Meet your Kamahi Cottage hosts, Liz & Evan

Returning home to the family farm

Evan was brought up on the family’s 1120 acre (450 hectare) sheep and beef farm near Otorohanga. He studied Organic Chemistry at Waikato University and met Liz, who was studying Literature and Language.

After university, they decided to try life on the Cowan family farm. They planned to be there for a year, but ended up staying a lifetime! Their three children became the third generation on the land developed by Evan’s father, Arthur.

Read about the family’s Love of the Land they call home
Evan & Liz Cowan, Kamahi Cottage
Liz & Evan Cowan

Evan retains an interest in chemistry and ‘things scientific’. He’s also developed a passion for the bagpipes and plays with a local band. He can often be heard practising at a suitable distance from the cottage and has had many favourable guest reviews. His other interests include astronomy, engineering projects in his large workshop and distilling schnapps (fruit brandy).

Liz was born in Switzerland and still speaks Swiss-German. As a young child, her family left Switzerland to farm in New Zealand. Her mother was a fabulous cook, gardener and homemaker, but it took Liz some years to realize that she enjoyed being a Home Engineer / Domestic Goddess too! She likes to experiment with different cuisines. (She has been known to read about some exotic dish, then do an internet search and try out the recipe.) Liz loves to cook, share her recipes and care for all those who visit. She also enjoys being in the garden and reading, when she has time to relax.

A family legacy

Evan’s father, Arthur, developed the family Sheep & Beef  Farm when he returned to New Zealand at the end of World War II. He had been away from home for five years; three of those were spent in Italian & German Prisoner of War Camps. He cleared the brush-covered land and literally sowed grass seed by hand, a seed sack slung over his shoulder.

In his retirement years he became one of New Zealand’s leading conservationists. He planted hundreds of thousands of NZ native trees to help regenerate our native ‘bush’. The picturesque family farm also has large tracts of legally protected native forest. They are an enduring legacy of his conservation work.

Why is it called Kamahi? [car-ma-hee]

When Evan & Liz built their home on a hilltop directly opposite the farm, they searched for a name for the 5-hectare plot of land. A few native kamahi trees grew along the roadside edge and ‘Kamahi’ it became. The kamahi tree (Weinmannia racemosa) is probably New Zealand’s most common native tree. It has elegant white racemes (flower spires) and produces delicious honey.

Book online today and look forward to a relaxing stay with us