Farm the size of Monaco for sale on Waiheke Island
A massive 189-hectare sanctuary on Waiheke Island has hit the market expected to fetch over $10 million.
The coastal property at 59 Waimangu Rd lies towards the east of the island, a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland.
It is one of the few working farms left on the island and though it has a council valuation of $3.2 million, the ability to subdivide it into seven blocks has agents estimating it will sell for over $10 million.
The estate overlooking Pipitewai Bay comprises a farmhouse, holiday cottage and pasture for sheep and cattle.
It is being marketed through JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), which has a strong client base in China.
"This is virtually untouched land," JLL managing director Nick Hargreaves said.
"There is a house and a cottage but it is otherwise a blank canvas."
The property includes a 1.5km strip of coastline and extends inland towards an airstrip.
Hargreaves said there were stands of native bush, walking tracks, ridges with incredible views and productive Waiheke soil.
He said there were two small waterfalls on the property and the current owners had encouraged birdlife.
"There are now resident oyster-catchers, paradise ducks, kereru, herons, kingfisher and tui that return year after year, some nesting within sight of the house.
"There are very few farms left on Waiheke. Here is a rare chance to own a sheep and cattle farm with a long and proud history - or perhaps find a new use for the land."
Under the Operative District Plan the site could be subdivided into seven 25ha parcels.
The property is being marketed by JLL through an international expressions of interest process, closing April 21.
Asked to comment on the property, Ray White Waiheke real estate agent Jeff Hazell said it was a big parcel of land likely to be sold in excess of $10 million.
"But I very much doubt if it would be bought and sub-divided because of its location," he said.
"It's definitely going to attract international clients but it's equally likely to be sold to a Kiwi.
"I'd expect the property to be purchased by a wealthy individual seeking a retreat."
The farm and its land, which equals the size of Mediterranean principality Monaco, has belonged to George and Diana Lyle (nee Rowan) since 1994.
They work in the film industry and the pair own film company Focus Films.
George Lyle is a first assistant film director and his wife is a casting agent who discovered talent such as Anna Paquin, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Kerry Fox and Lucy Lawless.
"We have seen how much the island has grown and changed over the last decade – from a peaceful retreat from the world to a bustling holiday destination and wine region," George Lyle said.
"We adore Waiheke but it is time for our family to do something different."
House prices have risen substantially on Waiheke in recent years.
In Onetangi, the median house price was $595,000 in 2014.
That figure rose to $725,000 in 2016 – an increase of 21.8 percent.
Over the same period, the median house price in Oneroa (the main village, closest to the main ferry terminal) rose by 19.1 percent, from $820,000 to 977,000.
Palm Beach has seen the greatest increase in its median house price, from $710,000 in 2014 to $1,139,500 in 2016 – an increase of 60.4 percent.
"An opportunity of this magnitude doesn't come up very often," Hargreaves said.
"Waiheke has come a long way in the last 10 years in terms of how well it caters to visitors.
"This could be a chance to take advantage and be part of the island's future."