A remarkable waterfront farm steeped in early settler and maritime history offers a new owner a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create their dream home or commercial operation.
Crossing the Cook Strait into the gem-coloured Marlborough Sounds, the Heberley farm at Okukari Bay is one of the first pieces of land to meet the eye – a sprawling landscape of pristine hillside steeped in settlement traditions, maritime history and limitless potential.
Totalling 468ha across six titles, the farm on Arapaoa Island features three charming homesteads – each individually titled - at the entrance to the Tory Channel, boasting a view of Cape Campbell, West Head and passing ferries en route to Wellington, while providing an enticing canvas from which to pursue agricultural, commercial or private interests.
Bayleys salesperson Darryl Marshall says the sale represents a once-in-a-generation chance for a new owner to secure a remarkable, multi-dimensional property.
“The landscape lends itself to self-sufficiency and principles of taking what you need and giving where you can. It evokes an image of simpler times, family holidays removed from the bustle of the urban environment and an opportunity to live by the rhythm of the tides,” he says.
Situated 19 nautical miles from Picton, or 50 minutes by private boat and water taxi (even shorter if travelling by private helicopter), the rabbit and possum-free island plays a starring role in New Zealand’s indigenous and whaling history.
For more than 100 years until the moratorium on whaling, Arapaoa Island served as the centre of Marlborough’s whaling industry, a legacy evident across the island through historic sites like the old lookout, whaling station and museum.
There is a family history of whaling involvement and in recent years the recognised Department of Conservation whale spotting programme.
Forming part of the Queen Charlotte Sound, a network of sea-drowned valleys steeped in untamed majesty, the current owners have hunted on land and fished in the sea for six generations.
As Darryl puts it, they’re people of the earth and water, with Friday night takeaways being a pāua from the rocks nearby.
Darryl Marshall and Katy Kerby from Bayleys Nelson are marketing the property with colleague Georgia Ryan of Bayleys Marlborough.
The stunning coastal property is offered for sale by tender closing at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, 29th November 2023 (will not be sold prior).
Three modern homesteads, each with their own land title, span an area of 1.26ha (more or less) with an assortment of outbuildings, shedding and farm equipment.
The properties are offered for sale together or separately by negotiation only.
Bayleys salesperson Katy Kerby says the operational farm is understocked but absolutely pristine, offering a new purchaser the chance to leverage its 15 paddocks and stockyards to fulfil its potential.
“Once used to farm the merino wool used for global brand Icebreaker’s clothing, the farm has been well-maintained, providing a new owner with possibilities to elevate existing operations or research alternative income options such as tourism, marine, and other commercial endeavours.
“The farm’s mixed zoning and circa 25 kilometres of extensive roading allows for the possibility of more intensive agricultural pursuits, particularly stock finishing.
“On the other side of the beach, the potential is abundant, with excellent fishing and diving opportunities, which contrasts against ‘Sweetlips’ – 33.6ha of natural native bush recognised by DOC,” she says.
“With the white sands of the beach complemented by the bay’s blue waters, the potential is abundant, with excellent fishing and diving opportunities,” she says.
Forming part of the expansive maze that is the Marlborough Sounds, which boasts 20 per cent of the country’s coastline after shapeshifting in the last Ice Age, Arapaoa Island is a breathtaking location, with Okukari Bay providing private beachfront access, three moorings and a fixed jetty.
Katy and Darryl comment that the property may also appeal to a private individual or syndicate searching for a unique waterfront investment opportunity.
“Days here are spent spotting seals, whales, dolphins in the bay and stars in an unpolluted sky.
“Residents dive, swim, hunt, fish, horse-ride, quad-bike, and never stop exploring – it’s an idyllic location for respite and an inimitable opportunity for someone to create their own private paradise.
“Arapaoa Island is an extraordinary part of the country, with breeds of pig and goat, and sheep which are unique to the island, while the nearby Brothers Islands are a sanctuary for the tuatara and near-extinct click beetle.
“Nowhere else in New Zealand features such a verdant tidal flow, with ocean movement feeding richly below the surface and eccentric land topography creating opportunity above.”
Being the second-largest island in the Sounds and the narrowmost point in the Cook Strait, the Island boasts dramatic views of the ever-changing ocean, with rugged coastlines and picturesque landscapes framed by passing vessels.
“It’s a true Antipodean paradise, a waterfront farm which is nature’s playground and a chance for a new family to create their generational legacy,” Katy and Darryl endorse.