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A little bit of our history.

The Dudley's Cottage Precinct is an exciting development adjacent  to the beautiful Arrowtown River Reserve that builds on a history of commercial activity at the site. 


The original cottage - 'Dudley's Cottage' is actually two cottages built approximately 17 years apart. The first cottage to be built (front cottage) is sometimes known as Butlers Cottage because it was built by William Butler in approximately 1880. Butler, an Irishman, was one of the first to arrive at the Arrow at the onset of the 1862 goldrush. He was a Wagoner by trade when the transportation of necessities to miners could make a man very rich. He settled in Arrowtown and became a farmer, store keeper, carrier and the proprietor of the Ballarat Hotel where the Arrowtown Bakery now stands. Butler Green is named after him.


This cottage is one of the oldest stone cottages in Arrowtown. William Butler built it here strategically located at the end of Buckingham Street as the last building before continuing on to Macetown. The perfect location for a supplies store. He was known to be successful and died in 1887 from abscess of the liver, finally expiring to the ‘wasting disease’.  He was survived by his wife Mary Jane Butler and son Kingsley. Kingsley later sold the property to George Dudley in about 1911.


Until 2004 the cottage was owned by the Dudley / Garbutt family, members of which still reside in Arrowtown and have fond memories of growing up in the cottage.


The current reincarnation of the Cottage was born in 2009 by current owners, Scott Stevens and John Guthrie. Scott saw the potential to transform the then run down cottage into it's past glory and to celebrate Arrowtown's gold mining past. Adaptive use has long been recognised as the best way to preserve historic features and the proposal was supported by the Historic Places Trust of New Zealand and the Wakatipu Historical society. An extensive renovation followed, making the building weatherproof, replacing rotten walls and floors and complete re-wiring and re-plumbing. After removal of the 1970s pine composite wall and ceiling coverings, the 1880s original building materials were luckily found to still be in good shape. Any additional materials used to patch the original floor and walls where needed were recycled from the historical Arthurs Point Pub.

From 2018, two further buildings were added to the precinct, designed by local architect Maurice Orr to fit with the historic nature of the site. 'The Shed' to the south of the Cottage opened in 2018 and houses Jenny Mehrtens Artist upstairs and Honey & Cocoa giftshop downstairs. The Barn, located behind and to the west of the Cottage, features 'The Dishery' Bistro Restaurant on the ground floor and a shared office space 'The Coop' above. Better By Bike now operate out of the Cottage itself and also offer gold pan hire.


Dudley's Cottage Precinct is the perfect pitstop on the way to enjoy the many walking, biking and hiking trails in the mountains behind Arrowtown, with easy parking and a stunning location adjacent to the river reserve.



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