A highly profitable 244 hectare finishing block on the northern edge of the Gisborne flats will go under the hammer on 16 April as the current owners look forward to retiring from the farm and moving on to the next stage of their lives.
Highwood Farm at 333 Kanakanaia Road is just four kilometres from the rural service town of Te Karaka and is described as ‘one out of the box’ by Bayleys Gisborne director, James MacPherson who is marketing the property with colleague Patrick Willock.
The farm is of flat to easy contour with fantastic natural attributes and has provided the owners with a secure livelihood with a very low workload for the last 14 years.
“It may sound clichéd, but I have to say that a property like this is extremely hard to find in the Gisborne region,” says Mr MacPherson.
“We simply don’t come across farms with this sort of contour and capability for a finishing block very often – and it’s a mere 20 minutes from Gisborne city.”
Since purchasing Highwood in 1996, the owners have finished many thousands of lambs and steers to premium weights in optimum timeframes and for the last few years, shifted their focus to beef finishing as it was less demanding on their time and energy.
“The owners are the first to admit that the property has been running well-under potential but despite the relatively low level of input, the results have been very worthwhile. A new owner with energy and vision could ‘push’ the property harder and be well rewarded for the effort.
“Cattle do extremely well here as the grass grows year-round, the property is sheltered and warm and with the hills having a southeast aspect, the land doesn’t dry out in the nor’wester. The previous owners of Highwood consistently attained top prices for their weaner cattle – it is beautiful cattle country. Their reputation for producing top quality stock was uppermost in the minds of the current owners when they viewed the property back in 1996 – it only took the one visit to the property to seal the deal on that day.”
The easy contoured farm which tends to the east includes around 33 hectares of high fertility river flats along with approximately nine hectares of croppable flats.
“It’s nice to have this alluvial soil to work with and any number of crops could thrive here,” says Mr MacPherson.
The farm is fenced into 46 permanent paddocks, most of which are reticulated with water from a professionally designed water system which draws from the Waihora River bordering the property and which is supplemented by dams. The Waipaoa River is on the southern boundary and rainfall has averaged out at 1158mm per annum over the last thirteen years.
Fertiliser application has been regular and effective with around 280 kg/ha of sulphur super or straight super applied each year; this year’s application was spread in February 2010.
The property is very workable with good tracks and a concrete ford across the Waihora River making access easy. There are a set of loading yards at the road entrance to the property and elsewhere on the farm a set of cattle yards, three sets of sheep yards, and 341sq m of covered yards. There is also a four-stand woolshed and a three-bay wooden hay barn.
While clearly ready to ease back on farm work and pursue other business interests, the owners will be sad to leave their home which they have extensively refurbished.
‘When the owners viewed this property, the position of the homestead had instant appeal. It’s on an elevated tranquil site with views to the north-northeast straight over the farm and into the Kanakanaia Valley with wonderful all-day sun. It’s a weatherboard 1950s bungalow that has been cleverly redesigned by an architect and renovated to bring it up to 289sq m of comfortable family living space,” says Mr MacPherson.
The three-bedroom plus office home (complete with wireless broadband) has a sunroom to capture the winter rays and features large rooms with French doors to the enviable established, landscaped grounds that reflect the natural fertility of the area.
Striking specimen trees include copper beech, maple and scarlet oaks while the gardens provide vegetables, herbs and a veritable feast of orchard produce from citrus and figs to feijoas, avocados and walnuts.
“The whole setting is fantastic and the property has a feeling of seclusion with the homestead set well back off the road,” says Mr MacPherson.
“Te Karaka is a friendly township with essential services including service station, store, an area school, Post Office mail boxes, and a local pub. There are numerous sports teams in the area and the Te Karaka bowling club was the launch pad for New Zealand’s wonder boy of bowls, Shannon McIlroy – it’s a great little community.
“Yet, if the kids go to school in Gisborne or one partner wishes to work in town, then it is completely do-able from this property. It’s an easy commute and a lovely drive – all in all, a fantastic place to call home.”