We are Bruce and Esmé Macdonald and we bought the Lauder School B&B in March 2012.
We are loving the opportunities to meet new people and share in their holiday adventures and family celebrations. Prior to coming to Lauder, we lived in the Alexandra/Galloway area for twenty-six years and loved it there.
We are enjoying now being part of the friendly and welcoming Lauder community and are certain our guests will love it too.
The Lauder Railway School was officially opened on March 5th 1906. It was built to accommodate the children of the railway workers who were based at Lauder. There was another school on the Lauder Flat called the Lauder School so the word "Railway" was added to the name to differentiate the two. On the first day there were seventeen pupils and by the end of the year there were twenty-seven. The school continued in operation until 1986 by which time the roll had dropped to just four pupils. The Otago Education Board closed the school at the end of Term 2 in 1986.
The school buildings remained vacant for three years after the closure and in 1989 Neill and Noelene Officer bought it to create a place where their extended family could enjoy holidays in Central Otago. It was extensively renovated with all the extended family called in to help and subsequently became the family holiday spot that Neill and Noelene wished for. In 1997 the school was sold again, this time to Arthur and Joy Broadwith. They began the conversion to a Bed and Breakfast. In 2007 Ralph & Nikki Milne bought the property and undertook a major renovation of the complex to create the modern facilities we are proud to offer our guests today.