Tim Rookes, managing director of CBRE Christchurch, and Warren Hutt, senior director of capital markets, CBRE Auckland, are marketing the property on behalf of the owner’s deceased estate, with the auction set to take place on 17 September at CBRE’s office at 222 High St, Christchurch.
The expansive land holding, which overlooks the Rakaia River and Mt Hutt, is home to one of New Zealand’s top 18-hole golf courses and also features a large club house building. The property is being sold as land and buildings only, offering flexible options for the new owner, says Rookes.
“We are expecting strong interest from high net worth investors and consortiums, who will recognise this as a rare chance to acquire a very well-known property. This is a fantastic opportunity to own a championship golf course which is regarded as one of the best in the country,” he says.
“The new owner could choose to continue to run the golf course, as well as hosting events, conferences and weddings which the resort was previously known for. Alternatively, the purchaser may wish to simply buy and hold the property and facilities while the world rides out Covid-19, making the most of the playground on their doorstep which features world-class heli skiing, mountain biking, fishing, boating, trophy hunting, nature walks and more.”
The sale also presents the possibility for the resort to return to local ownership, says Hutt.
“This stunning property is being sold in highly unfortunate circumstances. Its owner was passionate about golf and loved New Zealand, and we understand he visited Terrace Downs frequently,” he says.
“Given the current Covid situation globally as well as OIO restrictions, this is an excellent opportunity for a New Zealand individual or group to acquire the property at well below replacement value and reinvent it for the future.
“Golf courses certainly don’t come up on the market very often, certainly not in such a magnificent setting as this, so we expect this will be seen as a trophy asset by prospective buyers.”
Located less than one hour’s drive from Christchurch Airport, the gently-undulating property features extensive landscaping, with tussock plantings, lakes and stands of woodland & bush. A long, 1.8km riverfront boundary borders the Rakaia River, with terraced lawns providing excellent views of the river. Panoramic views of Mt Hutt and surrounding mountains are a strong feature throughout the property.
Sealed roads provide access to 78 privately-owned residential sites; including a cluster of 52 apartments called The Villas and 26 free-standing chalet-style homes scattered throughout the property. Several of these were previously under long-term rental agreements, which allowed Terrace Downs to also operate as a resort hotel.
A portion of land at the property’s southern end, known as The Peaks, was previously consented for subdivision into 20 large luxury home sites, however this consent has lapsed.
The Terrace Downs golf course is regarded as the finest high-country course in New Zealand and was ranked by New Zealand Golf magazine as one of the top five courses for layout in the country. The challenging par 72 course offers a choice of four tees on each hole and incorporates 10 lakes and over 60 bunkers.
Playing golf at Terrace Downs is quite a unique experience, says Rookes.
“Wherever you are on the course, the spectacular views are a constant distraction. It’s literally right at the foothills of the Southern Alps, with Mt Hutt and the surrounding mountains giving the impression of rising incredibly steeply up from the property. Looking down at the Rakaia River from the terraced lawns at the bottom of the property is also an unmissable experience.”
Designed by the late Sid Puddicombe, a celebrated Canadian golf course architect, the Terrace Downs course is 6,406m long. The parkland-style front nine holes are sheltered by woodlands, with large ponds capturing reflections of the mountains. The links-style back nine are described as having a Scottish highland feel, bordered by open, tranquil tussocklands.
As well as golf, the resort and surrounding area offer countless other recreational options, making it a perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the outdoors, Hutt says.
“Before the Terrace Downs resort operations closed for business earlier this year, it was a popular venue for getaways due to the huge range of activities on offer. The resort itself has existing facilities for archery, clay bird shooting, tennis, mountain biking and a driving range,” he says.
“It’s really a place where you can get away from it all and recharge the batteries – doing as much or as little as you like in a peaceful and picturesque setting.”
One of the most popular local activities is skiing, with Mt Hutt just 40 minutes away. Porters and several club ski fields are also within easy reach. Local tour operators are available to take guests salmon fishing, horse trekking, jet boating, heli skiing, heli sightseeing, deer stalking, quad biking, rafting and farm tours. There are also plentiful hiking options, with a famous local walk at Washpen Falls as well as several DOC tracks in the area. Lake Coleridge is also a short drive away, says Rookes.
“The owners also had previous plans for a hunting lodge, wedding chapel and separate hotel and conference centre on the property – illustrating just a few of the options that could be available should the new owner wish to undertake further development.”
A sports field on the property, arguably New Zealand’s most scenic, was used by the All Blacks for pre-Rugby World Cup training in 2003, he adds.
The large club house building on site features a café and bar with indoor seating by the fire and outdoors on the deck, as well as a restaurant, conference rooms, a pro shop, changing/shower facilities and day spa.
History of Terrace Downs
Terrace Downs was part of the neighbouring Snowdon Station property until 1946 when the government acquired it. In 1949 it became one of the farms that returned servicemen could apply for via ballot. Edwin Tilley was the winner of the block of land and named it Terrace Downs after the terraces which extend down to the Rakaia River. Tilley farmed sheep and cattle on the property until he retired in 1990. The land was then put up for auction and was purchased by Shinnosuke Saito, a Japanese professional golfer.
To the surprise of the local community, planning and construction of an 18-hole championship golf course began straight away. The front nine holes opened to the public in early 1993 and were serviced by a portacom building. Several years later in 1999, the back nine were completed, followed by the club house in late 2001. The Villas were constructed over the early 2000s, with the All Blacks the first house guests in 2003. In 2012 the resort was acquired by Hiroshi Hasegawa’s local entity, Cathedral Square Investments.
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