We discover a delightful, luxurious location for a romantic overnight stay – in STAVELEY!

Who ever imagined that a shearer’s hut could be so romantic – or so indulgent, for that matter?? It’s a thought that occurs to me as I picture myself bubbles in hand, gazing at the stars, reclining in the outdoor baths, outside my rustic weekend accommodation.

The Red Cottages sit just off the Inland Scenic Route 72 in Staveley, each providing a different, yet equally delightful mix of rustic retreat and boutique, luxury accommodation.

Step inside Alford Cottage and you’re immediately enveloped in the warm wooden ambiance of this beautifully restored slice of history. An open fire, cosy couches and beautiful bed linen ooze atmosphere as you gaze out to stunning views of Mt Alford and Mt Hutt.

Somers cottage replicates Alford cottage in many ways, yet generates its own unique atmosphere. With high pitched ceilings, spacious, modern kitchen and bathroom, a double sided fireplace between the lounge and bedroom and views of Mt Somers that will blow your mind, it is everything you could imagine for a romantic getaway.

The Red Cottages are the brainchild of Myriam and Nigel Birt, who purchased the property in 2007. The couple immediately fell in love with the dilapidated shearer’s cottage and could see potential in restoring it. “By European standards it’s not very old at all, but it’s quite old for New Zealand. I love the character of it,” Myriam says.


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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.