The Dominion Post
$285k for a slice of Central Otago
An offer of a share in a Central Otago high country station has attracted local and overseas interest from people who crave some solitude.
The 513-hectare Miners Creek high country station, 13 kilometres west of Ettrick township, is a working farm with a rustic-looking refitted hut as the main accommodation, with plans for four more.
Selling shares in the property was the brainchild of Charles Thompson.
‘‘I saw that its real potential was in hunting, fishing and other recreation, at the same time as still being farmed commercially – owners can enjoy the property and receive a rental income from the farming operation without having to farm it themselves.’’
The four additional cabins are being built by High Country Cabins, another of Thompson’s companies based in Wanaka.
The cabins are designed to fit into the landscape, with modern features.
The freehold property in the Mt Benger Range is next to the Department of Conservation’s Mt Benger Reserve – home to red stags, and brown trout in the pristine streams.
The property is currently being run as a sheep and beef operation with 1800 stock comprising hereford cattle and merino sheep.
Thompson expected, received, interest from hunters and trout anglers.
Six shares are being offered for sale, at $285,000 each, through Bayleys Real Estate.
Salesmen John Greenwood and Wayne Scurrah said the topography within the Miners Creek block ranged from rolling hills stretching up to tussock-clad steep mountains and beech forestry, with several tributary rivers running along the gullies feeding into Pomahaka River. and has big-game
‘‘The red deer stag bloodlines running within the block have been proliferating for generations, with only the occasional invited guest of the owners ever having the privilege of hunting on the block,’’ Scurrah said.
This had ensured red deer stock numbers remained bountiful, with animals moving between Miners Creek and the neighbouring DOC conservation land which is open to public access.
Over the decades, hunters have also brought down the occasional fallow deer and wild boar. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the Pomahaka River’s upper reaches mean it is rarely fished.
Each $285,000 shareholding entitles the owner to a minimum of four weeks on the block with bookings made through the farm management company. The existing accommodation consists of a comfortable rustic-looking generator-powered back country cabin, recently fully refurbished with bunks, wood-fired stove for cooking, and toilet and bathroom facilities sustained by tank-fed water. The other four cabins being built on Miners Creek station will operate as smaller satellite chalets offering ample additional accommodation for owners and their guests.
Shareholders will also receive a portion of the lease payments, initially of $6000 per each shareholding.
Miners Creek is about halfway between Queenstown and Dunedin airports. Numerous flat areas provide potential for a helicopter landing pad.
There are also four-wheel-drive tracks running through the lower reaches and partway up into the steeper ranges.
The nearby township of Ettrick has several claims to fame – including being one of the first places in New Zealand where gold-mining pioneers grew apples in the 1860s, and where the biggest collection of McDonald’s paraphernalia is on display in a public museum, featuring 40 years’ worth of burger boxes, cups, hats, toys, watches, badges, dolls and uniforms.