Owned and maintained Bayview Grand Chateau on land leased from within Tongariro National Park.
Fergusson's Cottage is a simple gable-roofed structure with a verandah across the front elevation (north), and projecting wing with a pitched roof on the back elevation (south). It is timber famed with vertical board and batten sheathing; the rear wing is rusticated weather-boarding on the south and east walls.
The roof is corrugated iron and there was once a brick chimney at the east end which served the fireplace in the living room. A small gable roofed laundry, again clad with vertical board and batten, sits next to the cottage.
The designer of this, the third building at Whakapapa, is not known. The name of the cottage commemorates Lady Alice Fergusson, wife of Sir Charles Fergusson, Governor General of New Zealand, 1924-1930, who stayed in it during the winter of 1926. The cottage was built as accommodation for visitors to the National Park. It differed from earlier buildings in being clad in timber, having a full verandah and being sited to take advantage of the views. It was in use as accommodation by April 1925, though it may have been built earlier. When the Chateau was being built Fergusson's was used as accommodation for the site workers.
It was originally two rooms with no extension at the back, sleeping six people in bunks in each room. The lean to was built sometime after 1928. The rear wing extension was probably built in the 1930s.
In 1994 KAH Corporation, the owners at the time of the Grand Chateau and associated complex, converted this cottage into a cafe addong on an adjacent building (seen as the southern or rear wing) which previously served as a lodge ablution block. Additions were required to provide a link between these two buildings and to afford adequate space to operate a modern kitchen. This modification also necessitated the removal of the original chimney.
Historic themes are tourism and recreation.
Fergusson Cottage has a simple and distinctive architectural form, characteristic of early colonial architecture in New Zealand. The cottage was built in what was then a difficult location. The fact it has survived in good condition for so long is testimony to the skill of its designers and builders. The cottage is an essential element in a precinct of buildings of similar age and scale which gives Whakapapa Village a distinct character.
Fergusson Cottage was the third structure built at Whakapapa and it is now the oldest remaining building. It provides a tangible link with the early recreational development of Tongariro National Park .
The cottage is registered as a category II historic place by Heritage New Zealand. Fergusson Cottage Complex on Heritage New Zealand website