Another seaside motor camp for sale

12:40 PM Friday April 19, 2019 Colin Taylor

An aerial view of Sandspit Motor Camp, Waiuku, adjacent to Sandspit Reserve. Photo / Supplied

The summer of 2019 may have seen the last pitching of tents and cooking of steaks on the barbecue by holidaymakers at a popular and long-established Auckland harbourside camp ground on the shore of Manukau Harbour.

The Sandspit Motor Camp in Waiuku, which has been a destination for holidaymakers since early last century is now for sale with several options as to its future format. 

“Real estate salespeople are forecasting the motor camp could be decommissioned and converted into a housing enclave,” says Mike Adams of Bayleys who, with colleague Virginia Zhou, is marketing 9, 11, 13 and 15 Rangiwhea Rd for sale by tenders closing at 4pm on May 16 - unless the property is sold earlier.

The motor camp for sale, which features in Bayleys’ latest Total Property portfolio magazine, encompasses its freehold land and numerous buildings. 

Located immediately adjacent to the grassy Sandspit Reserve and a tidal boat-launching ramp, the boutique-size camp has serviced a loyal group of holidaymakers from throughout the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions who have regularly stayed at the holiday park over the Christmas and New Year break and well into summer. The motor camp has also been well-patronised by ‘walk up’ guests seeking the peaceful ambiance of smaller affordable waterfront accommodation not far from Auckland and Hamilton.

“After decades of hosting thousands of campers and holidaymakers, the campground owner-operators are now looking to retire and sell up,” Adams says.

“The land occupied by Sandspit Motor Camp is zoned Residential Single Use – meaning the commercial accommodation business could continue in its current usage should new owners seek to apply for a new operating licence from Auckland Council.”

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Among the budget-styled accommodations, are 11 open-plan cabins. Photo / Supplied

The motor camp has a council rating valuation of $2,275,000 for the land and buildings alone, without the business. However, with an approved new licence,  the campground could be purchased as a freehold property and ’turn-key’ going-concern business operation - coming complete with all its operating infrastructure which includes:

  • 11 standard open-plan cabins;
  • 10 individual grassed sites for tent campers;
  • Communal toilet, bathroom, kitchen and laundry blocks; and
  • a substantial three-bedroom and two-bathroom, two-storey owner/manager’s house on the seaward-facing portion of the site.

“It reflects the very heart of Kiwiana from a bygone era in relation to its set-up and infrastructure,” Adams says.

“The cabins are basic, yet totally functional - from a time where families talked around the dinner table lit by Billy lanterns or played cricket on the grass outside rather than watch SKY TV in a glamping style tent or in a luxury Winnebago.

“Sandspit Motor Camp could remain in its current format – sustaining a ‘lifestyle’ business for any new owner/operators and also potentially sustain a temporary workforce accommodation centre to house the hundreds of migrant fruit and vegetable pickers now employed in the Counties region during the height of the fruit harvesting season.

“Alternatively, the solid ‘bones’ of the camp could be expanded – either by adding more cabins, or upgrading and modernising the existing inventory of units to deliver a greater degree of guest comfort which many families are now seeking.

“Another future use option for the site under its council zoning, is the potential to create a boutique-sized commercial accommodation lodge operation for up to 10 people.” 

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A two-level owner/manager’s house is included in the sale. Photo / Supplied

Zhou says the 6529sq m motor camp is held in four titles and presently offers several accommodation options, ranging from powered caravan plots and tent sites, through to budget-priced cabins.

She says the camp’s four individual titles have access off Rangiwhea Rd with two prime waterfront sections of 2456sq m and 2049sq m.

“With appropriate council consents, the sale represents an opportunity to create more smaller sections within the greater block – with some of those sections facing directly onto the Manukau Harbour and others sitting immediately behind.

“The broad guideline of the Residential Single House zone is to maintain and enhance the existing amenity values of the established surrounding neighbourhood based on special characteristics – in this case the mature waterfront tree-line and of course, the waterfront vista and access over Sandspit Reserve,” Zhou says.

“Under this zoning definition, multi-unit development is not anticipated in a location generally characterised by one and two-storey dwellings.

“Waiuku, like the other Franklin District townships of Pukekohe, Tuakau, Clarks Beach and Patumahoe, has grown considerably over the past decade as part of Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit (MUL) expansion – with numerous new housing development sites emerging. Few however have the waterfront positioning of the Sandspit Motor Camp site.”