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Drystock farm offers a sweet opportunity

A coastal sheep and beef farm – which also sustains an eco’ tourism business and commercial honey-production venture – has been placed on the market for sale.

Kawakawa Station at Ngawi near Cape Palliser on the south-eastern tip of the North Island is a 1,379 hectare waterfront property traditionally capable of carrying approximately 5115 stock units over winter. As well as running the freehold block, Kawakawa Station also leases some 785 hectares of adjoining hillside grazing land to feed the Romney herd.

Breeding records for the farm show ewes have delivered a lambing rate of 115 percent, with cattle calving at 90 percent. Sheep are shorn every six months.

In addition to deriving income from primary meat and wool production, Kawakawa Station also operates an established tourism operation – featuring a three-day cross-country hike, with fully catered accommodation in rustic yet comfortable trampers’ huts, a self-catered cottage, and a separate glamping accommodation offering in an upmarket Mongolian yurt tent.

Overlooking Palliser Bay, Kawakawa Station’s three day walk has been operating since 2008 on formed tracks running between the rugged surf of Palliser Road through to the natural bush of Haurangi Forest Park.

Trampers on the route can book stays in any of three converted shepherds and farm-hands huts, which have been reconfigured into bunk-room style accommodation. The rustic country-life huts are kitted out with fully-equipped kitchens, toilets and bathrooms.

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Meanwhile for glamping guests wanting something a bit more luxurious, Kawakawa Station has a canvas Mongolian yurt tent which comes with a queen-size bed under luxurious sheets and hotel-quality natural wool duvet, a solar-powered refrigerator to keep the Champagne and salmon cool, and an outdoor wrought-iron lion’s paw bath. The yurt has a rack rate of $250 per night, with a box of self-catering breakfast ingredients left in the ‘fridge for $45.

The property has also tapped into New Zealand’s latest ‘liquid gold’ food source… honey. Honey production from the farm generated $67,000 worth of revenue in 2016, and while last year delivered lower honey yields nationally to all apiarists, the forecast is for the 2018 year to replicate a return similar to 2016.

Data from the Ministry for Primary Industry’s ‘Apiculture Monitoring Programme’ shows the bulk per kilogrmme rate for light clover honey last season ranged from $10 - $14, while first-class manuka-grade honey commanded a premium price of between $10.80 - $127 per kilogramme.

Now the multi-faceted Kawakawa Station at 2631 Cape Palliser Road has been placed on the market for sale by international tender through Bayleys Masterton – with the tender process closing on November 27.

Bayleys Masterton salespeople Lindsay Watts and Rob Deal said Kawakawa Station was one of the Wairarapa’s oldest sheep farms – tracing its roots back to 1847

“Kawakawa Station’s business model is reflective of the space in which many New Zealand farms are operating – utilising the traditional and established primary productive sector as a foundation, then adding on additional revenue streams based upon their assets. In this case, the eco’ tourism, commercial accommodation, and apiary activities,” Mr Watts said.

“It’s a financially sensible approach, as the diversity of revenue streams helps smooth over any operational troughs which may arise from the primary activity – which in Kawakawa Station’s case is sheep and beef production.”

Mr Deal said the property was subdivided by post and baton wire fencing, and was served by a well-maintained network of tracks and access lanes which were also utilised as part of the tramping network. He said the farm had been regularly fertilised bi-annually.

Farm building infrastructure at Kawakawa Station includes a four-stand woolshed and adjacent covered yards with a 1,000 animal capacity, a 1,000 bale hay shed, a concrete-floored equipment and machinery storage shed, and farm hand’s hut fitted out to house up to four workers.

In addition, the farm’s homestead consists of a solid three bedroom home with views over Cook Straight, and a comfortable separate four-bedroom manager’s residence.

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