Luxury lodge attracts $8m price tag

Last updated 11:52 16/07/2013

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The only commercial luxury lodge in Abel Tasman National Park is up for sale for about $8 million.

Awaroa Lodge is on the largest freehold block in the national park. It is set in 20ha of bush and has a six-metre-wide access strip to the Awaroa Bay beach.

The lodge, owned by Barry and Salina Walters and managed by the Peppers chain, was a niche business and had an established reputation and relationships with travel wholesalers and tour operators, Bayleys agent Nick Lambert said.

"The future of tourism in this special slice of New Zealand is just waiting for a new owner to take over and stamp their own personality on this highly regarded Kiwi lodge, " he said.

It was a modern and stylish lodge with a range of luxury villa suites as well as budget accommodation for international travellers, Kiwi families, conferences, weddings and other groups.

Access is by water taxi, plane or helicopter, by foot on the Abel Tasman Track or sea kayak.

The lodge, which is open from September to May, offers guided sea kayaking for guests to explore the Awaroa inlet and the coastline. It has Earth Check silver status - an internationally recognised standard for eco tourism.

Since it opened in 1991, Awaroa Lodge has expanded to 26 villa suites overlooking wild bush and wetlands. It also has a restaurant with seating for up to 100 people, a courtyard cafe, lounge, library and other facilities.

Twelve of the suites were recently upgraded to luxury superior accommodation, and a large conservatory dining room overlooking Pukeka and birdlife wetlands was added.

More than 150,000 people visited Abel Tasman National Park last year and the Department of Conservation said there were 31,000 overnight stays.

Lambert said the property had a rateable value of $8.3m and he expected it to sell for around that. It was being offered for sale by negotiation.

The Walters, who also own the Nugget Point boutique hotel in Queenstown, bought the Portage Resort Hotel in the Marlborough Sounds from receivers last year. They also bought the Mitre 10 Mega Marlborough building in Blenheim for $11.9m.


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- The Dominion Post


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