscaped to create added privacy and is set in an established garden, complete with original stone walls and box hedging, again preserving its connection with early Queenstown and its colourful past.

Sarena Glass and Sarah McBride of Sotheby’s International Realty are representing the property on the Queenstown market.

“Sarena and I excited to bring Waldmann Cottage to market and believe it is one of the most exceptional opportunities currently available in the resort,” says Sarah. “Not only is it recognised for its inspired refurbishment, focusing on a mix of the old and the new, but its luxurious ambience and superb location set it apart”