An Interesting Place


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The Queen’s Lodge is home to a diverse collection of natural history items and antiquities from around the globe. On display is everything from natural history items such as taxidermy, shells and insects to anthropological items from North America, Africa and Asia. Of course, the largest part of the collection is devoted to items of New Zealand origin. The New Zealand collection includes fossils, carvings and even some of New Zealand’s most despised pests such as ferrets and stoats.


The Queen’s Lodge has had many lives. She started her journey well over one hundred years ago, in 1906, as the home of the highly respected Dr Arthur Gentry Pitts.

Dr Pitts’s life is commemorated in the naming of the Guest Lounge – the Gentry Room.

The house was built of locally milled rimu and matai. In its hay day Waimate was home to numerous lumber mills.

In 1956 after Dr Pitts Death the house was purchased by Dominion Breweries and converted into a hotel. It was then named the New Criterion Hotel. In 2012 the Criterion Hotel officially closed its doors (except for functions which ran until 2017). The building remained empty until it was purchased by the Glenjarman Family Trust early in 2019. The family renovated the building and reopened it as the Queen’s Lodge .

The Queen’s Lodge house bar (known as the Criterion Keep) was the location for a scene in the locally made film called, The Waimate Conspiracy. The film, a mocumentary, was focused on a local land claim by indigenous people. If your watching the movie make sure you watch it until the end of the credits, the best part of the film is actually at the very end and is about 30 minutes extra.

The Queens Lodge is reported to be inhabited by at least three ghosts. A unknown maid, and a man who likes to sit in the house bar, we have left a bar stool for him just in case. Lastly, there is a ghostly young lady whose name was Geraldine. She is reported to have been a patient of Dr Pitts. The pregnant Geraldine came to see the good doctor because she was sick with pneumonia. The Doctor is reported to have saved Geraldine life but was unable to save her unborn child. When she passed away, she returned to the lodge.

Over the years the property has been cleansed by two different paranormalists. They left behind large amounts of selenite crystals (now on display in the geology cabinet) which are considered useful in cleansing spirit entities. We have removed the selenite from above the doors and windows to allow the sprites free-rain in the Lodge. If you are at all concerned about ghostly presences please ask the staff for some selenite to place in your room.

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