Backpackers on Auckland city fringe

6:12 PM Friday February 22, 2019 True Commercial

The Freemans Backpacker Lodge attracts backpackers seeking quieter suburban climes. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland cityfringe backpacker lodge which appeals to clientele seeking a quieter suburban setting is ready for a new owner.

Freemans Backpackers Lodge, a converted villa at 65 Wellington St, just a short walk from the CBD, is on the market for sale following 15 years’ operation.

The lodge, which achieved an impressive 80 per cent occupancy rate during the 2017/2018 Financial Year, comprises a commercial accommodation premises sitting on 546sq m of freehold land.

It is configured in a range of sleeping options: from bunk style dormitories through to share twin/double and family rooms.

Guest amenities at the property includes a semi-commercial grade kitchen; three toilet/bathroom suites; a communal lounge/TV room and a large private back lawn.

The lodge, land, buildings and going concern accommodation business are being jointly marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Real Estate and Blu Realty, with tenders closing at 4pm on March 14. The property features in Bayleys’ latest Total Property portfolio magazine.

Bayleys Auckland salesperson Stuart Bode lists room inventory comprising five double-bedrooms; a pair of six-bed dormitories; a four-bed dormitory; a pair of twin-bedrooms; three single-bedrooms and a family suite. Most accommodation rooms are housed in the former residence portion of the lodge, with two bedrooms and a dormitory situated in a building at the rear of the main dwelling.

“As a stereo-typical backpackers accommodation, catering to the budget end of the free independent traveller market, last financial year Freemans Backpackers Lodge generated net income of $180,000. The business is run by a full-time manager living on-site,” says Bode.

Chattels within the lodge sale include all kitchen whiteware, bedding and lounge furniture, the lodge’s trading name and marketing collateral, and forward bookings.

Blu Realty salesperson Leah La Hood says the location attracts clientele wanting a more suburban atmosphere rather than the activity and associated noise of CBD backpacker lodges.

“Freemans Backpackers Lodge is strategically located just a short walk from the CityWorks Depot, Karangahape and Ponsonby Rds — all with their proliferation of food and beverage outlets,” La Hood points out.

“The growth in Auckland’s tourism sector is reflected in the history of 65 Wellington St, which was first converted into a boarding house in 1975, before morphing into a commercial accommodation provider in the early 2000s,” she adds.

Latest Statistics NZ commercial accommodation data for Auckland shows visitor guest nights in the city rose 0.7 per cent in the 12 months to November last year. Hotels and backpackers recorded the biggest occupancy increases within that figure.

“Freemans Backpackers Lodge with its occupancy rate of 80 per cent clearly outperforms its competitors from that perspective,” Le Hood says.

Bode says 65 Wellington St is zoned as a residential terrace house and apartment building under the Auckland Unitary Plan. “This allows for the construction of multi-storey dwellings or apartments as future development options for the site.”