About us

Come and experience our local friendly hospitality.

The Stevensons are originally from the Orkney Isles, with a great, great grandfather along with his brothers settling on the Crown Range near Arrowtown. We are now a 4th generation Omakau family, having had a great grandfather who lived and worked as a ganger on the railway line in Omakau before becoming the local barber while being the owner of a local store, now the Omakau Supermarket.

There are rumours that he may have been a local bookmaker, we will say are unfounded, as 5 sons joined the NZ Police from the 13 children, which included 5 sets of twins.

In 1988 Colin met and married Mandy in Queenstown who was on a working holiday from Dorset England. Then in 1995 we moved to Omakau with our infant daughters, Nicole and Sarah.

We were looking for a country lifestyle, so Colin took up the position of the Sole Policeman in Omakau. 

In 2006 we purchased the old derelict former Drapery Shop and began a considerable labour of love converting this into 5 ensuite units and relocating a house to the rear of the section. This was the start of Mandys new business venture providing accommodation on the Rail Trail.


It was not for the desire for more renovating and painting, but in 2007 we went into partnership with Colins sister, Stacey and her partner Michael purchasing the Omakau Commercial Hotel when Colin left the Police after 23 years. Stacey and Michael had previously managed the World Heritage Hotel in Haast, with great success, which they again delivered in Omakau, winning the Best Country Hotel Award in 2016 before moving to Maheno.

By this time, Colin had spent some 5 plus years in Christchurch following the 2010/11 earthquakes, while Mandy ran our business. 

After 14 wonderful years, we sold our accommodation business that is now trading as Nicky’s Place.

We are pleased that you are reading this, either as our guest or considering staying with us at Schist Rock Lodge.  The name originates from the beautiful schist rock formations, known as Tors, that cover parts of our stunning landscape in Central Otago.

The 3-standalone king ensuite studios were completed in February 2022 by our daughters’ partner Craig along with the help of Colin, before we built our neighbouring new home.

We will ensure your stay with us in beautiful Central Otago will be relaxing and memorable.

Best regards

Colin & Mandy Stevenson

What our previous guests have said