Castle Hill Station up for sale

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 13:40 27/03/2012
Christine Fernyhough
Don Scott
NEW LIFE: Christine Fernyhough getting to grips with the elements on Castle Hill Station in 2004.
Christine Fernyhough
Supplied
ALL IN A DAY'S WORK: Christine Fernyhough mustering across the Porter River with Midge.

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Castle Hill Station, a high-country farm owned by businesswoman Christine Fernyhough, is for sale.

The author and philanthropist bought the 3000-hectare station for about $2.4 million in 2004, with the Conservation Department taking on the remainder of what had originally been an 11,000ha block.

The land was first settled by the Porter brothers in 1858. Real estate group Bayleys is now seeking offers for the farm, with a late May deadline.

Fernyhough, a former Aucklander who has written two books about her life at the station, said she and her husband, John Bougen, had redeveloped it to make it profitable and sustainable, reconfiguring its sheep and deer operation and converting historic buildings into tourist accommodation.

"Our families are also city-based and committed, which makes any decision for succession difficult; hence the decision to sell," she said.

The sale follows news that the neighbouring Porters skifield has received resource consent for a proposed $500 million redevelopment, which will see the skifield expanded and accommodation built.

Ruth Hodges, of Bayleys, said the redevelopment of Castle Hill Station had essentially created a new farm.

Its 6500 stock includes merino sheep, angus and angus-hereford cattle, and rakaia red hind deer.

The property includes a bunkhouse created out of former shearers' quarters and other accommodation blocks, an 1880s hut now housing art exhibits, a historic woolshed and two houses.

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