Waiheke Airfield resort a concept for high flyers

10:41 AM Wednesday August 31, 2016 Colin Taylor

NZ Herald

Waiheke Island Airfield, encompassing nearly nine hectares of airstrip, buildings and areas of bush is for sale, along with the resource consents and variations to develop and build a Waiheke Island Airpark Resort.

“The sale of this freehold property in one title includes the transfer of all geotechnical, architectural and landscape designs for the resort concept,” says Amanda Morrison of Barfoot & Thompson Parnell who, with colleague, Andrew Clark of Barfoot & Thompson Commercial, is marketing 171 Carsons Road, Waiheke Island, for sale by private treaty negotiation.

“We expect developers and investors will want to investigate this unique opportunity to create a landmark development and capitalise on Waiheke's ever growing popularity as a tourist destination,” Morrison says.

She says the resource consent to create the Waiheke Island Airpark Resort is for 26, three-bedroom self-contained villas or townhouses that will provide luxury accommodation for up to 156 guests; 11 single aircraft hangars, one larger main hangar holding around three small aircraft; and a small terminal-styled reception building with the possibility of upstairs coffee shop and restaurant. It also allows for the provision of a helicopter pad, swimming pool and gymnasium.

“The resource consent allows for flexibility in design, theme and management to suit a purchaser’s requirement and it is valid until February 9, 2020,” Morrison says.

Featuring panoramic views across the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island Airfield (NZKE) is the only fully functional airfield on Waiheke island and is situated on a ridge 122 metres above sea level - about halfway between Onetangi and Woodside Bay, and 3.8kms east of Ostend.

"The 665 metre grass runway is aligned 17/35 on the top of ridge line, with a northerly landing direction. It is privately owned and run, with prior permission to land required,” Morrison says.

“Currently the airfield is fully operational as a Day/VFR [visual flight rules] field and has only one small house and a hangar on the land.”

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An aerial view depicting Waiheke Island Airfield.

Morrison says the 8.9580ha aerodrome is used primarily for residents and visitors of Waiheke Island, with parachute jumping also available. “It is also used for medevac [medical evacuations] from Waiheke Island to Auckland hospitals. The airfield is the only licensed landing site for helicopters on Waiheke Island, although there are other private landing sites.

“The airfield is surrounded by native bush and vineyard properties amidst a quiet environment with only occasional aircraft movements during the day and none allowed after sunset.”

The airfield is bordered by the Batch Winery to the south and Peacock Sky wine estates to the east. To the north of the airfield is the Eco Zip zip-line attraction which carries tourists over and through the local native bush. Much of the airfield is bordered by native bush which is protected by law and covenants.

“As a result the area round the airfield is very unlikely to be ever developed, particularly as a much of it is national park,” says Morrison.

Clark says the airfield resort concept for up to 156 guests is timely because there is a considerable shortage of rental properties on the island and even fewer that can accommodate large parties of corporate or wedding guests.

“Additionally none of the nearby vineyards or restaurants has guest facilities which is a major limitation for their business. 

“The property’s attractive location on top of one of the highest points on Waiheke Island gives spectacular views over the island and the inner islands of the Hauraki Gulf, back to the lights of Auckland.

“The uniqueness of this project is based, not only on its superb location, but also, the inclusion of the airfield, which will allow owners, guests and clients to fly directly to their villas.”

Clark says how the resort concept is ultimately designed, themed and managed will be entirely up to the developer's vision. “For example the development could be designed to appeal to the Chinese group-tourist market, or to high net worth individual customers. “However it is expected to feature five-star amenities, service and unqualified luxury, making it one of the most attractive developments on Waiheke Island. It is also envisaged that the first class accommodation and leisure facilities, will employ cutting-edge design using traditional and sustainable materials.” 

Changes could include moving planned unit positions; dividing units into apartments instead of two-level villas; increasing or decreasing unit size, unit numbers and bedroom numbers; use of hangar buildings or specific building for symposiums, corporate functions or events.  

“However, all such changes would require building consent and possible variations to be granted by council,” says Clark.

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Amanda Morrison and Andrew Clark of Barfoot & Thompson.