History

Te Hītori o Lochmara

Beautiful places have a good story...

Shayne Olsen and Louise Bright purchased Lochmara with a vision to create a special spot in the Marlborough Sounds that provided relaxation, community involvement, and most importantly, sustainability and wildlife conservation, education, and advocacy.

Over 25 years they certainly achieved that and more. Starting out as a backpackers they continued to develop the business and grounds alongside the community, with local business support, Department of Conservation involvement, and the many visitors to Lochmara from far and wide.

It wasn’t always easy, with many dubious in the early days to the impact Lochmara would have on the locals and the community. But in true kiwi fashion, Shayne and Louise held tight to their vision and got through those challenging times with grit and determination to achieve what is now a local favourite in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.

  • 1994

    1994 - Lochmara was purchased

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The original homestead

    The original homestead that is now Lochmara Lodge was purchased by Louise Bright and Shayne Olsen.

  • 1997

    1997 - Lochmara Backpackers established

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The original backpackers

    Lochmara Lodge backpackers opened, December 24th 1997, and a year later work commenced building more accommodation, a bathhouse, and a jetty extension.

  • 1998

    1998 - Lochmara Bath House opened

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The original bathouse
  • 2001

    2001 - Lochmara units constructed

    Seven more accommodation units constructed.

  • 2003

    2003 - Kitchen extension completed

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The New Kitchen and Café
  • 2004

    2004 - Kākariki aviaries were built

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The Kākariki aviaries

    Conservation of the native Kākariki parrot and establishment of a breeding program.

  • 2005

    2005 - Art studio/Gallery and wildlife recovery centre opened

  • 2007

    2007 - Café and commercial kitchen completed

    Backpacker’s hostel converted into a café and commercial kitchen completed

  • 2007

    Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre founded and Crumpy’s Camp opened

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The old "Crumpys"

    Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre founded and is focused on the rehabilitation of injured wild species. Crumpy’s Camp opened by NZ icon Barry Crump himself. Crumpy’s camp was destroyed in the July 2021 storm but will be rebuilt.

  • 2010

    2010 - Winners of the Conservation in Action Tourism Award

    The Conservation Department ‘Conservation in Action Tourism Award 2010’ won by Shayne and Louise

  • 2012

    2012 - Supreme winner at Marlborough business awards.

    Lochmara was 1st in “Medium sized business”, 1st in “Marlborough Environment” award

  • 2016

    2016 - Underwater observatory established

    Lochmara Lodge History
    The Underwater Observatory

    The Underwater Observatory was towed into its stationary position and opened with the first guided tour held 11 December 2016.

  • 2021

    2021 - New owners for Lochmara Lodge

    Lochmara Lodge History
    Lochmara Lodge as it is today

    Lochmara sold after 25 years of vision and development by Shayne and Louise, to Chris Bensemann and Niki Penberthy who will continue and further develop on their legacy.