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Stunning Hilltop Tavern set to be auctioned

NZ_AucklandCBD_Communications_Stunning Hilltop Tavern set to be auctioned

Banks Peninsula is capturing the imagination of Kiwis with the overwhelmingly successful crowd funding campaign to ‘Buy the Hill’ earlier this year followed by the sale of the historic Grand Hotel in Akaroa.

Against that backdrop, Philip Cooper and Michael Lough of Colliers believe the landmark Hilltop Tavern, with its panoramic views into Barrys Bay, has diverse potential for a new owner. The Hilltop is set for auction on 4 November.

Situated at 5207 Christchurch Akaroa Road, the property comprises a land area of 9.8ha with the freehold building itself covering 380sq m. The site is currently subject to a lease that expires in September 2022 with no rights of renewal.

The Hilltop sits at the confluence of popular Banks Peninsula walking and biking tracks. These are set to get busier following the high-profile ‘Buy the Hill’ fundraising campaign to purchase 500ha of land that has increased awareness of the stunning Te Ara Pātaka track network that connects the Lyttelton to Akaroa craters along the summit ridgelines.

The Hilltop Tavern is perfectly positioned to provide refreshments, transport shuttles and overnight accommodation for trampers and bikers coming through from Christchurch to Akaroa, up from Little River or just seeking a short stroll in Montgomery Reserve with its 2000-year-old ancient totara.

The land bought by the ‘Buy the Hill’ campaign means the walking tracks all finish at the Hilltop. They include the Te Ara Pātaka/Summit Walkway that links Kaituna Valley and the Okuti Valley track – all of which meet at the Hilltop.

Cooper says the world class panoramic views from the well-known landmark make it ripe for development.

“The outstanding position is unsurpassed and is a trophy acquisition to any visionary developer, owner-occupier or accommodation operator. State Highway 75 at the Hilltop provides one of the most scenic views of the famous Akaroa Harbour and the surrounding breathtaking countryside on this busy highway, which runs between Christchurch and Akaroa. It’s seen as a compulsory refreshment and photo stop on the journey,” Cooper says.

“We think the Hilltop will appeal to a wide range of buyers whether it be for accommodation, a private family home, or hospitality. It’s a great opportunity to reposition and recreate something special that capitalises on the spectacular outlook, with accommodation and hospitality components, supported by the growing industry in outdoor tourism reinforced by the walkways and bike tracks. This highlights the need for accommodation in the vicinity of the Hilltop.”

Lough has been involved in two significant sales on the Peninsula in the past year. The first was the sale of the historic Grand Hotel in Akaroa, the adjacent Waeckerle’s Cottage, and 1,909sq m of surrounding land, with the second being three hectares of land in nearby Wainui, overlooking Akaroa Harbour.

“Banks Peninsula is in strong demand. These properties attracted a wide range of interest from both national and international buyers. We’re expecting the same with the Hilltop,” Lough says.

The original Hilltop was built in 1872 and became a popular stopping place in the old coaching days. The railway came to Little River in 1886, further boosting the hotel’s business.

Fire destroyed it in 1931, and the current premises were built in the mid-1930s.

It last changed hands in 2009, having previously been held by four generations of the same family.


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Philip Cooper

Investment Sales Broker

Christchurch (Agency)

Philip has built a long and impressive record in commercial sales and the hospitality and accommodation sectors. He enjoys excellent relationships with all levels of the business community. His business career extends over 30 years in the hospitality and the property sector and owning businesses in Christchurch. 

Philip’s experience and relationships enable him to inter react readily with all clients. He has achieved numerous notable transactions over the years, including: South City Mall $46.0m; and EntX, 527 Colombo St $48.0m. He continues to represent many long term clients and is fully aware of the current market place, both nationally and locally. His experience is an asset to any intending buyer or seller in all sectors of the commercial market.

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Michael Lough

Investment Sales Broker

Christchurch (Agency)

A tenacious broker, Mike adopts a targeted approach to each and every campaign to unearth a strong group of potential buyers, generating competition for all his properties. This strategic and carefully considered approach has earned him an impressive track record. His meticulous planning results in great outcomes for his clients, who are happy to provide glowing references. Mike also has an enviable network of personal and professional contacts.

Mike negotiated more than $50m of sales in his first 18 months, from as is where is, office, and vacant land. He has established a specialist niche in accommodation assets where he works with a strong group of national buyers seeking investment opportunities in the South Island.

He has a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication).

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