Buyers Set To Show Their ‘in-tent’ As Classic Kiwi Campground Is Placed On The Market For Sale


A classic ‘Kiwiana’ campground with its own swimming
river and native bush surrounds has been placed on the
market for sale.

The
1.17-hectare property on the North Island’s Coromandel
Peninsula houses the Whitianga Campground which has been a
destination for campers and holiday-makers since the
1970s.

The campground – a short walk from
Whitianga’s famed Buffalo Beach – is reflective of New
Zealand’s rustic camping psyche where guests are
encouraged to ‘make their own fun’ through everything
from outdoor sports activities to sharing a glass of beer or
wine with the neighbours at the end of the
day.

Camping accommodation options at the Whitianga
Campground include:

  • 59 powered non-powered tent
    and motorhome sites available for $17 per night
  • Six
    budget cabins capable of sleeping up to five guests
    available from $71 per night

and

  • Four
    self-contained ‘tourist flats’ capable of sleeping up to
    eight guests each, available from $105 per
    night.

Meanwhile, the holiday park’s
owner/manager’s accommodation consists of a two storey
four-bedroom home and a separate two-bedroom
cottage.

Communal guest services infrastructure on the
property includes a kitchen and adjoining outdoor dining
space, separate men’s and women’s shower and toilet
blocks, and a sheltered BBQ area. The site consists of two
titles.

Now the land, buildings and going concern
Whitianga Campground business at 2 and 6 Bongard Road have
been placed on the market for sale by tender through Bayleys
Whitianga and Bayleys Hamilton, with tenders closing on
October 22. Salespeople Josh Smith and Belinda Sammons said
that with a considerable amount of underutilised space
toward the rear of the site, there were multiple options for
any new owner to explore.

“The building
infrastructure and set up of Whitianga Campground reflect
the very heart of Kiwiana from a bygone era. The cabins and
amenities are basic by today’s standards, yet totally
comfortable and functional – from a time where families
talked around the dinner table lit by Tilley lanterns or
played cricket and frisbee on the grass outside, rather than
being hunched over their mobile phones and i-pads, or
scrambling over the ropes and poles of a supervised
adventure theme park,” said Smith.

“That is one of
the reasons the business has such a strong number of repeat
bookings – with families coming back year after year.
There is already a substantial number for forward bookings
for sites, starting in the lead up to Christmas this year
and running well into the summer of 2021.

”The
‘solid ‘bones’ of Whitianga Campground’s
infrastructure could continue to be operated in their
current format or could just as easily be modernised and
expanded – by refurbishing and upgrading the existing
inventory of units to deliver greater degrees of guest
comfort which many New Zealand families were now seeking, or
by adding new cabin stock to offer new and higher price
points.

“For example, the camping accommodation
options could be developed to sustain the modern camping
phenomenon known as ‘glamping’ which combines
traditional nights under canvas with modern amenities such
as inner-sprung king-size mattress and bedding, cotton
sheets and thick duvets, fully-stocked mini-bar service, and
even internet-streamed TV,” he said.

“Glampers
travel throughout the year though – even in winter, and
more so now with the international travel restrictions in
place as a result of Covid-19 as we saw when the country
came out of level two lockdown the first time earlier this
year.

“Glampers are prepared to pay top dollar for
that ‘authentic’ camping experience. In essence, the
cosmopolitan camper of today is seeking the comforts of a
four-star hotel in an environment replicating a traditional
Kiwi camp site such as Whitianga
Campground.”

Sammons said that like virtually every
New Zealand campground, Whitianga Campground had higher
occupancy levels over the peak summer season running from
December to February, with operations scaled down on the
spring and autumn shoulder seasons, and running on minimal
resourcing over winter when maintenance work and landscaping
was undertaken.

Sammons said that for an off-site
owner-operator looking to take on the business, there was
the obvious potential to convert the bigger four-bedroom
residential dwelling into the accommodation pool – thereby
adding another option for guests with bigger numbers in
their party.

“The dwelling could easily be expected
to achieve a nightly revenue in the region of $170 – $250
depending on the seasonality,” she
said.

“Whitianga Campground has deliberately chosen
to operate its plot sites on a low-density model – allowing
the caravan, tent and motorhome sites to be spaciously
interspersed, many under the shade of large mature native
trees running around half the perimeter of the site –
rather than being tightly packed side-by-side in large
field-like spaces.

“The surrounding thick bush,
combined with the positioning of the holiday park campsite
in a shallow valley, mean the property and its guests are
sheltered from strong winds – a benefit enjoyed by
campers.

“The campground is located close enough to
Whitianga township that guests can easily drive into town to
stock up on daily retail needs yet is far enough away to
ensure the amenity delivers a sense of peace and
serenity.”

© Scoop Media

 

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