Converted cowshed wins top spot

The cowshed offers guests a taste of rural life. Supplied images.

An old cowshed has been turned into luxury accommodation that incorporates elements of the original building.

The Cowshed in Waikino in the Karangahake Gorge has won the gold award in the unique category of the Bookabach Bach of the year awards.

The Cowshed was up against six other properties in the category and the property’s marketing manager Holly Goldsworthy says they are stoked with the win.

Holly’s parents, Lisa and Jason Willetts own the property and Holly says they have all learnt a lot since the property was bought about a year ago.

“It's our first year of doing this and we've never done anything like this before, so we really were sort of thrown in the deep end when they bought it. It's been heaps of learning, but we've had a sweet time.

“We get people from all over the world coming to stay and they want to meet us who run it as well, which is really cool.”

The Cowshed is on an 11 hectare lifestyle block and Holly says it is a great rural escape and a lot city dwellers come to enjoy a slice of rural New Zealand.

“It's super quiet and there’s always animals around, we've always got the cows close or the horses close.

“We live 3kms down the road, my partner and I and we’re rural all as well. So this is what we love and sharing it with other people makes it easy to share.

“It's just chill and  that's what you want in a holiday really.”

It is also close to the Hauraki Rail Trail so people come to stay to do the trail.

“We're super close to the rail trail, which is another thing. We've got a bike stand in the area that you can put your bikes on because we get a lot of people wanting to bike and walk the rail trail.”

The outdoor bath is also a popular feature among guests, Holly says.

The interior of the building has retained some of the elements of the original cowshed.

The metal ceiling and metal structure poles have remained, the sinks in the guest bathroom are the old copper hot water cylinder and boards that formerly clad the calf shed now form framing features in the bathroom as well.

Bookabach’s annual bach of the year awards recognise New Zealand’s best holiday baches across four categories, these are unique, pet friendly, design, family friendly and overall bach of the year is crowned as well.

Former The Block NZ winners Alice and Caleb Pearson along with Bookabach junior judge competition winner, Jayden Whitehead judged the properties.

Alice and Caleb Pearson say “Reviewing these spectacular baches was certainly not a tough day in the office.

“The winning properties in each category showcase breath-taking interiors, unbelievable locations and many features that facilitate friends and families getting together and creating lifelong memories - which is exactly what we look for.

“Our holiday wish list has certainly grown throughout the judging process.”

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