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Country café brews a golden opportunity

The land, buildings and business sustaining a picturesque country café on a South Island tourist highway are generating interest amid a bumper summer for visitation and supported migration to New Zealand’s lifestyle locations.

The Farm Barn Café and Gifts on 11,405sqm (more or less) of freehold land on the Geraldine-Fairlie Highway features extensive growth potential for a new owner to increase revenue through business diversification.

Bayleys salesperson Jessica Frewen says this could be as simple as increasing operating hours including evening trade or leveraging the site’s elevated and panoramic views as an event venue.

“Situated on the main tourist route between Christchurch and Queenstown, Fairlie is the ‘Gateway to the Mackenzie District’ – one of the country’s top performers for economic growth in the year to June 2023.

“Strong domestic and international tourism demand continues to buoy the region’s commercial interests, with international visitor arrivals to New Zealand forecast to reach 5.1 million in 2024 – up some 37 percent year-on-year.

“The Mackenzie District is one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand, providing extensive scope for a new owner to harness value capture and increase their return on investment with minimal effort,” she says.

Ms Frewen is marketing the land, buildings and business of The Farm Barn Café and Gifts at 4 Mount Michael Road as a freehold going concern by negotiation with Bayleys colleague Hamish Lane

Assets for sale include buildings with a total floor area of 230sq m (more or less) and plenty of vehicle parking spaces for customers.

The elevated site in Rural Industry Zone A features frontage to State Highway 79, which attracts patronage from travellers between Christchurch, Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park, Queenstown and the wider Mackenzie District.

“At its southwest corner, fronting Mount Michael Road and the Geraldine-Fairlie Highway, the business occupies a high-profile position with dual entry points and a large gravel parking area for simple vehicle manoeuvrability and deliveries.

“The single-level premises is an attractive and modern farmhouse building with gabled ceilings, native timber flooring and a large fireplace, comprising the café and commercial kitchen, dining area, gift store and a sunny outdoor dining area with picnic tables, a children’s playground and north-easterly view over the countryside.”

Behind the main building are a series of fenced pens and a large grazing pasture, which may aid the new owner’s aspirations for a ‘farm to table’ style hospitality operation.

Ms Frewen says the picturesque location and elevated site allow new owners to develop the substantial land area as an events venue or accommodation business, subject to council consent.

“The café and gift store are well-patronised by the local community and visitors – including car clubs, cycling groups, travellers bound for Lake Opua, nearby ski fields, and the Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park - providing a solid case for business expansion.

“With sweeping rural landscapes, high country stations offering an iconic look into the Kiwi lifestyle, several ski fields and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest dark sky reserve, the Mackenzie District is a tourist mecca providing an enviable lifestyle for a new operator.

“For those who love the outdoors, the nearby surroundings are a playground, with a vibrant local community, good schooling options, and a superb lifestyle that continues to attract a growing local population.

“The investment provides a simple transition to business ownership with training offered by current owners and options to acquire additional land if required.

“The business and location are appealing for a broad range of buyers, including skilled investors, budding business owners and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking a change of pace, and we expect a new owner will take advantage of the huge scope to mould the business model to incorporate fresh ideas and elevate returns.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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