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Houses likely to replace tents as waterfront campground goes on the market for sale

The Sandspit Motor Camp in Waiuku on the shores of the Manukau Harbour in Auckland has been a holiday destination since early last century.

However, after decades of hosting thousands of campers and holidaymakers, the campground owner-operators are now looking to retire and sell up the 6,529-square metre site held in four titles – with real estate salespeople forecasting it will most likely be decommissioned and converted into a residential enclave.

The Sandspit Motor Camp is immediately adjacent to the grassy Sandspit Reserve and a tidal boat-launching ramp. The camp contains several accommodation options – ranging from powered caravan plots and tent sites, through to budget cabins.

In its current format, the boutique-size camp services a hard-core group of holidaymakers from throughout the Auckland/Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions who regularly stay at the holiday park over the Christmas/New Year break and well into summer, along with ‘walk up’ guests seeking the peace of a smaller-style waterfront amenity.

The freehold land and buildings – but not including the Sandspit Motor Camp business – at 9, 11, 13 and 15 Rangiwhea Road in Waiuku are now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Real Estate, with tenders closing at 4pm on May 16 (unless sold prior).

Bayleys salespeople Mike Adams and Virginia Zhou said the land sustaining Sandspit Motor Camp was zoned residential single use – meaning the commercial accommodation business could continue in its current use should new owners seek to apply for a new operating license from Auckland Council, or the property could be converted into a residential enclave.

Ms Zhou said the camp’s 6,529-square metre landholding consisted of four individual section titles – all of which had access off Rangiwhea Road. The two waterfront sections measured 2,456-square metres and 2,049-square metres.

She said that with appropriate council consents, there was the opportunity to create more smaller sections within the greater block – with some of those sections facing directly onto the Manukau Harbour, with others sitting immediately behind.

“The broad guideline of the residential single house zone is to maintain and enhance the existing amenity values of the established surrounding neighbourhood based on special characteristics – in this case the mature waterfront tree-line and of course the waterfront vista and access over Sandspit Reserve,” Ms Zhou said.

“Under the zone definition, multi-unit development is not anticipated in a location generally characterised by one and two-storey dwellings.

“Waiuku, like the other Franklin District townships of Pukekohe, Tuakau, Clarks Beach and Patumahoe, has grown considerably over the past decade as part of Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit (MUL) expansion – with numerous new housing development sites emerging. Few however have the waterfront positioning of the Sandspit Motor Camp site.”

The Sandspit Motor Camp had a council rating valuation of $2.275million for the land and buildings alone, without the business. Mr Adams said the campground was available to purchase as a ’turn-key’ business operation - coming complete with all operating infrastructure, including:

• 11 standard open-plan cabins

• 10 individual grassed sites for tent campers

• Communal toilet/bathroom, kitchen and laundry blocks and

• A substantial three-bedroom/two-bathroom two-storey owner/manager’s homestead on the seaward-facing portion of the site

“The building infrastructure and set up of Sandspit Motor Camp reflects the very heart of Kiwiana from a bygone era. The cabins are basic, yet totally functional - from a time where families talked around the dinner table lit by Tilley lanterns or played cricket on the grass outside rather than watch SKY TV in a glamping style tent or Winnebago,” Mr Adams said.

“Sandspit Motor Camp could remain in its current format – sustaining a ‘lifestyle’ business for any new owner/operators and potentially sustaining a temporary workforce accommodation centre to house the hundreds of migrant fruit and vegetable pickers now employed in the Counties region during the height of the fruit harvesting season.

“Alternatively, the solid ‘bones’ of the camp could be expanded – either by adding more cabins, or upgrading and modernising the existing inventory of units to deliver a greater degree of guest comfort which many families are now seeking.”

He said that the potential to create a boutique-sized commercial accommodation lodge operation for up to 10 people was also a future use option for the site under its council zoning.

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