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Opoho - a growing oasis on the Pacific Coast Highway

A Northern Hawkes Bay property with a location capturing the benefits of a coastal climate, with the rainfall consistency of the hill country offers buyers some flexible farming options in both the pastoral and horticultural sectors.

The 471ha Opoho Station located only 22km from Wairoa has come onto the market for the first time in its history, having been faithfully farmed by the Powdrell family for the past four generations. In addition to the 471ha of freehold land, Opoho includes another 218ha of co – owned land, bringing the total to 690ha.

The famed station is one of a suite of east coast properties being marketed by Bayleys, and all present opportunities to invest in land that in the past has often only moved between family generations.

Bayleys agent Simon Bousfield says among these properties Opoho holds considerable appeal because of the flexibility and land use opportunities its location, contour and climate bring.

“Opoho sits in something of a coastal microclimate where it consistently receives 1700-2000mm of rainfall, and a frost free winter. The station’s history of assorted land uses over the years is testimony to the opportunities it can offer in the future,” he says.

Over its ownership Opoho’s valuable 127ha of drained flats have meant the farm has enjoyed options often only available to properties in majority flat land regions.

Land use has included town supply dairying, kiwifruit during the eighties, and more recently growing significant areas of maize for both grain and feed supply .Dedicated crops including chicory, lucerne and silage production are testimony to the flats’ productive capacity.

Honey production also forms part of the station’s income. The station’s 110ha of mostly flat sand country spread plus valley flats adds to that flexibility, providing quality grazing country over wetter winter months enabling a greater combination of livestock classes to be wintered and take advantage of good growth the district offers.

The remainder of the hill country is relatively low lying, spread between near sea level from the flats to only 180m above sea level at the back of the farm.

In the past few seasons Opoho has run circa 9250 stock units, split almost 50:50 between sheep and cattle. The bulk of the station’s cattle has included R2, R3 steers and heifers, breeding cows and in-calf heifers, with calving percentages in past two years of 90-94 per cent. Sheep have comprised of largely a trade component being 5000 trade lambs plus 1400 ewes and two tooths for breeding, with lambing percentages averaging 146 percent in the past two seasons.

The property’s ability to grow maize silage averaging 25t dry matter a hectare yields has meant the livestock have also had good supplies of supplement available through the season.

“Having those flats totalling over 120ha in a single spread is rare for a property in this part of the country, and it should prompt anyone interested in Opoho to consider a wide range of land use options.

“Whether they be horticultural or pastoral, the ability to spread your income and focus on some quite intensive type of operations gives it appeal, in addition to the forgiving contoured country that makes up the balance of the station,” says Simon.

Hydrological assessment of the station has given a good indication water storage for irrigation activities is feasible, with the potential to irrigate the extensive areas of flat land.

The property has enjoyed a good level of infrastructure investment over the years, including 81 subdivided paddocks. Temporary four wire electric fencing is used on the flats as required and all-weather access throughout the property via metalled tracks.

Water supply includes a mix of both natural spring supply on the hill country, and a fully reticulated system through the flats and early hill country. The reticulated supply is well supported with supply drawn from both a sand country well and pumped from a stream.

Opoho’s homestead is a classic standard for hill country stations, with its characterful early 1900s charm meeting modern day living demands, complete with French doors four bedrooms and a stunning established garden offering an oasis after a day of farming demands.

A second weather board dwelling has generated income as Air BnB type accommodation in the past, while a third four-bedroom property is well positioned for a farm manager or farm staff member. The property’s shearers’ quarters are also in exceptional condition near the main home.

With the Pacific forming its southern boundary, Opoho’s coastal location means it offers a lifestyle and convenience unique to farms of this size.

Only 22km from Wairoa means there is a local high school and primary school, while Gisborne 75km north offers further choices, and Napier 140km to the south.

Recreational options are numerous, including surfing at renowned Mahia Peninsula, diving or surf casting from the Opoho beach, or soaking in nearby Morere hot springs. The station also sits near the gateway to the mighty Ureweras and Lake Waikaremoana, with their stunning bush tramps and hunting opportunities.

“Opoho offers potential for anyone with the commitment and vision who is prepared to consider all options to make the most of the land, soil quality and location. It represents a rare chance to explore some exciting land use options in a extremely desirable location,” says Simon.

The property is for sale by tender, closing 4pm June 10. Interested parties can contact Simon Bousfield on (027) 665 8778, Stephen Thomson (0274) 506 531 or James Bolton-Riley (027) 739 1011.

Farm Details:

Opoho Station.
Location: 2225 State Highway 2, Wairoa.
Area: 471ha plus 218ha Maori freehold shared title, total 690ha.
Contour: 127ha drained flats, 106ha flat, 40ha easy hill country, 130ha medium, remainder steep (of 471ha total freehold).
50ha flat to easy hill, 149ha medium to steep hill, 20ha steep in bush (of 218ha Maori lease).
Altitude: sea level to 180m above sea level.
Rainfall: 1700mm-2000mm
Stock: 9244su, including 3000 lambs, 1400 ewes/2 tooths, 320 hoggets, 290 R2/R3 heifers and steers, 80 in calf heifers, 50 autumn heifers, 380 cows, 155 grazer cows.
Fencing: 81 paddocks, conventional, temporary 4 wire electric used on flats.
Water: Reticulated supply to flats and early hill country, plus springs, streams in hills. Assessment shows good irrigation source potential.
Soils: Flats – alluvial clay and silt, sandstone-mudstone on easier hills, clay/mudstone medium-steeper hills. Sand on vallies/flats. Olsen P 31.4 on flats, 17.6 on hills.pH 5.7-5.9.
Dwellings: High quality homestead in extensive gardens, two second homes plus shearers quarters.

Sale process: By tender, closing Wednesday June 10th. Contact Simon Bousfield (027) 665 8778, Stephen Thomson (0274)506 531, James Bolton-Riley (027) 739 1011.

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