Historic station with multiple income streams

6:49 PM Friday October 12, 2018 True Commercial

Lagoon Hill has 2044ha of grazing land within 90 paddocks. Photo / Supplied

A substantial dry stock and breeding station formerly part of the original Te Awaiti property owned by Wairarapa’s farming dynasty, the Riddifords, has been placed on the market.

Lagoon Hill Station’s four individual titles, encompass:

  •  2190ha of hill breeding country;
  •  1450ha of plantation forest;
  •  203ha of native and open-face clearings and hunting facilities;

This configuration delivers 2044ha of effective grazing land, within 90 paddocks with post and batten fencing.

Building Infrastructure, comprises:

A large and exceptionally well-maintained 10-stand woolshed with 1,600-capacity night pen; numerous saddle sheds, implement and tool sheds and a fertiliser bin.

Accommodation, includes:

A 329sq m five-bedroom/two-bathroom homestead with office, two generous living areas, library and extensive north-facing veranda with views over the farm; a trio of three-bedroom homes; a second five-bedroom home; a nine-bedroom shearers’ quarters and two hunting camp chalets, each with their own bathrooms; a further chalet and bunk room that share separate bathroom facilities, including a chef’s kitchen and large fireplace.

The Te Awaiti property has been subdivided many times since original landholder, Daniel Riddiford, purchased 22,662ha of land from the Crown in the 1870s, having leased the land since around 1849.

Daniel’s son Edward took over the management and later inherited the property, with a progressive farm management approach deployed.

On Edward’s death in 1911, Te Awaiti was divided into separate holdings for his sons and later again, after more subdivision, Lagoon Hill was created, remaining in Riddiford family ownership until 1993, when it was purchased by the current owners.

The 4273.5ha Lagoon Hill Station has been further developed and improved over the last 25 years and is being divested with all of the hard work complete. Given the scale of both the pastoral farming, forestry opportunities, and the world-class hunting aspect, the property is being offered for sale by tender in four separate titles — effectively providing the opportunity to invest in the individual components or the entire property. The boundaries are in the process of being re-aligned.

The property, in White Rock Rd, Martinborough, is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Real Estate through an international tender closing at 4pm on November 16.

Bayleys Real Estate managing director Mike Bayley, said Lagoon Hill Station was a prime offering in today’s market — particularly as the sheep and beef, and forestry sectors were performing so well.

“There is real demand for pastoral opportunities with scale, and with forestry currently at a relative high, the opportunity that this property offers is wide-ranging and exciting,” says Bayley.

Located just 20 minutes’ drive on tar seal from Martinborough, Lagoon Hill Station has been faithfully and simply farmed. Traditionally run as a sheep and beef breeding unit, the added revenue streams from forestry and carbon, together with the world-class recreational red deer hunting take this property to another level in the market. With underlying soil of mainly Atua silt loam hill and Mangatea clay loams, Lagoon Hill Station’s pasture is planted in perennial rye grass, clover, cocksfoot, Yorkshire fog, and brown top. Rainfall at the property has an 11-year average of 1284ml per annum.

Bayleys Wairarapa salesperson Lindsay Watts said Lagoon Hill Station currently wintered around 10,000 mixed age Romney-cross ewes and about 500 breeding cows.

“Lambing and calving percentages are exemplary and through good management, and a consistent capital fertiliser and rotational grazing policy, the property now represents a large scale productive sheep and beef breeding unit,” says Watts.

Running the length of the southern and eastern boundaries of the breeding unit, is some 1341ha (net stocked area) of mixed-age production pine forest — with an average age of 15-years.

“With a mix of pruned and unpruned stands, and with 1229ha being post-1989 emissions trading scheme-registered, there are a number of options for harvest or carbon trading,” says Watts.

“The land, farm buildings and dwellings are well-maintained, the property is superbly laned and fenced for efficient access and stock movement, and the on-farm management is to be applauded.”

Along with the proven breeding and forestry elements of the property, there is untapped tourism potential.

“A well appointed hunting camp and comes complete with helicopter and vehicle access and river frontage,” says Watts.

“It really is a first-class hunting facility with access to some of the best free-range red deer hunting in the North Island. Red and fallow deer wander across the property from what remains of Te Awaiti station next door which runs all the way to the coast. Deer can often be seen grazing without even leaving the camp.”

Bayley expects the property to draw strong interest from high net-worth individuals, family trusts or syndicates looking to acquire a stake in one of Wairarapa’s finest stations, with the added benefit of forestry and hunting components. Stocking records show Lagoon Hill Station this year sustained 10,040 ewes; 352 mixed-age cows; 122 R3-classified cows; 14 sire bulls and eight R1-classified steers.

Most of the ewes are Wairere bred, while the cattle is a mix of Oregon Angus and KJ Angus.