Bookbinders's Retreat

4 Stour Street, South Hill, Oamaru
Max Guests

About this Holiday House

Very small self-contained studio, adjacent to main house. Separate kitchen and bathroom. Beautifully restored, cosy and warm. French doors open out to a small garden with a fire pit. Main garden is based on permaculture design, with two chickens providing fresh eggs. Private and quiet. Owner not always at home and there is one pussycat onsite. Most guests find the cabin peaceful, relaxing and enjoy the character of the space. It is deliberately low-tech, ie: TV is only for dvd use. I do however offer a free wifi service for access to internet. The kitchen is basic with a hotplate and a small oven. There's also a small wood oven which works very well.

Details and amenities

Kids: please enquire
No pets
Linen provided
Smoking outside only
No disabled access
Heating & cooling
Electric blankets
Tea, coffee, sugar etc
Cellphone coverage
Cleaning equipment
Cleaning supplies
Clothes line
Ensuite Bathroom
Fire wood supplied
Internet available
Oil heaters
Outdoor furniture
Wood stove

Bed layout

1 Double(s)

Special Amenities

View from my deck {pictured} over Public Gardens,to the west the Kakanui mountains {6000feet}, to the east the limestone built town and sea. Close to town {15 mins}, easy walking distance. Private and quiet, lovely setting. Note: I'm offering a self contained experience ,not a b and b. If you want easy access and mod cons, book a motel.. :-)

Special Attractions and Activities Nearby

Known as New Zealand's "Capital of Victorian Architecture" Oamaru is a town with character, 80% of it's Victorian 1870-80's Stone buildings remain, with some notable restorations. The Victorian Precinct is inhabited by a variety of craftspeople some of whom seek to fit in to their period environment. It's more popularly known for it's wildlife; two varieties of Penguins, the Little Blue and the rare Yellow-Eyed. The sub-genre, Steampunk is a more recent and unusual experience for the visitor.


Average Rating: 5
7 total reviews

Michael, I can't thank you enough for sharing your retreat. That word very much sums it up. It is warm, cozy, clean and functional. It was very hard to leave on my last day. Close to town but very quiet. Easy walking distance to the Victorian area, and the centre of town. The garden offers self sufficiency for cooking, herbs in abundance and some fruit trees to which I did indulge. Michael offers an attention to detail that's warm and inviting, informative and non intrusive. Noisel Archie kept me company on the back step quite frequently, he must have known I needed a feline fix. I would liked to have stayed and chatted more with you. Next time I will, and will try some of your beer. I will definately be back to The Bookbinder's Retreat on my next trip. Warmest Regards Sharyn
Response from Owner
Thanks Sharyn, glad you enjoyed it so much, and taken the time to do a write up. Was nice meeting you too, and look forward to seeing you at the Retreat in the future. Cheers, Michael
Michael's 'Bookbinder's Retreat' definitely belongs to our most beautiful places to stay in New Zealand! It is an extraordinary cosy hide-away cabin which is perfectly well designed and where much love in details are spent. Also the garden surrounding is an oasis for relaxing between apple and pear trees and blossoms. We loved it to stay there and recommend it to everybody who attach importance to a beautiful interior and a very sympathetic host!
Response from Owner
Thanks Nika. I really need to emphasise that the Retreat is very small, rustic and not to everyone's tastes, but I like sharing it with lovely people who appreciate a slower and perhaps more romantic way of life way. The garden's a bit of a mess actually! :-}
To stay at the "Bookbinder's Retreat" and to meet Michael O'Brien was something very special and we will not forget both of them quickly. We were transported back into another century and felt a bit like the early settlers. All the items in the cottage were genuine and lovingly selected and put there to be used. We enjoyed Michael's home-made sour dough bread, the free-range eggs, his beer and the interesting chats that we had with him and not to forget "Archie", his adorable and very friendly cat.
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Date rangeRatesMinimum stay
All year$100 / Night for 2 guests2 Nights
All year
$100 / Night for 2 guests
Min. stay: 2 Nights
3 nights $280. 7 nights $640.


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