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 - Lochmara was purchasedThe original homestead
The original homestead that is now Lochmara Lodge was purchased by Louise Bright and Shayne Olsen.
1997 - Lochmara Backpackers establishedThe 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 - Lochmara Bath House openedThe original bathouse
2001 - Lochmara units constructed
Seven more accommodation units constructed.
2003 - Kitchen extension completedThe New Kitchen and Café
2004 - Kākariki aviaries were builtThe Kākariki aviaries
Conservation of the native Kākariki parrot and establishment of a breeding program.
2005 - Art studio/Gallery and wildlife recovery centre opened
2007 - Café and commercial kitchen completed
Backpacker’s hostel converted into a café and commercial kitchen completed
Marlborough Sounds Wildlife Recovery Centre founded and Crumpy’s Camp openedThe 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 - Winners of the Conservation in Action Tourism Award
The Conservation Department ‘Conservation in Action Tourism Award 2010’ won by Shayne and Louise
2012 - Supreme winner at Marlborough business awards.
Lochmara was 1st in “Medium sized business”, 1st in “Marlborough Environment” award
2016 - Underwater observatory establishedThe Underwater Observatory
The Underwater Observatory was towed into its stationary position and opened with the first guided tour held 11 December 2016.
2021 - New owners for Lochmara LodgeLochmara 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.