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Lodge for sale at famous surf break creates a groundswell of buyer interest

Waoku Lodge is positioned on the hills above Whale Bay on Raglan’s famous peninsular. The 350 square metre lodge – consisting of four two-bedroom self-contained apartments – sits on some 4.659 hectares of bush land sitting at the base of Mount Karioi.

Raglan’s mantra as a board-riding destination was first made famous by the classic 1966 surf movie Endless Summer which featured the exploits of a trio of young American surfing buddies seeking out the world’s best wave-riding spots…. including Manu Bay’s legendary left-hand wave. The ground-breaking movie is still widely credited for making surfing the popular sport it is today.

Waoku Lodge was first established in the 1980s as an apartment complex. In 2007 the lodge was substantially upgraded and modernised in a year-long programme undertaken by its current owner-operators.

Nightly rack rates at Waoku Lodge are $499 per apartment. In addition to providing accommodation, the venue also operates an in-house massage therapy and day spa service offering facials, exfoliations, hair hydration treatments, manicures, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, seaweed body wraps, and waxing. The activity trades as Moana Day Spa and operated from one of the apartments.

Two of the four apartments are ocean-facing, with one facing onto native bush, and fourth used as the day spa amenity. The apartments within Waoku Lodge contain two queen-size bedrooms, an open plan living area, full kitchen and deck with spa pool..

The Waoku Lodge freehold land, buildings and business trading as a going concern at 51A Whaanga Road are now being marketed for sale by deadline private treaty, through Bayleys Hamilton, with offers closing at 4pm on March 14. Bayleys Hamilton salespeople Rebecca Bruce and Mark Frost said there were numerous options to run the business – either retaining operations in their current format, or expanding the venture.

Included in the business infrastructure is a comfortable two-bedroom cottage located above the main lodge dwelling. Surrounded by bush, the residence has an office space and single car garaging.

“The owner-manager’s cottage could also reformatted into additional accommodation if the business was managed remotely,” Mr Frost said. “Additionally, there is the potential to reconfigure the day spa space back into a fourth luxury apartment – which it was previously used for up until a couple of years ago.

“Subject to appropriate council consenting, the address has considerable land currently clad in regenerating bush and scrub which could be landscaped and developed to accommodate several more guest suites without impacting on the existing amenities.

“A building platform has already been cleared for this purpose, and the flat area is currently leased out to a local honey producer for beehive activity.”

Over the 2017/18 financial year, Waoku Lodge recorded an average annual occupancy rate of 61 percent – running as high as 81 percent during summer or when short-stay specials are offered.

Trading records show some 56.3 percent of bookings are from New Zealand residents, with the remainder emanating from Australia, North America and Asia. The lodge only accommodates free independent travellers.

Business revenues for the lodge have averaged $320,000 per annum over the past three full financial years – with the day spa activities additionally accounting for approximately $34,000 of net income annually after operating expenses.

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