Big Wanaka land lot perfect for high flyers

1:37 PM Wednesday April 6, 2016 Colin Taylor

An aerial view of Windermere Farm and Aviation Park identified by a blue border.

A big parcel of land for sale next to Wanaka Airport offers buyers the chance to develop an aviation-related project.

The 43-hectare land holding at 825 Wanaka-Luggate Highway, is known as Windermere Farm and Aviation Park.

“It has tremendous potential to add value,” says Alastair Wood, Queenstown managing director for Colliers International, who is marketing the property sale by deadline private treaty closing on April 28.

“The property’s aviation use possibilities and its location right next to the airport will also be a compelling proposition for buyers. Wanaka Airport is used by a large number of private pilots who fly into the region for holidays, so we think prospective purchasers will be keen to capture this demand,” Wood says.

The land, with a 1960s’ house and two farm buildings on site, is located 10 minutes’ drive from central Wanaka and has high profile exposure to the main highway into the town.

In 2011, resource consent (which is now subject to renewal) was granted by Queenstown Lakes District Council to develop 11 aircraft hangars on the property, ranging in size from 500sq m to 636sq m as well as associated vehicle access and car parking.

Wood says Windermere Farm and Aviation Park is being taken to the market by Dorothy Pittaway on behalf of the Pittaway Family Trust.

Windermere was originally purchased in 1969 by Dorothy and the late Norman Pittaway as part of an 1800-acre (602.012ha) farm holding, which included a registered grass air strip where Wanaka Airport was later developed. Local aviation entrepreneur Sir Tim Wallace was one of the main users of the property in the 1970s, with his growing deer recovery operation and keen interest in aviation.

Norman Pittaway realised early on the potential of the land for aviation development as the township of Wanaka grew and later sold about 100 acres (33.44ha) to the council for the Wanaka Airport development. In the early 1990s he applied for rezoning of the land adjacent to Wanaka Airport and successfully gained Rural Visitor Zoning.

“Just over half the property is zoned Rural Visitor, which gives the potential for more intensive uses,” says Wood.

“It’s likely that potential buyers will note the high-value land use permitted under the Rural Visitor zone, with a view to taking advantage of the growth of the local leisure and tourism market.”

He says Wanaka is experiencing strong population and visitor growth which is flowing through to the property market and resulting in increased demand in the region.

“The town is a favorite holiday spot for affluent Aucklanders as well as many visitors from Christchurch and other parts of New Zealand, who own holiday homes here. People are drawn to Wanaka year-round, for boating and fishing in the summer and skiing in the winter.

“Several significant local events also draw large numbers of people to the town, including the ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’ air show which transforms the airport into a major event location hosting hundreds of private pilots and thousands of general visitors.”

Wanaka’s forecast growth trajectory means Colliers is expecting demand for the property from developers and land bank investors from around New Zealand.

“It may also appeal to private aviators who are looking for property development and investment opportunities,” says Wood.