The Fern & Thistle is now open for business!

Previously known as Lesmahagow Bed & Breakfast, this heritage house has been closed to the public for the last ten years as the previous owners enjoyed their retirement. A change of ownership in 2020 has breathed new life into the place and the property has reopened as a luxury bed and breakfast and wedding venue. […]


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The Fern & Thistle is Balclutha’s only luxury accommodation and features Lesmahagow, the magnificent villa built by sanitary ware ‘king pin’ Peter McSkimming in 1914. Named after his wife’s home town in Scotland, Lesmahagow sits on 6,000m2 of private landscaped gardens and surveys the local surrounds of Benhar, which the McSkimming’s built as NZ’s first feudal town in the late 1800’s to service their extensive factory operations. Lovingly restored and reopened to the public in 2020, the property is now equipped with many modern conveniences such as central heating, a commercial kitchen, superior WIFI, cafe quality coffee and a fresh water hot pool to relax in after a day exploring the Clutha area.

For those looking to escape from the world or host a special event, the grounds provide a perfect back drop for events such as parties, weddings, meditation and ample photo opportunities. With room rates starting at just $125 a night, why not book The Fern & Thistle for your next Balclutha getaway

Luxury Suites

The McSkimmings Suite

The historical master suite, this room provides optimal comfort and escape

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The O’Malley Suite

A superior room situated overlooking the gardens, the O'Malley suite oozes charm

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The Iwikatea Room

Our standard option, but still offers superior comfort for the budget conscious

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Available for Events

Our beautiful grounds provide the perfect back drop for your next event. Whether you need a private space, a lot of space or just someone to take care of the food and drinks, our staff will make your next event a memorable one without breaking the budget

Wedding Venue

If you live in the South Otago chances are you've already been to a wedding at Lesmahagow....

Events & Functions

If you need somewhere with a little space and glamour then think of the Fern & Thistle...

Bed & Breakfast

When you stay at The Fern & Thistle you can choose to partake in a spectacular home...

Corporate Events

If you need somewhere with a little space and glamour then think of the Fern & Thistle...

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Clients Reviews

Here a just a few of the things people are saying about their experience at 'The Fern & Thistle'

Hotel Booking

Luxury Accommodation and Wedding Venue

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