Queenstown Polo Club a popular event space for Central Otago

It was once an old deer farm, but now Queenstown Polo Club is quickly becoming one of Central Otago's top event locations.

Owner Jonathan Gabler purchased the land nestled underneath Coronet Peak around 7 years ago.

"I've slowly been transforming it into a polo facility with the idea of bringing polo to Queenstown, adding to the social calendar, inviting people along to watch and learn more about the sport and eventually learn to play and get involved with the sport here" said Gabler.

"It's been a big learning process in all areas of farming, I never grew up on a farm, I spent 20 years living in Asia, I didn't know there was more than one type of grass when I bought the farm" he said.

Polo events then took off, but Gabler saw more potential uses for the land.

So when the Super Rugby competition descended on Queenstown last year to create its own bubble and ensure the competition went ahead, Gabler contacted New Zealand Rugby.

"I said look, if you're looking for more grounds then I've got an area you might be keen to use, so they came out and had a look and next thing you know the Highlanders were training here and yeah it was pretty exciting to have them training in your backyard" he said.

Polo and rugby were then added to the list of possibilities for the venue, and concerts shortly followed when Mardi Gras was held there in June 2022.

Promoters Trademark Group were then looking for options for the Queenstown leg of 'A Summer's Day Live' UB40's nationwide tour featuring Jefferson Starship and Dragon.

Trademark's Toby Burrows says venue options in the tourist hotspot are extremely limited.

"You've obviously got the Queenstown Events Centre which is an indoor space and it does have the oval, but there's only limited time that can be used and there's other restriction with other venues with access and parking" Burrows said.

"With this only being 10 to 15 minutes away from Queenstown and 5 or 10 away from Arrowtown it's really central, it's got good access roads, plenty of parking.

"It's pretty ideal being at the foot of Coronet Peak and with the Remarkables in the background and the lush polo fields, it's pretty special" he said.

Tonight, the idyllic venue will play host to UB40's last leg of their NZ tour.

But it won't be the last we hear of the venue.

"The big dream is to hold a polo tournament and have an accompanying concert that the polo crowd would roll to then other people would come to the concert" says Gabler.

"A really interesting direction I'm trying to take the farm into is multi species paddocks and farming and using varieties of different seeds in areas"

Gabler hopes the local community can come and enjoy the land and all its uses. He's also just got approval to build a restaurant on the property.


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