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Once-in-a-century opportunity to own a Lake Taupō estate

The sole freehold property in Waihāhā Bay within the western bays of Lake Taupō, billed as “the paradise that time forgot” and accessible only by boat, helicopter or on foot, is attracting serious attention from people wishing to be its new owner.

One of just a handful of freehold waterfront estates in the entire Taupō region, the private 1.2 hectare property with its modest fishing cottage and boat shed has long tugged at the heart-strings of those who have sighted it from the water or air and it is now for sale by negotiation through Bayleys.

The location even has a Royal connection as when then-Prince Charles, now King Charles III, and his sister Princess Anne accompanied their parents on a Royal Tour of New Zealand in 1970, the Prince fished at the property.

Taking a break from their tour schedule, the family holidayed for three days in the Taupō-Rotorua region with the 21-year old Prince flown into Waihāhā by R.N.Z.A.F Iroquois for a fly-fishing excursion hosted by the Wildlife Service.

The experienced fisher reportedly said it was “some of the finest fishing" he had ever experienced, being on record for catching a 5lb trout when trolling on the lake then on another day fishing until 10pm at the Waihāhā river mouth, catching seven rainbow trout.

Alison Whittle of Bayleys Taupō said she’s fielded high levels of nationwide enquiry and from expats’ offshore, with many very familiar with the coveted Western Bays and understanding the uniqueness of the offering which is on the market for the first time in a century.

“I’ve had contact from people who have only glimpsed the property while boating in the area and feel no need to book a viewing for more information.

“The location is so highly coveted that people seem to have a very emotional association with the property, despite never having set foot on the shores there.

“Anyone who has fished, boated or holidayed in the Western Bays’ area seems to know the cottage and has doubtless dreamed of how special it would be to own it – it’s just the quintessential Kiwi getaway and for keen fishers, it’s fly-fishing utopia whether on the lake itself or in the nearby Waihāhā River.”

The property has been in Richwhite family ownership for around 100 years, with former merchant banker David and his siblings the current guardians.

A spokesperson close to the family said with busy lives that have taken some in different directions including living overseas, the decision has been made to reluctantly divest the property.

“The extended family is simply not visiting the property enough, and it deserves to be enjoyed and utilised regularly. While it’s absolutely a heart wrench to be selling given the intergenerational memories made there, it’s time for someone else to love it and create their own legacy.”

Whittle said while council records held for the property are somewhat limited, the owners advised that their grandfather and father built the cottage in the 1920s with timber ferried over from Taupo, with the bunkroom addition likely added later in the 1950s.

The humble cottage and boatshed are on a flat site, nestled into a bush clad hill and looking out across the lake to the snow-capped mountains of Ruapehu and Ngāuruhoe in the Tongariro National Park. There is provision for a helicopter to land on the front lawn.

The simple yet homely timber dwelling has three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living area with a woodburner, with power connected to the site and water accessible from a reliable bore.

“Nostalgia for the simple way of life would perhaps suggest that the traditional Kiwi bach form should be retained, however there’s no denying that this is a world-class waterfront site and as a landholding, unrivalled in the wider Taupō area – if not the country.”

The property is a 20-minute boat ride from Kinloch Marina, which is around 20km from Taupō town.

Kinloch is the gateway to the Western Bays and the current owners of the Waihāhā Bay property also own a freehold circa-986sqm section in Kinloch, with a double garage to store a boat for ready access to Waihāhā.

This is one of the last freehold residential sections in old Kinloch and it will be auctioned with Bayleys a week after tenders close on the Waihāhā Bay property.

Whittle said absolute waterfront property in Taupō is always keenly contested and is generally held long-term by family interests.

“Taupō waterfront offerings are most typically more residential in nature, with smaller sites and neighbours. Minimal strictly waterfront stock comes to the open market, and certainly an outlying property such as this in Waihāhā is as unique as they come.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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