Six stunning properties to view

Grandeur . . . The Brickburn house's downstairs and garden area will be on display in the Amazing Spaces tour. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Otago Girls’ High School’s Amazing Spaces House and Garden Tour is back. This year, there are six stunning properties to view from East Taieri to the city on Sunday, November 3 from 11am to 3pm.

Brinkburn was built in 1923 by Dunedin architects Mandeno & Fraser. It was commissioned by the Fenwick family, before being home to the Bachelors, the Ritchie family and the Gallaways. Ulla and David bought the home in 2001, and had the challenge of turning the
“big fridge” into something more user-friendly. While maintaining the home’s character and grandeur, they added some modern touches and were able to turn it into a beautiful comfortable family home. The downstairs and garden will be open during the tour.

The Empire Hotel started as The Queen’s Arms in 1858, and the current brick building replaced the original structure in 1879. During the 1980s, the upstairs bar was a pivotal venue for the development of Dunedin’s distinctive music scene. The building has been virtually derelict since 2009, but since the re-emergence of the Exchange and
revitalisation of the Warehouse precinct the area is viable again, its owner Jon said. The old facade has been replaced by a new glass-reinforced concrete one, which was made in China and was shipped to Dunedin. Jon has creatively converted the space into three contemporary apartments, two of which will be open for viewing.

Trudi and David Stewart’s garden has year-round appeal and incredible views. The house was built in 1994 and the five-acre garden was started in 1995. The two acres around the
house look magnificent in spring when the rhododendrons, narcissus, flowering cherries, and the new foliage of maples and birches are on show. There is also a dovecote and a ceramic and bronze sculptures hidden in the garden. The other three acres are sloping hillside with more than 1km of paths winding amongst woodland trees, rhododendrons and hydrangeas. Pools and waterfalls have been constructed in the gully alongside the driveway.

Trudi and David Stewart’s garden features pools, waterfalls, trees and flowers. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Peter and Anton are the proud custodians of this London St property. It was one of three houses built in 1902 for one of Mr Bendix Hallenstein’s daughters. Mr Hallenstein was a founder of the Queenstown rag trade family, specialising in menswear from the 1900s. This is the most elevated of the three homes, and has great views of Dunedin city and the Otago Harbour. The flat area around the home is surrounded by terraced botanical gardens with specimen tress planted when the house was built including Mountain Ash, Japanese Maple, Lancewood, an Irish strawberry tree, a white flowering cherry and a “milky way” magnolia. This property was enjoyed by all on our 2018 tour.

Rodger and Cindy Whitson’s 10-acre property, just outside Mosgiel, is home to gentians and peonies. The Whitsons have owned the property for 21 years, and in 2004 diversified into growing hydroponic herbs, salad vegetables and strawberries. They grow all their herbs and vegetables from seeds, which are grown undercover on all-natural fine bark potting mix. All products are picked and chilled before taken to the Otago Farmers’ Market every Saturday. Rodger and Cindy also wholesale their vegetables and herbs to restaurants and cafes locally. People are invited to wander through the peonies and glasshouse. Hydroponic salad greens, herbs and strawberries and peonies will be available to buy on the day.

The Ruskes farm alpacas on a 10-acre lifestyle block just 6km from the Octagon. They have about 30 alpacas, which are good-natured, easy to care for and produce high-quality fibre. A special feature of their property is the historic blue stone barn which was built in the early 1860s and is one of New Zealand’s oldest farm buildings. It was also the site of one of Dunedin’s earliest hotels, the Settlers Arms. There are also 150-year-old macrocarpa and apple trees on the property. On the tour, people will be able to visit the barn, which has been converted into an entertaining area and shop. Stroll around the sweeping garden and get up close to the alpacas.Complimentary cake/slices to go with The Shot mobile coffee. Buy raffle tickets and be in to win a night at a luxury retreat ( and more.

The Ruske’s historic blue stone barn will be open to visit. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Tickets are $25 each and go on sale on Saturday at the OGHS office during office hours, including the school holidays. They are also available at: Nichols Garden Centre from 11am to 3pm on September 14, 15, 21 and 22, and October 5 and 6,Bunnings Warehouse on October 19 and 20,Mitre 10 Mega Garden Centre during open hours.Be in quick as tickets sold out last year. Proceeds from the event will go towards helping the OGHS PTSA support the endeavours of students.