Dot and Neil Smith were among the first people to take up the opportunity irrigation provided on the Lower Waitaki Plains.
They moved down from Northland more than 30 years ago and through hard work and good ideas established successful dairy farms.
Dot’s energy and enthusiasm didn’t stop there, she also established Riverstone Country, a store crammed with gifts, home and garden ware.
One son is dairying, the other, Bevan and his wife Monique, and his wife developed the award winning restaurant Riverstone Kitchen.
One reason for its well deserved reputation is its fresh fruit and vegetables from the expansive gardens which surround it.
The Smiths believe in their dreams and are prepared to work hard to realise them.
One of Dot’s dreams is to have a castle and she’s getting it.
Mrs Smith said . . . It would be the only ”new home” they had lived in.
”We have only ever lived in farm cottages on farms before, so this will be the first time we have had a new house.”
The 65-year-old said the chance to live in a castle was ”a dream come true”.
”Some people have a dream to own a Porsche. My dream has been to live like a princess in a castle, and really, everybody’s home is their castle.”
Although the castle would also have a ”secret tunnel”, along with a basement and dungeon, the building was intended as ”just a home”, she said.
”Hopefully, it will be lots of fun for the grandkids.”
TV3’s 3rd Degree profiled it, you can watch it here.
You can also read her story in Dot Queen of Riverstone Castle, written with Nathalie Brown and published by Random House.