Posted By QEII National Trust | November 25, 2020

An iconic Queenstown landscape at the foot of the Remarkables Range will be gifted to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) for the benefit and enjoyment of all New Zealanders, as announced in Queenstown on Wednesday morning.

Dick and Jillian Jardine, owners of Remarkables Station, intend to gift the ownership of 900 ha of the property to QEII, to be held in perpetuity, ensuring the significant landscape and biodiversity on the property is protected on behalf of all New Zealanders.

This generous gift to the nation will ensure that a key landscape component at the foot of the iconic Remarkables will remain unspoilt forever.

The gift is hugely significant for the Wakatipu area and wider New Zealand. Open landscapes in the Wakatipu basin have come under increasing pressure from subdivision and commercial development driven by the twin pressures of population growth and tourism, but the wide-open landscapes of the district are the very values that have attracted both tourists and new residents to the area.

The gift of this property also comes at a time when protecting biodiversity and promoting a connection to nature is more relevant than ever. Time spent outdoors helped many New Zealanders through the Covid-19 lockdown, and the slower pace of life made many appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the importance of looking after iconic landscapes such as this.

Dick and Jillian Jardine are delighted to be able to pass this special piece of New Zealand landscape into QEII’s care.

“This land has been in the family for nearly a century and we have endeavoured to improve and enhance it over this time,” said Dick.

“Having QEII as the caretaker of this property gives us the comfort and assurance to proudly pass over this gift for all New Zealand to enjoy and appreciate.”

Remarkables station is a well-run and profitable farm. The gifted property is freehold land, currently leased as a working farm, and that will continue for the foreseeable future.

QEII Chair Bruce Wills said QEII is honoured to be entrusted with such a responsibility.

“This is an extraordinarily generous gift to New Zealand and one that will endure long after we are all gone,” said Bruce.

“It’s exciting for QEII to be taking ownership of this beautiful place, but we also recognise the huge responsibility on our shoulders to ensure the property is looked after for future generations and in line with the wishes of Dick and Jillian.”

“It is also an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate the integration of pastoral farming, conservation, public access and landscape protection on such a prominent and accessible site.”

The property will officially change hands in 2022, coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of Jardine family ownership of the farm. A QEII covenant will also be placed on the title to further strengthen the protection of this important property.