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The 100sqm cottage at 16 Brisbane St in central Queenstown, though not the waterfront, has three bedrooms, an original coal range, open wood fire and a claw foot bath.
Harcourts agent Simon Hayes said the property dated back to the 1880s.
The sale price was about the land and not the cottage.
``We believe [the section is] fractionally bigger than what it said on the title ... roughly 1000sqm.''
The property was in a zone that meant up to three dwellings could be built on the site.
The property was last year valued by QV at $2,630,000.
The sale price worked out about $3000 per square metre, one of the higher sales in the resort in recent times.
Last year Happiness House, on a 693sqm section on the corner of Park and Brisbane Sts, sold for $2.213 million - that worked out at $3193 per square metre.
Of last Thursday's auction, Mr Hayes said bidding opened at $1.8 million.
``It wasn't fast and furious. It was reasonably solid ... In the end there were two parties that were bidding for it.''
Mr Hayes could not comment on where the buyer lived, but believed, in time, they would likely demolish the home and re-build on the site.
It is understood the buyer is a Queenstown family.
Last week it was reported the Central Otago Lakes area, which includes Queenstown and Wanaka, remained the least affordable region in the country, despite a $67,000 decline in house prices in the last quarter, to $708,000.
Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed in May Queenstown prices were down 7% on a year ago to $820,000 and Wanaka's rose 0.5% to $865,000, while Quotable Value data for May showed Queenstown values had risen 9.6% to $1.15 million.