The property at Maungatapere just west of Whangarei comprises some 47-hectares of long-standing grazing and cropping paddocks, alongside a burgeoning eight-hectare avocado orchard planted last year. The property predominately consists of volcanic soils with some clay loam, and flat to gentle sloping contour.
Farm records show the property has sustained between 100-130 cattle over winter, and between 50-70 cattle during summer. Concurrently, the farm has produced approximately 300 bales of baleage annually, along with 20-hectares of maize which has been grown on lease for approximately $1,000 per hectare. Annual ryegrass is sown in Autumn following the maize harvest for winter and spring grazing.
Meanwhile, the avocado orchard has some 2,500 Hass on SR1, Dusa and Bounty clonal rootstock, divided across nine blocks surrounded by pinus radiata shelter belts. The trees are planted at high density of six by four-metre spacings, with Ettinger, Zutano and Bacon pollinator trees interspersed throughout all blocks. The high density planting will achieve full production in half the timeframe compared to the traditional conventional spacings.
The newly developed avocado blocks are fully watered by pressure compensated irrigation sprinklers – with irrigation on the property supplied from a consented bore. The bore has capacity to irrigate a further 4ha of Avocados, or an alternative crop such as kiwifruit could be grown.
The property’s avocado plantings were planted at the beginning of last year. Crop harvests are forecast to produce 3,636 trays in the 2023 production year, doubling in the 2024 season, and reaching full production capacity of 29,090 trays in the 2027 season.
Overlooking the property is a designer built executive style four-bedroom/two bathroom open-plan homestead with a separate study/office, triple car garaging, and expansive outdoor areas.
The freehold stock grazing farm and adjoining avocado orchard at 66 Kokopu Block Road in Maungatapere are now being marketed at auction on May 4 through Bayleys Whangarei. Salesperson and Northland horticulture specialist Vinni Bhula said the property’s split land usage offered multiple future use options for any new owner.
“Over the past two years considerable capital investment has been put into establishing the fundamentals of the avocado orchard – from ground preparation and planting through to installation of the irrigation system,” Bhula said.
“Obviously, there is the option of continuing the farm in its current split-use model – deriving income from stock grazing and cropping, with avocado production coming on stream from next year and growing steadily after that.
“Conversely, there is the option of increasing avocado production through conversion of the grazing and cropping land – either gradually over a number of years, or on a larger-scale over a shorter term. Under this scenario, holding income could be derived from either of the grazing or cropping activities.
“For those potential owners seeking more of a lifestyle-orientated rural landholding, the orchard could sustain a contract management arrangement to carry out orcharding activities such as spraying, mowing, pruning, and organising harvesting. There are several avocado orcharding companies in the area offering this service.”
Bhula said there was also the potential for developing the pasture paddocks into other high-value horticultural crops such as blueberries, kiwifruit, citrus, tropical fruits, or vineyard, winery and cellar door – with favourable topography and soil type.
Infrastructure and buildings within the Kokopu Block Road property and orchard for sale include:
• An eight-bay implement shed and workshop – with three concrete-floored bays enclosed by double roller doors, and five bays suitable for machinery and dry goods storage
• Cattle yards with loading ramp
• Large loading area for truck and trailer units
• Farm water pump shed
• Six 30,000-litre water storage tanks
• A brown rock quarry with a sizeable pile of rock already dug out and ready to be used on the farm’s internal roading lanes
Bhula said other machinery and equipment used for running the farm and orchard could be negotiated for purchase separate to the property.
Maungatapere – in which the Kokopu Block Road property is located - was once one of Northland’s dairy and beef farming strongholds, but over the past two decades has transitioned into becoming Northland’s most concentrated conglomeration of avocado and kiwifruit orchards due to the location’s deep fertile volcanic soil base. Meteorological data shows the Maungatapere Valley has an annual rainfall of approximately 1,500 millimetres, and an average annual temperature of 15.7 degrees Celsius.