The Tinkers Cottage
In the heart;and of Central Otago is the Tinker’s Cottage, a beautiful schist cottage in the small but fascinating town of Clyde. The Tinkers Cottage in the 1860s, was the home of an itinerant tinsmith or a tinker. - a mender of pots and pans, - not to be confused with the more recent version of tinker - another word for gypsy in some lingoes.
Clyde is a fascinating place. At the start of the renowned Otago Cycle Trail it is a town which has reinvented itself. Here you will find one of the best restaurants not just in Central Otago, but in New Zealand. Here also you will find craftsmen, artisans, shops of unique and fascinating wares. This is also a town of turbulent history. There is the gargantuan Clyde dam and its hydro lake just to the north of the town.This dam was a source of great controversy and protest in times past.
The Tinker’s Cottage is a unique snapshot of early New Zealand. It is a historic cottage in a beautiful garden, a cottage made of local stone with its plastered joints and its compact setout. The cottage has been treated with the greatest of respect as it is brought into the twenty-first century. It is comfortable, charming and just the nicest of places to spend some time. It is in the heart of Clyde, - walking distance to absolutely everything. It is warm, well appointed and delightful. Whether you choose to sit outside or maybe barbecue in the sheltered garden, or whether your preference is to use the kitchen or go out for a meal, this is a great place to be.
At the cottage the artifacts of the past still remain. An elderly bicycle is the sign post to your cottage. The pot belly stove may not be there for cooking, but it is still present. There is a modern ensuite - a relatively recent addition, - and there is history on every side. Clyde is a time warp - a charming and exceptional time warp.
The dam is probably the key to the preservation of historic Clyde as it stands today. After the controversy had died and the dam was built, Clyde became a symbol of failed protest under the shadow of this massive monolith. Now, today, the dam is just a symbol of the march of progress, - beautiful in itself and its massive suppressed power. How strange the twists of fate.