A well-established and presented avocado orchard in the smaller of Whangarei's avocado growing districts has been put on the market for sale.
The 8.18 hectare property at Maungakaramea, a boutique horticulture belt on the outskirts of Whangarei, has been carefully managed but is yet to hit peak production.
The orchard with a flat contour on volcanic soils has 625 producing and 197 new (Hass on clonal Bounty rootstock) trees divided among six well sheltered blocks.
This freehold orchard is being marketed for sale by auction on Wednesday October 30 through Bayleys Whangarei. Salesperson and horticulture specialist Vinni Bhula said the orchard should be capable of producing 15,000 to 20,000 trays a year in the next few years.
“The first round of size picking has been completed this season yielding 90 bins of fruit, with a follow up pick to be done in the weeks ahead.”
About 5.43 hectares of the property are planted in the Hass variety, with the balance of the land made up of headlands, tracks and buildings.
Harvested fruit is transported to a commercial pack house 17 kilometres m away in Maungatapere, which grades and packs fruit for both domestic and export markets. Mr Bhula said avocados seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment because of its superfood status, while government statistics show avocados are the third biggest fresh fruit export from New Zealand.
He said at a recent field day held at the orchard local growers were commenting on the positive turn-around of the tree health and productivity since the owners purchased it about six years ago.
“The programme they have in place has worked well and really pulled the orchard back into line. The owners have also been proactive and replanted two blocks with new clonal rootstock, which will see production lift further in the coming years.
“There is room for a bit of improvement and the scale and size of the orchard is suitable for an owner/occupier who can hire contractors for picking and pruning and still make a good income and enjoy a great lifestyle.,” Mr Bhula said.
All blocks are fully irrigated through a computerised central control unit, with water supply coming from a bore which has a consented allocation of 22,000 cubic metres per year. A disused fertigation system is also on the property. It has never been used by the owners and will remain there as part of the sale.
A secondary bore supplies household and garden water to the neighbouring property. This is by mutual agreement which has been in place for a number of years without any issues.
“The required infrastructure for an orchard of this size is all in place consisting of a good load-out area, five bay implement shed/workshop, with power and lighting in the first bay, irrigation system, new plantings, and an agrichemical shed, with a spray filling station on the side for easy access,” Mr Bhula said.
The property also contains a tidy four bedroom house with a large outdoor deck in a private setting towards the rear of the property. Mr Bhula said it had easy care gardens and large lawns for a family to enjoy.
“This block gives an owner/occupier an immediate start in the avocado industry given there is no wait times for planting trees and associated development costs.
“Superb orchard management by the owners makes for relatively easy operation of machinery, pruning and harvesting activities,” Mr Bhula said. “With new and existing export markets continuing to show an increase in demand for the superfood, the industry is still in a growth phase with some exciting opportunities ahead.”
Surrounding properties include other avocado orchards, farms and lifestyle properties. Maungakaramea features a retirement village, gas station, dairy, school, mechanics workshop, sports club and sales yard, with Whangarei CBD being about 15 kilometres away.