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A lot of Kiwis and overseas fans of New Zealand are keen to make a living out of that disappearing beachside holiday spot, the camping ground, judging by calls about two on sale in the region.
Tourism Properties broker Malcolm Teesdale says he's had a surprising level of interest from around the country and Australia, Britain, Germany and France in a Top 10 holiday park at Port Waikato and the Whitianga Campground.
Both are freehold and going concerns.
The Port Waikato holiday park, 55 minutes' drive from Auckland, has a price tag of $1.95 million and totalling 6 hectares offers plenty of room for expansion, Teesdale says.
The facility is also an example of what "smart" holiday park owners are doing: developing "hard" accommodation such as cabins, motel-type units and space for RVs (recreational vehicles), he says.
It has 125 sites, of which 75 are powered.
The beachside camping ground at Whitianga is described as for the "entry level" investor and has a freehold price of around $1.4m. Alternatively, a new lease at $299,000 a year is available.
While return on capital investment from camping grounds does not match up to that from a motel, Teesdale says the investment offers a home and business, in an attractive place. Many of the overseas callers have visited New Zealand and been captured by its beauty and lifestyle, he says.
"Holiday parks tend to be on substantial land which tends to be a desirable place which pushes up land values (cost of site), so the return on capital is not going to be the same as a motel. But there is still money to be made."
Returns would probably be expected to cover two salaries and casual staff at peak times. Buyers could expect a return of 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent on an investment in a holiday park, he says.
For migrants who can secure a long-term business visa, an investment in a holiday park provides a home and job in one, Teesdale says, while for Kiwis, ownership of a business associated with childhood holiday memories is a strong attraction.
Also on Teesdale's books is the Angler's Lodge at Amodeo Bay on the Coromandel.
"It's a very beautiful spot, with mainly hard accommodation and a few camping sites on just over one hectare. It's currently supporting two couples."
Annual revenue is in the "high $200,000s", Teesdale says, with profit of around $175,000 a year. (Andrea Fox)