Warkworth’s historic Bridgehouse Lodge for sale

1:30 PM Wednesday May 6, 2015 Colin Taylor

The Bridgehouse Lodge in Warkworth.

Warkworth’s picturesque Bridgehouse Lodge, which traces its roots back to the 1850s as an operating as a guesthouse and probably the first building in the township, is for sale along with its multiple revenue streams.

This is a highly desirable freehold property and profitable going concern business,” says Steve Orr of Bayleys Warkworth who, with colleague Duncan Napier, is marketing 16-32 Elizabeth Street and 3 & 3A Falls Street, Warkworth, for sale by tender closing at 4 pm on Wednesday May 13 unless it sells earlier by negotiation.

The Bridgehouse Lodge, with a total floor area of 920 sq m and occupying a 1847 sq m site derives its income from five revenue streams – food, beverage, accommodation, gaming machine operations and a function facility. The restaurant and bar areas are licensed to cater for 150 patrons in various indoor and outdoor settings beside the Mahurangi River, with the function room providing wedding, party and conference facilities for 80 seated diners.

The venue 14 bedrooms of accommodation in a variety of queen, queen/single, and double bed configurations. All rooms have their own en-suites and current room rates range from $85 to $135 per night.

“Two lots to the rear of the existing buildings and bordering the Mahurangi River were purchased by the current owner to allow future expansion of the accommodation and parking,” Orr says. “A preliminary bulk site and location plan has been completed proposing a concept providing an additional 14 units over two levels overlooking the river with additional car parking for each.”
Orr says the sales offer comprises the entire property of 3290 sq m of land, including the two additional lots, along with all the associated buildings and the hospitality business.

“With the adjoining land, the accommodation and off street car parking offerings can be doubled in size,” Orr says. “This would provide huge long term benefits for new owners. Providing accommodation along with an entertainment venue would enable the business to benefit further from the lucrative boutique weddings and conference market. There are few large scale commercial accommodation providers and an overall lack of beds in the area.”  

16 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth - Bridgehouse Lodge - internal.jpg

The restaurant and bar are licensed for 150 patrons. 

Napier says Bridgestone Lodge is one of a small number licensed premises in Warkworth and the business derives a high percentage of its food and beverage income from residents who consider it to be their ‘local’.

“The owners’ sponsorship of local sports and community groups has also resulted in a very supportive clientele.”  

However, being just a 45 minutes’ drive away from the Auckland CBD, Bridgehouse is also a natural destination for Auckland day trippers and weekenders visiting local beaches and wineries.

“With the completion of the next phase of the State Highway One motorway set to shorten travelling times from the city even further, Warkworth and Matakana will become even more accessible to Aucklanders,” Napier says.

“An successful business is already in place permitting a new owner operator the opportunity to expand on the sound foundations established by the existing owners. Alternatively, the property could be bought as an investment vehicle and the hospitality operations leased to experienced food, beverage and accommodation professionals.”

Bridgehouse has an interesting history. The founder of Warkworth, John Anderson Brown built and lived in Bridgehouse which doubled as a post office when a postal service was started in 1859.

The original building was replaced by a larger one sometime around 1900 with a number of businesses subsequently occupying and leaving the premises including the Lennin family bakery, a fishing shop, Mexican food takeaway and ice cream parlour.

In the 1930s, major alterations were made to Bridgehouse with the original structure being retained but substantially added to. A large new wing was added to the west which contained eight more rooms. The frontage of the original building was also extended and Tudor style detailing was added.

In the 1980s six more rooms were added on the second story in a new south wing and a conference and function room was added at the rear of the building.

Except for the Tudor panelling, the exterior of the Bridgehouse has remained largely unchanged up to the present day.

A popular feature of the property today is the spacious front restaurant and bar and rear garden bar alongside the Mahurangi river.

Orr says the Warkworth Matakana region has seen an explosion in popularity over recent years. “Now included in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, Warkworth has been nominated as the Northern Satellite and is predicted to double in size within the next ten years.” 

What’s on offer?

The property: Bridgehouse Lodge, Warkworth

Location: 16-32 Elizabeth Str and 3 & 3A Falls St.

Agency: Bayleys Warkworth.

Sales method: Tenders closing 4 pm, Wednesday, May 13.


  • Attractive setting beside the Mahurangi River..
  • Income from five revenue streams.
  • Includes additional land purchased for expansion.
  • One of a small number of Warkworth licensed premises.  
  • Set to benefit from SH1 motorway extensions. 

Steve Orr, Bayleys Real Estate.jpg

Steve Orr of Bayleys Warkworth.

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