The November issue of avenues had a great write up on places around akaroa and banks peninsula. The best part of course was on Akaroa Accomodation - Tree crop farm! " In Akaroa, a trip up Rue Grehan takes you back to nature. Once parked outside Lynnie Alexander's Tree Crop farm and Bohemian Love Shacks, all you hear is the gentle rush of the stream's journey. " What I'm trying to create is rough and ready New Zealand Paradise that suits me, with lots of things to eat and smell and look at. I'd like to present it in a more pristine way, like something out of a glossy magazine, but you need a lot of staff for that."
Instead, Lynnie runs the accommodation business herself, with a few extra hands to call to keep the four huts ship shape, the woodpiles stacked, and the garden somewhat restrained. In her 60's, ( although you wouldn't pick it, ) Lynnie has a life story peppered with remarkable tales.
After marry a Dutchman , she lived in Amsterdam untill she had her son Sebastian ( now 26 ) and the homesickness became too much. While her next stop was Otago, where she had built a house with her father a few years before, she wrote two travel books, then her fond memories of Akaroa holidays in the Glen eventually lured her back to the Peninsula to write for the Akaroa Mail weekly newspaper.
For the first two years she remained on the Akaroa side of the Hill top never venturing into the big smoke because she was so preoccupied.
" I don't know if I could do it now, because I'm madly in love with the Westfield Mall," she admits. despite Lynnies love of manicured nails and stiletos, home is a 150 years old navy blue cottage, with wattle and daube walls, and open fires. " It's reminiscent of life in a bedouin tent, mixed with The Lord of the Rings film sets, working class colonial New Zealand, and a nostalgia for the medieval."
She stumbled on her current abode quiet by chance. " I was living in the Giants House ( Linton, of Akaroa) and I had a horse. I rode it up the road one day and saw this cottage. I thought WOW, I wonder if they'd sell it." While the property was not on the market, Lynnie persevered and two weeks later it was hers. The surprise was that the title wasn't just for the hectare around the house but for 22 hectares stretching up the nearby hill and encompassing native forest and walk tracks. Lynnie capitalised on the walk tracks, as the ability to walk out the door and wander the countryside for hours was what she loved most about their holiday house in Derbyshire in England.
She thought " Why can't we have these walk track in New Zealand?" Armed with a $2000 council grant, Lynnie and her house roamed the peninsular to determine the most rewarding routes. The result was 15 established tracks that are used today. " That was my dream, to have a piece of property with walk tracks criss crossing over it. "