Otahuna Lodge to Re-Open 11 July


Otahuna Lodge will re-open on Monday, 11 July 2011 following its closure due to the 6.3-magnitude Christchurch Earthquake on 22 February.

The celebrated 116-year old homestead -- a Category 1 New Zealand Historic Places Trust Landmark -- sustained moderate interior damage, primarily to internal walls, ceilings and floors. More than 200 wall and ceiling surfaces are being repaired and restored prior to the Lodge's July re-opening.

"We are fortunate that the Lodge incurred only modest damage as a result of the extensive seismic strengthening carried out to the building last year" says Hall Cannon. The many heritage features of the homestead including its Victorian wooden carvings, stained glass windows and fifteen working fireplaces were unaffected. All seven of Otahuna's suites are being restored to their previous condition, with interior furnishings and artworks entirely unaffected. Outside the Lodge, Otahuna's thirty acres of historic gardens were also untouched by the earthquake.

Damage caused by the February earthquake is localised to Christchurch city, approximately a 25-minute drive from Otahuna Lodge. All regions of New Zealand outside of Christchurch including other parts of Canterbury such as Arthur's Pass and Kaikoura were entirely unaffected by the earthquake in February and continue to welcome visitors. Likewise, Christchurch International Airport is fully functional.

Outside of the city, almost all activities available to guests of the Lodge have resumed normal operations and are open to visitors. These include Akaroa attractions such as: Black Cat Cruises, A-Class Sailing, the "Giant's Garden" and guided kayak safaris; all wineries in the Waipara valley region; Clearwater, Russley and Terrace Downs golf courses; the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth; and The Christchurch Botanic Gardens as well as many local private gardens.

"The entire team at Otahuna is appreciative for the tremendous outpouring of well-wishes and the help of so many individuals to restore one of New Zealand's most important residences," Cannon says. "We look forward to welcoming guests back to Otahuna for its forthcoming re-opening in July."

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