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Tourism opportunity on burgeoning cycle trail

Tourism opportunity on burgeoning cycle trail distilled into one property

A former regal Waitaki homestead that has been run as a commercial enterprise with links to the famous Scottish whisky Glenfiddich, has been placed on the market for sale.

Craigellachie was built by a Scottish migrant in 1899, who chose the name as it fondly reminded him of a place in Northern Scotland. Meaning ‘rocky hill’, Cragellachie is at the heart of Scotland’s malt whisky trail. The village sits above the Rivers Spey and Fiddich, whose valley or glen gives its name to arguably the country’s most famous whisky, Glenfiddich.

The New Zealand namesake is located at 399 Otiake Road in the Waitaki Valley settlement of Otiake. Built on 9.7 hectares, Craigellachie villa is surrounded by majestic grounds featuring the original rose gardens, a running brook, and unobstructed views of Mt Domet and across the Waitaki valley. Easily accessible from Timaru, Dunedin and Christchurch airports, the property is also on the doorstep of one of New Zealand’s most popular cycle tracks - a booming tourist market.

The property has previously been a private home, and a commercial business, renting for $900 a week as short-term accommodation, and most recently as a long-term tenancy. The Auckland-based owners have now decided to cash up their investment, placing the property on the market for sale with Bayleys Timaru through an auction process on July 16.

Situated in the heart of the Waitaki Valley, surrounded by farms, vineyards and the Waitaki River, Craigellachie is a grand homestead in a private, idyllic setting, said Bayleys salesperson Sue Morton, who is marketing the property.

“The 220sqm, four-bedroom house is built from Oamaru stone and features internal stone archway, 3.5 metre high ceilings, original fireplaces, kauri floors, formal dining room and separate living room,” she said.

Entrance to the property is via a majestic tree-lined entranceway, with the grounds equally as grand and in the character of the historic property. They feature the original rose garden and easy-care gardens, as well as extensive macrocarpa shelter belts, full fencing, a woolshed, along with several outbuildings including a stone cottage/barn doubling as a garage. The 10,000-litre water tank has recently been fitted with a new pump.

The property has huge untapped potential for development, with its setting, size and location well-suited to commercial enterprise or as a private residence, said Ms Morton.

“Among the opportunities for a new owner are cultivating the property into a full-time accommodation business such as a lodge or B& B, a wedding and function venue, artistic retreat, day spa, homestay, farmland for grazing or calf rearing, or as a grand private residence.”

Craigellachie’s location on the doorstep of world famous cycling trail Alps 2 Ocean, makes it ideally-placed to cater to the growing market for accommodation, said Ms Morton. An estimated more than 10,000 walkers and cyclists each year pass through the spectacular four-to-six day track from Mt Cook, past lakes and rives, finishing at the ocean in Oamaru.

The opening of the trail in 2013 has seen visitor numbers through the area grow dramatically, increasing demand for service businesses including accommodation.

Situated on the doorstep of section seven of the cycle trail between Kurow and Duntroon, the property is an ideal choice for visitors seeking somewhere to stay after a long day of cycling. It’s also beside the Waitaki River and State Highway 83, linking Omarama, Aviemore, Duntroon and Georgetown, which receives a high volume of passing traffic, said Ms Morton.

A recent report by the Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment noted the huge economic benefits which cycle trails such as Alps 2 Ocean have delivered to provincial New Zealand.

The report highlighted that respondents visiting the cycle trail regions “only or mainly because of the cycle trails” spent an average of between $131 and $176 per person per day – with 20 percent of participating businesses involved with the routes indicating that they had expanded since the opening of the cycle trail in their region.

“More than a third of business survey participants indicated that they had seen an increase in the number of customers served by their business, with flowon effects in business income/turnover and business expenditure, but also in profit,” the Government report said.

Correspondingly, the positive economic impact was most often seen by businesses located around these cycle trails, said the report.

Craigellachie would be ideally-suited to a couple or family wanting to take over a home and business with huge growth potential, while enjoying the flexible lifestyle of a private, rural location, she said. Morton.

The property is ideally-placed to benefit from the proven market of the booming cycle trail market and represents huge potential for further development, she said.


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