One of New Zealand’s quirkiest ‘glamping’ operations – featuring a Mongolian yurt-style tent and a fully renovated shipping container with outdoor ‘baths under the stars’ – has been placed on the market for sale.
Birdsnest holiday home in Northland is a commercial accommodation venue set on 13.88 hectares of bush-clad rolling countryside at Donnellys Crossing just north of Dargaville.
The business features a standard B & B style accommodation offering of two bedrooms serviced by their own bathroom, kitchenette and lounge area as part of what was once a colonial farm homestead.
However, Birdsnest’s points of difference are its eco’-themed accommodation and guest amenities nestled amidst stands of native bush. The first of Birdsnest’s left-field glamping facilities is a lotus bell shaped tent with an adjacent bathroom housed in a rustic wooden-framed garden shed, and across the decking from a separate outdoor kitchen.
The second eclectic accommodation option is a converted shipping container – also with an outdoor bath and rustic outdoor kitchen and dining area, on a wooden decked platform with countryside views.
Both of Birdsnest’s eco’ stay options are powered by a combination of solar panels or gas, with chilly bins provided to keep guests’ food and beverage supplies chilled for the duration of their stay. In keeping with Birdsnest’s minimal environmental impact’ philosophy, water for all guest amenities is sourced from a dammed stream on the property before being filtered and treated.
Nightly rack rates at Birdsnest range from $120 for the nine square metre shipping container through to $150 for the tent or a room in the homestead lodge. The homestead at Birdsnest was built of locally-milled kauri around 1900 and was further extended in the 1980s in a replica style.
The freehold land, buildings and Birdsnest accommodation business are now being marketed for sale at auction on March 29 through Bayleys Dargaville. Salesperson Catherine Stewart said that in addition to the commercial accommodation options, the property also came with a three-bedroom owner/manager’s home.
Ms Stewart said the Birdsnest business had been successfully operating for three years, and was now poised to significantly grow into a new era with additional investment from any new owner/operator.
“There is enormous potential to develop Birdsnest’s existing accommodation infrastructure and customer choices off the current premises,” Ms Stewart said.
“The opportunity at Birdsnest is for an entrepreneurial new owner with some degree of building trade expertise to add to the accommodation pool.
“There is a vast tract of land available for the addition of more alternative accommodation structures at Birdsnest without detracting from the privacy enjoyed by the tent and shipping container.
“Other ‘out there’ accommodation options which have been bandied about for increasing the scope of Birdsnest include trucking a former fishing vessel onto the property and refurbishing that into a luxury suite, sourcing a gypsy traveler style passenger bus which has been converted into a motorhome, and even the potential for buying an old commercial aircraft for refitting into a self-contained guest unit.”
Accounts for the business show its trading surplus doubled from the 2015/16 financial year to the 2016/17 financial year.
Ms Stewart said there were few other commercial accommodation options available on the State Highway 12 route between Dargaville and the Hokianga Harbour – adding to Birdsnest’s appeal to guests seeking serenity away from the more beaten tourist trail. She said the venue’s remoteness had been utilised as a marketing point of difference.
“With no light interference from any nearby population centres, Birdsnest’s two eco’ room options have become highly sought-after by guests seeking near-blackout star gazing conditions such as those found in the South Island’s Lake Tekapo, and more lately on Great Barrier Island,” Ms Stewart said
“However, Birdsnest is far more accessible than either of those destinations.”
The business is being sold complete with all chattels – including furnishings, guest linen, cooking equipment and kitchen amenities, and the water treatment equipment. The venue’s on-line booking system is also included in the business asset register.