Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Remote island farm on market

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A long-held family property on Great Barrier Island offers the chance to own the last piece of land before Chile.
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It includes private beaches and an historic grave site for shipwreck victims.

The Mabey family has farmed the 195ha property at the island’s northern end for almost a century and has decided to put the farm on the market as a bare block. 

The land is farmed by Scott Mabey who said he anticipates a buyer will be most interested in building a dream home on one of the farm’s many elevated positions.

“The option would be there to continue farming if they wanted, but we expect most of the interest will be coming from people who want to secure their own private, large lifestyle block.” 

Mabey also farms an adjourning block giving his operation 600ha. He and his family intend to stay on the island and would be prepared to lease the property off a new owner for grazing.

Mabey grew up on the property that was bought by his great grandfather from its original settlers in 1918. The family has been running cattle only for the past few years. As a standalone block the property can support about 100 breeding cows.

“We can get some tough, dry summers and you have to stock to that out here.

A few people have looked at the property which is on the market for $4.5 million.

It includes the historic grave site for the victims of the SS Wairarapa who were washed ashore after the steamship struck rocks off the island in 1894 while trying to set a new speed record from Australia. 

Of the 235 on board 121 drowned and 60 of them were buried at the site that today has a heritage assessment and covenants on it.

The property includes two sandy beaches below the steeply contoured property with extensive pohutukawa and coastal bush plantings.

Bayleys agent John Greenwood said the bare block provides a number of opportunities for buyers, including letting parts of it revert to native bush.

“It could be a block that suits a group of investors, splitting it four ways makes it an appealing place to look at building a dream house and retaining a decent amount of land.”

The farm is 15 minutes from Okiwi airfield and a 30-minute flight from Auckland airport.

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