Quirky Birdsnest glamping business

5:11 PM Friday February 23, 2018 True Commercial

Birdsnest Holiday Home in Northland, at 990 Trounson Park Rd, Donnellys Crossing. Photo / Supplied

One of New Zealand’s quirkiest ‘glamping’ operations, that features a Mongolian yurt-styled tent and a fully renovated shipping container with outdoor ‘baths under the stars’, is now for sale.

Birdsnest Holiday Home in Northland is a commercial accommodation venue set on 13.88ha of bush-clad rolling countryside at Donnellys Crossing, just north of Dargaville.

The freehold land, buildings and Birdsnest accommodation business — at 990 Trounson Park Rd, Donnellys Crossing — are being marketed for sale at auction on March 29, through Bayleys Dargaville.

Salesperson Catherine Stewart says in addition to the commercial accommodation options, the property also comes with a three-bedroom owner/manager’s home.

The business offers standard B & B style accommodation of two bedrooms serviced by their own bathroom, kitchenette and lounge area in part of a former colonial farm homestead.

However, Birdsnest’s points of difference are eco-themed accommodation and guest amenities nestled amidst stands of native bush.

The first of Birdsnest’s left-of-field glamping facilities is a lotus bell shaped tent with an adjacent bathroom housed in a rustic wooden-framed garden shed, and across the decking from a separate outdoor kitchen.

The second eclectic accommodation option is a converted shipping container — also with an outdoor bath and rustic outdoor kitchen and dining area, on a wooden decked platform with countryside views.

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The quirky hospitality operation features a renovated shipping container. Photo / Supplied

Both of Birdsnest’s eco-stay options are powered by a combination of solar panels or gas, with chilly bins provided to keep guests’ food and beverage supplies cold for the duration of their stay. In keeping with Birdsnest’s minimal environmental impact philosophy, water for all guest amenities is sourced from a dammed stream on the property before being filtered and treated.

Nightly rack rates at Birdsnest range from $120 for the nine-square-metre shipping container, through to $150 for the tent or a room in the homestead lodge.

The homestead at Birdsnest was built of locally-milled kauri around 1900 and was further extended in the 1980s in a replica style.

Stewart says the Birdsnest business has been successfully operating for three years and is poised to significantly grow into a new era with additional investment from any new owner/operator.

“There is enormous potential to develop Birdsnest’s existing accommodation infrastructure and customer choices off the current premises,” Stewart adds.

“The opportunity at Birdsnest is for an entrepreneurial new owner with some degree of building trade expertise to add to the accommodation pool.

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The accommodation options include a Mongolian yurt-style tent. Photo / Supplied

“There is a vast tract of land available for the addition of more alternative accommodation structures at Birdsnest without detracting from the privacy provided by the tent and shipping container.

“Other ‘out there’ accommodation options which have been bandied about for increasing the scope of Birdsnest include trucking a former fishing vessel onto the property and refurbishing it into a luxury suite, sourcing a gypsy traveller style passenger bus which has been converted into a motorhome, and even buying an old commercial aircraft for refitting into a self-contained guest unit.”

Accounts for the business show its trading surplus doubled from the 2015/16 financial year to the 2016/17 financial year.

Stewart says there are few other commercial accommodation options available on the State Highway 12 route between Dargaville and the Hokianga Harbour, which adds appeal for guests seeking serenity away from the more beaten tourist trail. She says the venue’s remoteness had been used as a marketing point of difference.

“With no light interference from any nearby population centres, Birdsnest’s two eco-room options have become highly sought-after by guests seeking near-blackout star gazing conditions such as those found in the South Island’s Lake Tekapo, and more lately on Great Barrier Island,” Stewart says.

The business is being sold complete with all chattels – including furnishings, guest linen, cooking equipment and kitchen amenities, and the water treatment equipment. The venue’s on-line booking system is also included in the business asset register.