Northland land with tourism and residential potential

5:00 AM Wednesday May 4, 2016 Colin Taylor

Aerial view of the 208ha property for sale at 136 Ranganui Rd, Kaiwaka, Northland.

A stunning Northland farm with significant development potential has come to market for the first time in 110 years, presenting an opportunity for investors, developers, land bankers and tourism industry interests.

The 208 hectare freehold property is one hour’s drive north of Auckland; about three kilometres from State Highway 1; and within a 20 to 30 minute radius of the nearby towns of Warkworth, Wellsford and coastal Mangawhai.

“This incredible property with panoramic vistas is in the upper reaches of the Kaipara Harbour,” says Tony Allsop of Colliers International who, with colleague Tim Lichtenstein, is marketing 136 Ranganui Rd, Kaiwaka, for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Wednesday May 18 - unless it sells earlier by negotiation.

Allsop says the property comprises four titles and includes farm land, farm-related improvements like a three-stand woolshed, covered yards, implement shed, hay barns and dams for water reticulation, as well as a four-bedroom home.

“The land has easy contours and good road access offering the possibility of further development or subdivision,” Allsop says.

“In addition to residential development opportunities, there could be scope – subject to successful rezoning – to develop tourism related activities, because of the property’s closeness to the Kaipara Harbour,” he says.

“While the population of this area is tipped to grow, tourism visitor numbers are already increasing. Statistics New Zealand figures show Kaipara had the highest growth in visitor numbers in Northland in the year to February 2015, almost doubling that of Whangarei.

“Established 150 years ago, Kaiwaka has become known as ‘The Little Town of Lights’ for its night time Christmas illuminations. It is recognised as the gateway to Northland, with State Highway 1 passing through the town giving it significant traffic numbers.

“This bodes well for potential buyers looking to an area with a strong community, beautiful natural environment, great facilities and huge potential for growth.”

Allsop says a current low-level farming operation on the property would provide holding income for land bankers or developers at a time where the heated Auckland housing market is driving more and more buyers further north.

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A view over the Upper Kaipara Harbour looking towards the Ranganui Rd farm block.

The property has been in owner Doug Donaldson’s family for the past 106 years.

“It’s a beautiful property that has three kilometres of harbour frontage – complemented by riparian rights - as well as a one kilometre-long lake to the north of the property filled with life – a duck shooter’s paradise,” Donaldson says.

“It’s been in the family and used as a farm since 1906 when my grandfather purchased it. He milked cows, sold milk, ran poultry, sold eggs and also had a butcher’s shop on the property.

“In the 1940s, the family cleared the scrub and used the property as a sheep and beef farm, and lately it’s been used as a fattening farm.”

Allsop says the farm is a perfect candidate for future subdivision.

“The contour is very suitable for subdivision and a number of properties nearby have been subdivided, including an 80 hectare property across the road, which was subdivided in four to 10 hectare lots and recently sold out..

“In many ways it could be a case of returning this property to its former glory – in conjunction with commercial farming activities – when it was home to a number of small commercial entities such as the butcher’s shop.”

The property comes with a modern two-level and four-bedroom house.

Lichtenstein says Kaiwaka Village with an increasing number of food and beverage businesses is within a five minute drive of the property.

“The Anderson’s property is zoned ‘Rural’ under the Kaipara District Plan,” he says.

“Kaipara’s economy has historically been driven by pastoral farming and, to a lesser extent, horticulture and forestry.

“However, developments in tourism are growing in importance and there is a trend towards small mixed-use farm and residential holdings. The district plan recognises that, while farming activities are the defining feature of the Rural Zone, other activities are also appropriately located in the rural environment, such as lifestyle properties.”

Lichtenstein says the Kaipara District Council is anticipating a 10 per cent growth in resident the population of Kaiwaka from 2016 to 2026.

Kaiwaka falls within the Kaipara District - which stretches from a thinning of the North Auckland Peninsula south of Kaiwaka in the southeast, to the Waipoua Forest in the northwest, from there extending down the west coast to the Kaipara Harbour entrance at Pouto.

The district encompasses the towns of Dargaville, Ruawai, Matakohe, Paparoa, Maungaturoto, Kaiwaka and Mangawhai, as well as the rural area which surrounds them.

“The population is largely rural, living in small settlements scattered among the rolling hills or nestled on the shores of the harbour,” Lichtenstein says.