South Island estate like small town with castle

9:23 AM Wednesday November 11, 2015 Colin Taylor

A feature of Campbell Park Estate is the oldest castle in New Zealand built around 1876.

Campbell Park Estate, a sprawling historic property located at Otekaieke, in the Waitaki Valley near Oamaru, which originated as an educational facility over 100 years ago, has come up for sale.

Marketed by Colliers International’s Queenstown office as part of the company’s latest Colliers Portfolio magazine, the 27 hectare estate includes a number of facilities that have been progressively developed over the years. These include a village community of 32 homes, an educational campus with dormitories and kitchen facilities, seven classrooms and library, administration block, theatre, gym, pool, workshops and a number of historic buildings that include the oldest castle in New Zealand.

Barry Robertson, broker for Colliers International says the property has a price tag of $3.95 million plus stock, plant and chattels. “It offers a rare opportunity to acquire a private historic, residential and educational estate with multiple opportunities for its future development,” he says

“This property is more like a small town – there is nothing else of its kind in New Zealand. As well as the castle and farmland, village, orchard and gardens, which are remarkable on their own, there is an educational campus able to cater for over 150 people.”

Along with the land holding for sale, there is also the option for the buyer to purchase additional land neighbouring the property that was once part of the estate – offering a possible total land parcel of nearly 80 hectares, Robertson says.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire a large and unique property that offers almost limitless possibilities, from a resort-style accommodation facility or events centre to a sports academy or a charter school. All the facilities are here, offering a turn-key opportunity that is only limited by the buyer’s imagination.”

Having been used for 79 years as an educational centre, the site would be ideal as a learning campus, as it has all the necessary accommodation and facilities that a modern educational facility requires ready to go, says Robertson.

“Campbell Park’s special atmosphere and majestic setting would also make it a wonderful place for a retreat or a conference complex, offering accommodation and a restaurant as an all-inclusive venue, with plenty of outdoor and indoor activities to take advantage of on and around the estate.”

The estate is made up of four main areas: the original historic buildings, the educational campus, the residential village and the grounds.

The “original quarter” centred around the castle includes the old stables, a large restored villa, jail house and two smaller Oamaru stone buildings known as Dansey’s Hut and Taylor’s Cottage. There is also a subterranean cave.

Campbell Park Estate%2c Waitaki Valley near Oamaru - aerial view.jpg

Aerial view of the Campbell Park Estate which is like a small town in the Waitaki Valley near Oamaru. 

The Campus includes a 200-seat restaurant, pool, indoor gym, theatre, classrooms, workshops, dormitories, tennis courts, laundry, an administration building and many other ancillary buildings.

The Village is a group of character houses; among which are 10 three-bedroom villas, five 1940s timber three-bedroom homes, four Oamaru stone three-bedroom homes, 13 brick three- and four-bedroom homes, as well as a 230 sq m clubhouse building.

Robertson says some of the houses are rented short term for events and visitors using the Alps to Ocean trail and the many other outdoor activities available on and around the property, while others are rented longer term.

The remainder of the property includes farmland, an orchard, gardens and equestrian facilities.

The estate has an interesting history. In 1857 Mr. William Dansey purchased and lived on a sheep and cattle station that later became Campbell Park Estate. His house, built in 1861, remains on the estate today as Dansey’s Hut.

Dansey sold the property in 1861 to the Robert Campbell, the son of a wealthy Scottish family with business interests in England and Australia. Campbell then brought a large workforce of Scottish craftsmen and material from Scotland and Italy and built the castle and stables in 1876.

In 1908 the estate was sold to the New Zealand Education Board, which used it as a school for boys until 1987. The school was closed and in 1988 the estate passed into private ownership, when the present owners began to transform the property into the expansive complex that it is today.

Over the years, Campbell Park Estate has hosted film productions including Narnia, multiple sporting events including the Springston Trophy (New Zealand’s largest equestrian event), as well as many musical, arts and cultural festivals.

Meridian Energy also used the site as an administration and accommodation centre for its proposed ‘Project Aqua’ hydro scheme for the lower Waitaki River.

Robertson describes Campbell Park as “centered in the gateway to the high country”, with world- class fishing, hunting and sporting opportunities abounding.

The estate is set in a beautiful environment equidistant from Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, he says. “Campbell Park Estate offers an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a significant residential and educational estate that is able to accommodate over 300 people, set in the serene beauty of the Waitaki Valley.”

A video tour of Campbell Park, including drone footage can be viewed at (password: colliers)