Alternative lifestyle eco-lodge with many options.

5:00 AM Saturday November 28, 2015 Colin Taylor

Ohui eco-lodge occupies its own hill top at 750 and 742 Ohui Road, Opoutere.

A hand-built Coromandel commercial eco-lodge, famous for hosting a New Year’s music and lifestyle festival that draws thousands of people, is for sale on top of its own hill with stunning 360 degree views.

Located at 750 and 742 Ohui Rd, Opoutere – north of Whangamata and south of Pauanui – the 30.8 hectare property encompasses the Spanish-Mexican­ inspired Ohui Lodge surrounded by dense pine plantings and thousands of native trees that have been planted over the last 20 years.

“The property, with a resort-style swimming pool, overlooks Slipper Island and has around 550 metres of beach reserve frontage adjacent to picturesque Opoutere Beach,” says Gill Bowden of Bayleys Thames who is selling it by negotiation.

“The eco lodge was built to operate as a commercial accommodation and wellness retreat business, but after building it, the owner decided to live there, and rent it out on occasions,” Bowden says.

True Commercial - 750 Ohui Rd%2c Opoutere - Ohui Lodge - pool foreground.jpg

Ohui eco-lodge has a resort-styled swimming pool. 

Once a year the property is home to an ‘alternative lifestyle’ four-night festival known as Prana New Year Festival which attracts up to 2000 ‘spiritually-minded’ attendees who participate in music, dance, yoga, circus activities, herbal healing, dietary workshops, and meditation.

“The word ‘prana’ is Sanskrit for ‘life force’,” says Bowden. “Council regulations mean the festival activity as it stands does not require specific consent by the council, and up to five festivals are permitted a year.”

The Ohui Lodge and Prana venue property and chattels include:

  •          three accommodation buildings with a total of seven bedrooms, and five bathrooms encompassing 552 square metres of total floor area;
  •          an aquatic complex featuring a main pool with underwater sound and light system, a solar-heated ‘watsu’ massage pool, and spa room that are all serviced by a 42 sq m pool house;
  •          a lodge annexe of 143 sq m constructed as a purpose-built recording studio usable as extra accommodation and self-contained living quarters;
  •          eight caravans and two house trucks which can be used for budget guest accommodation or overflow sleeping quarters that are connected to the lodge’s electrical system;
  •          a commercially-graded camp kitchen and dining room catering for up to 1000 people containing three walk-in freezers, two large heavy duty gas stoves, and two dishwasher stations;
  •          four shower blocks containing nine individual showers, and 24 compostable portable toilets;
  •          a main stage performing area complete with full sound and lighting rigging infrastructure; and
  •          a 135 square metre three bay implement and machinery shed.

Bowden says “the Prana festival is designed to be a reconnection for people who are caught up in the age of ‘busy’, and need to unwind

“It runs for four days, and has a global market place which has plenty of healthy food sold from onsite stalls. As a family-friendly festival with an alcohol and drug free, non-smoking policy, there are dedicated areas for babies, children, and teenagers to play in.” The tickets for the last New Year festival were almost sold out, she says

True Commercial - 750 Ohui Rd%2c Opoutere - Ohui Lodge - view from kitchen.jpg

The lodge has stunning sea view like this one through the kitchen window. 

Outside of Prana, the property’s infrastructure has been used to service community events, fairs, festivals, and private functions like weddings.

Bowden says the property is currently in two titles, with consent in place for subdivision into three additional titles.

“The peaceful and calming aura permeating from Ohui Lodge underpins its reputation as one of New Zealand’s most spiritual locations – rivalling the likes of Cape Reinga, Mt Hikurangi on the East Coast, and the geysers of Rotorua,” she says. “The lodge is in utter harmony with its surroundings - giving it a palpable calmness and serenity.

“The level of thought and care which went into building the lodge provides the platform for an incredibly nourishing experience for its guest – right down to the bespoke bedheads crafted from swamp kauri timber.”

Bowden says the building’s ‘ecological integrity’ came from its designer Ian Burrow, and builder Alan Drayton - a director of sustainable construction company BioBuild.

“The lodge was built with native timbers, every nail was blessed before it was used, the heating is solar-powered, and the floors are made of imported certified organic cork. The lodge has a ‘living roof’ covered in plants set in 60 mm of soil, with a fully automated sprinkler system, and the walls had been painted in non-toxic, organic paints.

“The lodge was made with concrete slab foundations, with jarrah pole and hardwood framing, and the doors were hand-crafted macrocarpa.  Water is naturally supplied by a deep spring bore.”

Bowden says the natural environment surrounding the lodge is also an important feature of the property and a feature which was cherished by Prana festival-goers who camped on the estate for the duration of the gathering.

“There are natural glow-worm caves, vast camp spaces, an outdoor sound stage set in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by beautiful Pohutukawa trees, and plentiful water supply. It also has direct access through the beach reserve to Opoutere Beach,” she says.

“Ohui Lodge has been dormant as a commercial accommodation and hospitality operation for several years now, but the infrastructure of the business is intact and can be fully re-instated with a minimal degree of refurbishment.”

Bowden says prospective purchasers could explore additional hospitality or accommodation options; the potential to keep Prana in its current format; or use it as a launching pad for more cultural events.