Waikato wedding centre seeks proposal

5:00 AM Saturday March 14, 2015 Colin Taylor

Woodside Estate, a boutique function centre, is for sale at 132 Woodside Rd, east of Hamilton.

Woodside Estate, a boutique Waikato function venue located about 10 minutes’ drive east of Hamilton and 15 minutes from Cambridge, is for sale complete with its own popular café, restaurant and brewery.

“The centre at 132 Woodside Road, Tamahere, specialises in weddings,” says Mike Swanson of Bayleys Hamilton who, with colleague Andrew Shaw, is marketing the freehold property and going concern business for sale through a tender process closing on March 27.

“Located in six hectares of picturesque grounds, Woodside Estate has built an enviable reputation for providing a high level of facilities and service to its customers,” Swanson says. “In addition to catering to the booming wedding market, it serves as a business function venue and encompasses the Shunters Yard brewery. 

“Woodside Estate combines the best of both worlds,” he says. “The tranquil setting features lakes, manicured gardens and paths leading around the estate but it is also easily accessible to Hamilton, Cambridge and the wider Waikato region.

Swanson says the property became known for its spring water in the 1880s, when Hamilton and Cambridge were connected by railway. A track was built from the side of the railway line down to the springs on the property so trains could fill up with water from a well.

Recognising the excellent quality of the spring water, the Shunters Yard brewery was started on-site in 2007 using the spring water and natural ingredients to brew a range a craft beers that are available on tap in Woodside Estate’s cafe.

132 Woodside Road, Tamahere, Waikato - Woodside Estate - elevated view.jpg

Elevated view of Woodside Estate view function centre at 132 Woodside Rd, east of Hamilton. 

“The building housing the brewery is included in the property sale,” Swanson says.

The licensed cafe and restaurant are housed in one building and feature a commercial kitchen, bar, dining room, manager’s office, storage rooms and toilet facilities. During the week the cafe is a popular destination for locals and visitors. It opens until 4.30 pm from Wednesday to Sunday for brunch, lunch and on Thursday for dinner, but has a licence to open seven days from 8 am to 11.30 pm. Outside of these hours the cafe and restaurant are used as a function venue which is large enough to handle small to medium sized events.

The centre employs five full-time staff, including a manager and a head chef along with part-time staff on a casual basis.

Full wedding and reception facilities include venue hire, catering, and staff, with the restaurant able to seat up to 120 diners. Outside there is extensive car parking for guests.

“This is a stand-out business in terms of the level of quality, facilities, service and picturesque location Woodside Estate offers,” Swanson says. “It provides a stunning location, tailored event options and staff who are experienced at helping to create a dream day for couples or memorable occasions for guests.”

In addition to weddings, Woodside Estate is used for anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, family gatherings and corporate events.

Swanson says the wedding market is flourishing, with couples increasingly looking for beautiful and romantic locations. “Close to 20,000 weddings take place in New Zealand each year, according to Statistics New Zealand.”

He says “wedding tourism” makes up an increasing amount of the business with more than 2000 couples travelling to New Zealand each year to marry. “The natural beauty and personalised wedding options on offer are significant attractions for these couples.”

Swanson says the property will appeal to an investor or owner operator wanting to continue Woodside Estate as a function business.

“It also presents an opportunity to take the business to the next level which could include extending the cafe’s opening hours to seven days per week. The wedding packages could also be expanded to include additional services like pre-wedding facilities for the bridal party and a wedding planner.

“Additionally, the venue’s location in close to Hamilton Cemetery has made it an increasingly popular venue for funeral receptions so a new owner could look at growing this side of the business.”

Swanson says the function centre has advanced bookings to pass onto a buyer and the current owner would assist a new owner with an extensive handover to ensure a smooth transition.

“The property has a rating valuation of $800,000 but it is expected to sell well in excess of this figure,” Swanson says. 

Mike Swanson, Bayleys Waikato.jpg

Mike Swanson of Bayleys Hamilton.