New plans for iconic Waiwera

The township of Waiwera, north of Auckland.

The coast is now clear for the once thriving seaside town of Waiwera, north of Auckland, to receive some therapy of its own.

Urban Partners, the current owners of the Waiwera resort, hotel, water bottling and campground site have announced they are seeking expressions of interest for a joint venture partner or purchase of this iconic location.

“We have always had high ambitions and the best of intentions for this wonderfully unique freehold location and its thermal waters,” project director Doug Osborne says.

“And now that the main issues behind the protracted delays have been resolved, we are happy to confirm we are marketing the site to those interested in partnering, developing or purchasing this world-class wellness destination.

“The site has extraordinary potential, recognised as a regional tourist attraction by the Auckland Unitary Plan, and has zoning allowing for business, residential developments, health and wellness, tourism, hospitality and visitor accommodation.

“Given the site’s proximity to Auckland, and the booming wellness industry which is now worth $4.5 trillion, we expect the site to be of real interest to specialist operators from around the globe.

“This announcement is good news not only for the tourism and wellness market, but also for the local community,” Osborne says.

“We can now look forward to a step change for the neighbourhood by finding a top-class partner to develop and restore the site to a new standard of excellence.”

“While we have long understood the potential of the site, the subsequent restrictions of Covid, and associated border closures, have added further delays to our goal of finding an excellent partner who can see the wellness opportunity of the site and work with us to develop the coastal haven to its potential.

“Now with borders opening and travel restrictions lifting, we are well placed to embark on a premium marketing campaign exclusively through Colliers.”

The therapeutic and curative powers of the thermal waters of Waiwera saw it as the home of New Zealand’s first spa and purpose-built tourist facility.

The area has also been home to a hotel, bath houses and, more recently, a hot water resort first constructed in 1970.

The area enjoys easy access to Auckland, and is superbly located to the nearby beach of Orewa, the stunning coastline of Mahurangi, and the extensive vineyard and leisure location of the region.

“Consequently, the marketing campaign will target those best in class in the wellness, tourism and leisure, and recreation and residential category.

“Urban Partners has always treasured this site, and we acknowledge the vibrant wellness industry is not our core expertise. Hence why we are seeking an external party who can ensure the site delivers an operation commensurate with the location and its wider natural attributes.”

Colliers director of site sales Josh Coburn says there is an insatiable demand for world-class coastal locations, and the opportunity to redevelop a coastal enclave near Auckland is truly unique and a once in a generation prospect.

“Waiwera offers what no other property in New Zealand can — a coastal development of scale within 45 minutes of Auckland’s CBD, with the benefit of a rare geothermal bore.

“Our marketing campaign will seek local and international expressions of interest to see this potential realised,” Coburn says.

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