Otira is a small, picaresque, silent town located at in the Southern Alps in the central portion of New Zealand’s South Island, between the Otira and Bealy Rivers. You can take a trip underground in the Otira Tunnel here at YouTube, for a closer look at the cloistered village.
Home to around forty people, Otira was once a mere stagecoach stop, conveniently positioned as a resting point for riders going from Canturbury to the West Coast, and the railway located there. Once the Otira Tunnel was completed in 1923, the town turned into a mere stop along the way. And as nzine highlights, when the railroads were privatized in the 1990s, the already waning popularity and attractiveness of Otira dwindled and reduced to the town to near ghost status.
Having received word from one of his older sons that a small pub in Otira was up for sale, 52 year-old Aucklander Bill Hennah decided to check out the lead with his wife, Christine. Via weinterrupt, Hennah and his wife were moved by the dejected nature of the small town, and aside from the pub, in 1998 they bought up everything else, too, including the town’s sole hotel, which was founded in 1864. At the time, the couple paid a total of $NZ80,000 ($65,290) for everything, houses, townhall, and all. For all intents and purposes, the Hennah’s were the town’s owners.
And now, the town is on the market again. For the still-low price of $NZ1,000,000 ($817,060), the entire town can be yours. The Hennah’s are now in their 60s and ready to retire from the upkeep and time they’ve put into the town. Reportedly, it is their desire to see the town go to a younger, enthusiastic, and entrepreneurial couple, who can continue to maintain and make-over the sedate village, and perhaps make it a tourist attraction and restore Otira to its more bustling former days.
Aside from the town’s modest history and railway access, it is also located near Arthur’s Pass National Park, which is host to all manner of sights, sounds, and wildlife unique to the area. There is ample opportunity to turn this village into a secluded and desirable place for quiet holidays and private getaways. It’s accessible, but not noisy; promising, but not exploitable.
Forget spending a million dollars on your own house – imagine the boost your ego would get if you owned a whole town.