The Paparoa Track has a strong attraction for both walkers and cyclists alike, and the track designers were focused on building this trail to maximise opportunities for locals to respond to these opportunities. You’ll find three tiny houses tucked behind the famous Blackball Salami company building on the main street. This building phenomena has expanded rapidly and Blackball Salami company owners Debbie and Phil saw the opportunity to provide three en-suite units for those passing through the town and wanting a pre or post night accommodation. After an on-again, off-again experience last summer, the 20/21 season for Blackball Tiny Houses is already strong with bookings.
Your units arrived prior to the opening back in November. How were bookings once the track got under way?
We had some bookings over the Christmas/New Year period but not a lot and then other track bookings we had were cancelled once Covid hit. It was such a disappointment for so many people to work firstly with the on again, off again opening and we saw that affected a lot of peoples confidence. Those that did come though loved it as they got to explore Blackball.
What sort of people are booking at Blackball Tiny Houses given these units are the only en-suite options in town?
Not really able to gauge the people because we didn’t host that many. However we know that even though walkers and riders are going to be bunking it for the next 2-3 nights on the trail, there are a number of people who do look for the privacy and comfort of an en suite room. They are happy to rough it while they are on the trail but given a choice at what are excellent room rates, its hard to pass over the option.
This type of technology is relatively new. Where did you get the units built and how did they get to Blackball?
The units were built in Hornby Christchurch by Curtis Design and were brought over on trailers, which indicates the amazing flexibility that these units offer. recently the Government has relaxed the rules around Tiny Houses which is really welcomed, because councils throughout the country had a lot of confusion around the regulations. I can see these being a way of the future in a number of sites around the country.
If I am walking or cycling the track, what Blackball Salami product do you most strongly suggest I buy for my trip?
The walkers can carry any of our products but the salami doesn’t require refrigeration so its easy. Our brand is well known and established without people actually being aware of the geographic location – so coming to the town and feeling the history and place is an added bonus for them and us. There is a range of product and details on our Blackball Salami website. People can select product and buy online, ready to be collected when they come for their walk.
Do you have any thoughts on what positives the Track will bring to Blackball, and what negatives should we all be watching out for?
Obviously the track is going to make the town busier and while I can’t see any negatives, we understand that this will become a different community in the way they impact on the town. Around the world we are seeing the impact that Tourism has on small communities and cities and we will be very mindful that the impacts are channelled for the good, rather than negative. The track was designed in a way to make a pre or post night stay an easy decision for visitors to make.