Seaside campground at Tatapouri for sale

Press Release – Bayleys

The waterfront Tatapouri by the Sea camp ground just north of Gisborne is on the market for sale.

A seaside camp ground business located on one of New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal highways is on the market for sale.

For more than a generation, Tatapouri by the Sea some 13 kilometres north of Gisborne has been a popular summer holiday spot for campers – providing some of the first glimpses of new daylight anywhere in New Zealand.

The campground is known for its fantastic boat ramp access for fishing and diving, as well as being close to dozens of surf breaks in the nearby Makorori and Wainui bays on State Highway 35.

In its hey-days of the 1970s and ‘80s, the settlement of Tatapouri had a classic country pub which was a magnet for the local surfing community, while the idyllic bay was a Mecca for free campers – sleeping in the back of Holden station wagons or VW Beetles.

Now for sale, the 13,271 square metre Tatapouri by the Sea campground is licensed for up to 180 campers – including 51 powered sites for campervans and caravans, plus four log cabins with their own gas cooking and ‘fridge facilities which can accommodate up to three people.

Additional campground infrastructure includes a kitchen with covered courtyard, an ablution block with shower facilities, a children’s playground, BBQ area, and office block. A well developed network of access ways and parking areas is also woven between the various accommodation sites.

The absolute waterfront property – split into two sections – and business have been placed on the market by Bayleys Gisborne through a tender process closing on January 24. The business and its two associated properties are being marketed by Bayleys Gisborne salespeople Greg Robertson and Cory Hutchings and can be bought separately or as one lot.

Mr Robertson said Tatapouri by the Sea’s current owner had completed an extensive upgrade of the camping facilities since purchasing the land and business in 2007.

“Over the subsequent four years, the Auckland-based owner worked with Gisborne District Council to draw up a subdivision option for the land,” Mr Robertson said.

“This has seen the creation of two separate surveyed lots. The first title offers 4413 square metres of waterfront land encompassing the former site of the Tatapouri Fishing Club clubhouse, plus a second section of 1238 square metres some 40 metres back from the beach.

“What was the Tatapouri Fishing Clubhouse on the land overlooking the beach has been redesigned as an absolute beachfront holiday house or manager’s residence for the adjoining camping ground business.

Mr Robertson said that while the dwelling had been modified into the Tatapouri campground manager’s accommodation, it could also be used as permanent residence or summer holiday home. The exterior of the property has recently been repainted, and a new septic waste system has been installed.

“The upper level features an open plan living area with bedrooms, and two smaller rooms which can be used as either bedrooms, offices, or for storage. The ground floor level is currently being used for storage and could potentially be adapted further to take on board some degree of retail activity or as an administrative office.

“This gives the new owner the option to live in the property, rent it out as holiday accommodation, or lease it back to the campground for use as a manager’s residence.

“Meanwhile, the second title of 7620 square metres containing the log cabins is 50 metres from the beachfront. The campground land and amenities retain access to the beach through a right of way which has been incorporated into the beachfront title.”

In preparation for the coming summer season, the camp ground’s owner has invested considerably in a new barrier entry system, fencing, a new kitchen building, new play ground, and new signage.

The on-going refurbishment process is already paying dividends – with booking numbers this summer on the increase. Christmas Day 2010 for example attracted 60 bookings. Christmas Day this year already has 118 confirmed bookings. The business employs one permanent staff member and contracts in cleaners and security personnel for the busy summer months.

Powered sites at the campground are charged at $20 per person per night, while non-powered sites are available for $15 per person per night. Meanwhile, the two-person cabins rent out at $75 per night during the high summer season, or $50 per night for the remainder of the year.

Mr Robertson said the ‘hard yards’ of getting Tatapouri by the Sea up and running again had been completed, and the site’s owner was now emotionally ready to hand over the baton to someone else willing to take on the next phase of the reinvigorating the campground business.

“For someone with a little energy, the hard work of establishing the property has been done. The books for the coming year have strong revenue forecasts, as promotion of the camp ground continues to grow, and its reputation widens,” Mr Robertson said.

“As the constraints around freedom camping continue to tighten, those people are moving back toward ‘laid back’ style campgrounds with their rustic roots and less formal accommodation arrangements.

“This trend has been exacerbated by the current economic squeeze which has seen many Kiwis looking for ‘budget’ style holidays – camping in tents by the seaside with a BBQ and enjoying a real get-away-from-it-all summer break like we had a generation or two ago.

“Tatapouri by the Sea is perfectly positioned – both geographically and commercially – to benefit from the new generation of campers.”

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