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Doctor’ s orders…sell private waterfront haven and ‘clinic’

Tags: Auckland Residential

He’ s stitched up gashes on the dining room table, cured gout, dealt with amputated fingers and treated severe poisoning, and now pioneering Great Barrier Island Doctor Jim Cleland is selling...

The doctor and his wife Sue are reluctantly leaving their much-loved property in a remote area of Great Barrier Island. The decision comes after 42 years of memories at the holiday home, in spite of locals commenting when they first arrived from Auckland that “The townie doctor won’t last a year”.

The Owhiti Bay property has been the site of huge summer family gatherings and year-round breaks for the couple and a place where Dr Cleland acted as one of the first intermittent doctors on the island. A now-retired clinical haematologist, Dr Cleland was frequently called on by the district nurses to help with medical emergencies and was particularly sought-after in the first 10 years when there was no resident doctor on the island.

Never charging for treatment, patients instead showed their appreciation with gifts of crayfish, flounder, wild pork and sacks of rabbits. Owhiti Bay also earned the name of Doctor’s Bay by locals, as a reflection of Dr Cleland’s services.

Among the injuries he treated over the years including many that took place at his property, were stitching up deep gashes in the forehead of a fisherman’s son who fell on a boat, and the face of a boy who suffered a dog attack. He also treated a man suffering from gout, an ashen-faced man who had accidentally amputated two fingers by catching them in an anchor chain and a case of poisoning in which the victim ate a toxic plant, causing a severe reaction.

“All the lining of his mouth, tongue and his esophagus had been burnt off, and he was in extreme pain,” said Dr Cleland.

His medical work on Great Barrier has been a way of repaying all of the help the locals have given his family, said Dr Cleland.

With their advancing ages, the Clelands have decided to place their Owhiti Bay property comprising a three-bedroom main house, three-bedroom cottage, and two one-bedroom chalets built on six hectares, on the market for sale. It is being marketed by Bayleys salesperson Pat Regan with an asking price of $2.65 million.

Located in secluded horseshoe-shaped Owhiti Bay, near Port Fitzroy, the property is a private paradise, said Mr Regan.

“This is a magical, unspoiled setting, surrounded by pohutukawas, abundant native bush and bird life. Complementing this are the pristine waters of the bay and surrounding harbour, which are a fisherman’s, diver’s and boatie’s dream. You can swim from the sandy beach, catch snapper off the jetty, fish for crayfish, collect the plentiful rock oysters, mussels and scallops and deep sea fishing is also just around the corner,” he said.

“Owhiti Bay is the perfect spot for family or friends to gather and enjoy the best of what New Zealand has to offer. With bedrooms for 16 people and further sleeping space in the workshop attic there is plenty of room to accommodate several generations at once.”

“This property is likely to draw interest from families looking for a permanent residence or an expansive holiday home in a spectacular part of the country. Alternatively it could appeal to an investor, with potential to grow the property as an accommodation business.”


The main house was built in 1968 and has been upgraded over the years. It features a master bedroom with ensuite, two other bedrooms, spacious living and dining areas which open onto sun-shaded decks and a lounge area with large rock fireplace.

Close to the main house is a three-bedroom cottage, which also been extensively upgraded and two one-bedroom chalets nestled into the bush. Overlooking the bay each chalet features a double bedroom, shower, toilet and deck. The property also features tennis and volleyball courts.

“This is a stunning sanctuary within the privacy of your own bay,” said Mr Regan.

A large workshop, garage and shed at the wharf provide ample storage. There is also a generator shed and implement garage large enough to accommodate a digger and tractor.

Power is supplied by a generator and water is heated by a large solar panel plus an electric element as needed. The spring-fed stream onsite provides sufficient water for all household needs.

The property is located a few minutes from Port Fitzroy and access is by water only. A fixed wharf able to berth a boat of up to 20 metres and an attached pontoon for two boats up to seven metres each allow ease of access. Also in the bay are two moorings. Alternatively, the flight time from Auckland to Great Barrier’s Okiwi Airport is 35 minutes, which is a 10 minute drive from Port Fitzroy. There is also space on the property for a helicopter to land.

“It is rare to find a property of this calibre that combines the facilities, size and location of this one,” said Mr Regan.

For further information on Owhiti Bay, Great Barrier Island, contact Bayleys salesperson Pat Regan on 027 448 3348.

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