The origins of The Old Slaughterhouse go back to Ireland in 1993.
I was traveling there myself and fell in love with the idea of hostels and lodges. Just before leaving Ireland to come back to New Zealand the idea of building and operating my own travellers’ lodge occurred to me – so I did exactly that when I came back and started building a lodge that is today known as ‘The Old Slaughterhouse’.
I chose to build the lodge on top of a hill in a small village called Hector, on the northern Westcoast of New Zealand’s South Island. To me this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The views from here are breathtaking, different each day and you are surrounded by native bush, the sea and fascinating wildlife- its very peaceful!
It’s name ‘The Old Slaughterhouse’ originates from an abattoir that operated on this hill until the mid-1940s. Back then the hill was known as Slaughterhouse Hill. You can still see the original building on the bottom of the hill, next to our carpark.
The lodge was hand built, using mostly recycled timber, doors and windows, with all construction taking place on site.
It took us about 2 years to complete the construction and in 1997 we were finally able to welcome our first guests.
All our water comes from a spring here on the property and we use a mini-hydro system to generate our electric energy. This limits the use of electric powered utensils and as a result you won’t find e.g. microwave ovens, hairdryers or a washing machine here.
We’re cooking with gas, our fully equipped kitchen has two gas hobs and one gas oven, and we heat the lodge with driftwood from the beach.
The only power points are in the main lodge, where you can recharge your cell phone. However, you may not always be able to connect to your cellphone network up here. Its worth to mention that there is also no WiFi available at the lodge.
The Old Slaughterhouse truly is a place where you can – and should – just switch-off and relax.