For years, Cromwell’s been seen as a dormitory town in comparison to Queenstown and Wanaka. Priced out of either of NZ’s glittering resort towns, you’d head there to buy a home and accept the 40-minute commute as part of the package.
But now, Cromwell is taking centre stage.
With exceptional sites in a prime location, Wooing Tree Estate is leading the charge for a new breed of Cromwell dwellers including families, retirees, remote workers and investors.
The boutique Wooing Tree Estate subdivision in the heart of food, wine, cycling, golf, stone fruit and motorsport country is being marketed by Harcourts Cromwell team Jake Lucas and Steve Cairns.
Fringed by vines, the vineyard and cellar door as well as the iconic ‘wooing tree’ that lends its name to the vineyard remain as the ‘beating heart’ of this new neighbourhood.
With Stage 1 and 2 sold out and Stage 3 just released, there are a range of lucky section owners from around New Zealand who are toasting their good luck at having secured their dream property.
Among those are Wellingtonians, Aucklanders, Nelsonites and a family from Timaru.
Currently in Auckland, Sam and Aidan are first home buyers using their Kiwisaver to buy their home, Carolyn and Mike from Nelson have invested in two sections, one to build for themselves and the other as an investment property, Sandra and Graeme from Timaru are making their dream of a holiday home come true to suit their family, and Wendy and Lloyd from Wellington are living their best ‘third life’ while Lloyd continues to work remotely.
They’ve all seen the value in a boutique estate as a great place to bring up kids, live and work from home remotely, or to take full advantage of the region’s skiing, fishing, mountain biking, golf, hiking, and wine tasting lifestyle.
Sam and Aidan (pictured above), currently in Auckland and originally from Otago with careers in the Navy, are investing in their future family life in Cromwell.
“I’m from Otago and I always knew we were going to come back,” says Aidan. “We’re really into skiing and waterskiing so Cromwell is the ideal location for us.. We’ve got family in Dunedin and Cromwell and friends are in Queenstown so Cromwell is the perfect hub.”
Sam says, “Wooing Tree Estate connected everything together for us; the cycle trial, lake, mountains and centrally located to friends and family.. We’d been looking at property online for a while and we kept thinking more and more that it would be a really cool place to live as a family, we are grateful that we made the decision.”
Originally from Timaru but more recently Wellingtonians, Wendy and Lloyd (pictured above) spent time looking in other areas but couldn’t find what they wanted.
“We then started looking in Central Otago and in less than 24 hours we found out about these sections online and made an appointment with Harcourts,” says Lloyd.
“We met Jake when we walked onto the section which has a lovely aspect, is open to the North, and Jake said it was a bit of a “hidden gem” of a section. He could see our vision from the beginning.
“With Harcourts everything has been so easy and the team has been great to deal with through the purchase process. Every dealing we’ve had with Jake and the developer along the way they’ve definitely over-delivered.
“The miracle of Cromwell is because of the way it’s developed, we’ve got a nice-sized section with a great aspect that’s 100m from the centre of town. Wooing Tree Estate will be good for Cromwell.”
Early retirees Sandra and Graeme Sargent (pictured above) from Timaru and their daughter Brenda in Christchurch have always loved Cromwell. Sandra’s ‘born and bred Central Otago’ and says years of family holidays in the area have led to a desire to buy or build in Cromwell.
But they almost missed out.
“We happened to be in Cromwell and came to the Open Day and met Jake,” recounts Sandra. “He said the whole of Stage 1 had sold out but we left our details anyway.
“By sheer coincidence three days later our lot was back on the market and Jake got in touch. We knew straight away which section it was. We signed up two to three weeks before titles were issued. It was amazing that we were in the right place at the right time and met Jake. We said we could do something immediately and he pushed this along, working really quickly, and it all worked out.”
Carolyn and Mike Beleski (pictured above) from Nelson are retiring from their office jobs to make the move south – investing in their future (they’ve bought two sections) and their lifestyle.
“We have friends at Pisa Moorings which is only a short bike ride away via the connected cycle trails and it’s just so beautiful down there with so much to see,” says Carolyn.
“We’ll live in one house and the other will be an investment property. Originally we were thinking in Wanaka but it didn’t have the same appeal. We thought we should look at Cromwell, it’s only half an hour away, and loved what we saw at Wooing Tree Estate. It’s a huge plus to be able to walk to the shops. Their vision really appealed to us.”
“We went online to search sections on a Saturday morning and by the Sunday we’d bought two sections. What’s the worst that can happen?”
Carolyn says Steve and Jake were “really easy to deal with”, putting them onto solicitors and making the process very simple.
“I’d have no trouble recommending them to other people,” says Carolyn.