Allure of Paradise

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The Paradise homestead was designed and built in 1883 by William Mason, New Zealand’s first government architect and later the first mayor of Dunedin.
It was later owned by the Aitken and Veint families, who operated it as a guest house until it was sold to the Miller Family in 1949.
A trust was formed to protect the property in perpetuity the year David Miller died, in 1998, and the Paradise Trust restored the homestead and adjoining bedroom wing in 2005.
After fire destroyed the homestead two years ago, the bedroom wing was reconfigured into Miller House, the neighbouring annexe restored, and the old Glenorchy School and several more huts brought on to the site. The old Paradise school is also on the property.
Mrs Groshinski said it was a thrill seeing the reactions of visitors to Paradise, many of whom returned time and time again. Often several generations of families would return over the years.
The trust was moving on firmly and positively after the homestead fire and did not want to be remembered solely for the 2014 event, she said.
‘‘There’s so much more to Paradise than the wonderful buildings here. It’s just beautiful, and people love exploring. They always want to stay longer.’’
Trust chairman Tom Pryde said no decision had yet been made about whether to rebuild another homestead, but other projects were being done for now, including an extensive trapping programme to bring more birdsong back to the Paradise bush. Two years on from the fire, the trust was also focusing on promoting the new-look Miller House and Annexe, especially as a winter destination.
He encouraged others to enter into the ‘‘Paradise philosophy’’.
‘‘It’s not just about which building you choose to stay in here, it’s about the birds, and the wildlife, and the tranquillity of the place. It’s a bigger picture.’’ – Paradise Trust is offering a winter special at Miller House with two nights for the price of one during June, July and August. For more information go to www.paradisetrust.co.nz