Dry Creek attracts buyer interest

A Mackenzie pastoral run, on the market for the first time, is attracting plenty of interest from prospective buyers.

The lease on Dry Creek Station, a 13,779-hectare property 40 kilometres from Fairlie, was listed several weeks ago and since then had had almost daily interest, PGG Wrightson South Canterbury Real Estate manager Susie Williams said.

While Dry Creek is not the only high country station for sale in the central South Island area, it was unique.

The station, which had been in the hands of the Beattie family for 60 years, had been "very conservatively run", she said.

Besides traditional farming features, the property has built a reputation as a recreational site, with a safari park and free-range hunting.

"I'm loath to use that word, but it is iconic," Mrs Williams said.

Brian Beattie has farmed Dry Creek since 1950, when his father's station Lochaber was divided into three separate properties.

While his family's history has been closely tied to the property, and it would be difficult to leave, the time was right, he said. "I'm still very fit and I want to go out on my terms."

Dry Creek Station was the largest piece of real estate now on New Zealand's market, he said.

It may be the largest, but it is not the only high-country farm on the market. PGG Wrightson is also handling the sale of Fox's Peak Station and Mt Potts Station, where parts of The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.

Dry Creek Station's sale has encouraged other high-country farmers to test the market.

Mark Dewsbury, of Mt Potts Station, said the Rangitata farm was listed last year just as the recession hit. Seeing Dry Creek on the market, prompted him to relist Mt Potts Station.

Dry Creek Station has a capital value of $7 million. Tenders close on November 26.

The Timaru Herald