They dreamed about one day having a lodge themselves, and they settled on the Nelson area in which to look for a property. It was an easy decision. They liked its mild climate and highest number of sunshine hours in New Zealand on average, the spectacular beauty, world-class trout fishing, fine local wineries, three national parks nearby, and easy international access.
In 2009, Stacey happened to see an advertisement for Stonefly Lodge opening in the coming season. Months later, Don stayed at Stonefly, caught his first 9-pound brown trout, and began a conversation with the owners, Kate and John Kerr, about collaborating on a project someday. Each year, Don returned to continue the fishing – and the conversation.
At one point, John said, ‘Well, if that sheep station next door ever comes up for sale, that would work.’ But it had been in the same family for more than 70 years; the odds of a sale seemed low. However, in 2016, the Fergussons did acquire the farm and the dream of owning a villa began.
After three years of development, under the supervision of Stonefly Lodge, the new luxury Falcon Brae Villa opened in December 2019. The Fergussons designed the floor plan, their style brought to life by local architects and interior designers, and the same masonry artist lined it with local stone. Furniture, fabrics and materials showcase New Zealand talent, with most of the joinery, cabinetry, furniture, carpets and other furnishings sourced and made here. Much of the art was purchased from local galleries and artists.
The elaborately designed door panels honor the Māori culture of New Zealand. The falcon motif refers to the name of the villa and the falcons that reside on the property and symbolizes wisdom, vision, and protection. May the artistic embodiments of this beautiful creature watch over your stay, awaken your visionary power and inspire reflections that bring you closer to your life goals.