Prime New Zealand Properties Pique Global Interest

Manuka Point Station
New Zealand's captivating properties are attracting attention on a global scale. (PQ Property Intelligence)

Nestled between two imposing glaciers and the expansive Rakaia and Mathias rivers is a property so unique that it’s captured the attention of affluent travelers, avid stag hunters and discerning foreign investors.

In the morning, fly-fishing enthusiasts congregate on the riverbanks. Come afternoon, heli-skiers navigate three mountain ranges and wine aficionados explore the area’s prestigious wineries.

And throughout the day, breathtaking views, landscapes and wildlife appear at every turn.

This is Manuka Point Station, one of many luxury lodges on New Zealand’s South Island that recently have come on the market.

Manuka Point Station

Manuka Point Station on New Zealand’s South Island. (PQ Property Intelligence)

Shifting real estate tides 

Strict border closures and policy quieted foreign investment in New Zealand in recent years, but the situation is ready for change.

Anthony Morsinkhof, managing director at PQ Property Intelligence, explains the confluence of economic, political and lifestyle factors propelling interest in such properties.

For starters, a weak Kiwi dollar has made the price for luxury resorts relatively affordable for overseas buyers. In August, the New Zealand dollar fell to a seven-year low against the British pound and a six-month low against the U.S. dollar.

Although the currency has made modest gains in recent weeks, these properties are within a price bracket that is attractive to global buyers.

Manuka Point Station Lodge Interior

Picture windows create an immersive experience at Manuka Point Station. (PQ Property Intelligence)

A changing political tide may further open the market.

On October 15, New Zealand elected former businessman Christopher Luxon to be the nation’s prime minister. Luxon, who leads the National Party, has been vocal about his plans to relax regulations on foreign investment, signaling a potential boon to overseas buyers interested in Kiwi real estate.

Although current rules limit foreign investments in residential properties, luxury lodges and investment assets are fair game.

Fernside in New Zealand

The 12-hectacre Fernside estate was used in the filming of the “Lord of the Rings” film franchise.

The allure of natural beauty

But beyond economics and politics, the magnificence of New Zealand’s landscapes is an undeniable magnet for investors.

“The scale is out of this world,” Morsinkhof says of Manuka Point. “If you stand on the riverbed there and look up into the mountains, it makes you look so small. It’s like the world is enormous. That’s what a lot of the luxury lodges in New Zealand have.”

Among the properties available is Fernside, an estate with 12 hectares (about 30 acres) of meticulously tended historic gardens and a hint of Hollywood glamour. Its tranquil lake was a backdrop for scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, making it a remote yet cinematic retreat.

Formal gardens at Fernside on New Zealand’s North Island. (PQ Property Intelligence)

The South Wairarapa estate, on New Zealand’s North Island, dates to the 1860s and showcases a white country house complete with original servant bells, three reception rooms and four en-suite bedrooms.

Although the residence had been used as an upscale bed-and-breakfast, it hasn’t operated as a  lodge in recent years. Now, potential buyers could change that and convert the private estate back into lodging, Morsinkhof says.

Nearby, sits Longwood, another prestigious lodge for sale. The 1906 country estate, with more than 40 rooms, three self-contained cottages, polo stables and a tennis court, offers boutique accommodations and a garden for weddings.

Longwood in New Zealand

The Longwood country estate feature more than 40 rooms, three self-contained cottages, polo stables and a tennis court. (PQ Property Intelligence)

Each property balances seclusion with access to conveniences, says Morsinkhof, who is the listing agent for all three properties. At Fernside, for instance, shops and transportation are a 20-minute drive. Longwood is just over an hour’s drive from Wellington International Airport. And Manuka Point is a short helicopter ride from Christchurch, the largest city on South Island.

What also sets New Zealand lodges apart from their European counterparts is their relaxed ambiance, a quintessential part of the Kiwi lifestyle. As Morsinkhof notes, it’s not unusual to spot guests in shorts and “jandals,” the local term for sandals.

Don’t let the casual attire fool you, however; the service at Manuka Point and other upscale lodges is unparalleled, offering gourmet culinary adventures, rejuvenating spa treatments and a plethora of other high-end services. Nightly rates begin at $1,100 and can climb to as much as $5,000.

Longwood In New Zealand

A park-like setting envelopes the main residence at Longwood. (PQ Property Intelligence)

Hoteliers to hedge funds

So far, the interest is vast and varied, Morsinkhof says.

There has been significant interest from international hotel chains eyeing expansion as well as hedge funds contemplating subdivisions.

Foreign interest has largely been dominated by Swiss, Emirati and American investors, Morsinkhof adds.

Wherever the next buyer comes from, one thing is certain: The luxury lodge market is strong, and in a world where real estate opportunities are emerging, New Zealand’s captivating landscapes and investment potential are drawing global attention.


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