Estate of four profitable New Zealand forests for sale

Exceptional opportunity to secure a highly profitable cornerstone holding in the forestry market

A highly profitable estate of four freehold forests in some of New Zealand’s best-established forestry regions is on the market through Colliers International.

The 4,018ha Timber No. 1 Estate, which has a net stocked area of 2,627ha, comprises one forest in Waikato, one in Gisborne and two in Southland.

The estate is being marketed by Colliers Forestry Director Warwick Searle – who recently transacted the first forestry sale under the government’s new overseas investment rules – and Forestry Broker Angus Robertson.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to secure a highly profitable cornerstone holding in the New Zealand forestry market,” Searle says.

“All four of these professionally managed forests are located in areas that offer good access to both quality domestic processors and efficient export log ports.

“The forests are predominantly planted with radiata pine and have mostly been managed on a pruning regime.

“Some 70 per cent of the crop was planted before 2000, ensuring a significant cash flow in the near future for the successful purchaser.

“With excellent locations, quality crops and easy access to markets, this is a superb chance to acquire a truly first-class forestry estate.”

The Timber No. 1 Estate is for sale by a two-stage expression of interest process, with initial responses due by Thursday 18 April.

The forests are available either individually or together as a complete estate.

Searle says the total stocked area includes 242ha in Waikato, 1,024ha in Gisborne and 1,367ha in Southland.

The total crop comprises about 80 per cent radiata pine, 15 per cent douglas fir, 2 per cent redwoods, 2 per cent eucalyptus, and the remainder macrocarpa.

Some 2,464ha of the estate comprises post-1989 forest that is eligible for carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. The total balance at early March is just under 619,000 credits.

The Waikato forest, Tregoweth, is located on 347ha just south of Te Kuiti in the King Country. It is easily accessible from Waimiha Road, which bisects the forest some 200m from State Highway 30.

“The King Country is well known for producing large trees and Tregoweth Forest, which is planted solely with radiata pine, is no exception,” says Searle.

“The crop mostly comprises older first-rotation stands, with a smaller area of mid-rotation stands.”

Waimiha Road provides 1.7km of access to the east and west blocks, while an additional 4km of internal roading, which will require work before harvest, is located within the west block.

The nearest port for log exports is 176km away at the Port of Tauranga. However, there are multiple nearby domestic processing options in the region, providing significant processing capacity.

The Gisborne forest, Te Rata, spans 2,008ha off Tarndale Road, some 80km north of Gisborne. It has a net stocked area of 1,039ha, predominantly planted with mature radiata pine.

Te Rata Forest is in relatively steep hill country, requiring a mix of ground- and hauler-based extractions methods at harvest.

A 4km gravel road extends through the property from Tarndale Road, while an additional 9km of forestry-grade road will require metaling for harvest.

Although the region has limited domestic processing, Eastland Port in Gisborne is well set up to handle forestry exports, processing over three million tonnes in the last year.

Searle says Mangaotane Stream, which runs through the property, is excellent for trout fishing, while a large area of native bush makes for exceptional hunting.

“There is a good range of accommodation to maximise the recreational potential, including a three-bedroom dwelling in good condition and a shearers’ quarters.”

In addition, the native bush could sustain an estimated 150 beehives, accessible via extensive tracks throughout the property. This could provide a significant potential source of additional income.

Robertson says the larger of the two Southland forests, Hillfort, spans 989ha some 46km east of Invercargill. It has a net stocked area of 767ha, predominantly planted with mid-rotation to near-mature radiata pine.

“Hillfort Forest is on rolling terrain with some flats, allowing for relatively low-cost ground-based harvesting,” Robertson says.

“Direct access is provided via three public gravel roads, while a network of tracks throughout the forest could be upgraded to accommodate logging traffic using the plentiful metal that is likely on site.”

The smaller Southland forest, Wether Hills, is located 10km west of Lumsden and 80km north of Invercargill.

It has a total area of 675ha with a net stocked area of 610 ha, primarily comprising radiata pine stands established between 1995 and 1997.

Access is via Cummings Road, which runs along the western boundary of the forest, with good roading throughout.

“Very little roading upgrades will be required for harvesting, and there is plentiful metal on site for road maintenance and construction,” Robertson says.

Both Southland forests are well supported by export and local processing options.

Invercargill’s Southport, which is New Zealand’s southernmost port, provides efficient and cost-effective handling of logs and forestry products.

Domestic processors in the region include Craigpine, Niagara, Daiken and Stuart Timber.

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The Waikato forest, Tregoweth, is located on 347ha just south of Te Kuiti in the King Country. It is easily accessible from Waimiha Road, which bisects the forest some 200m from State Highway 30.

“The King Country is well known for producing large trees and Tregoweth Forest, which is planted solely with radiata pine, is no exception,” says Searle.

“The crop mostly comprises older first-rotation stands, with a smaller area of mid-rotation stands.”

The Waikato forest, Tregoweth, is located on 347ha just south of Te Kuiti in the King Country. It is easily accessible from Waimiha Road, which bisects the forest some 200m from State Highway 30.

“The King Country is well known for producing large trees and Tregoweth Forest, which is planted solely with radiata pine, is no exception,” says Searle.

“The crop mostly comprises older first-rotation stands, with a smaller area of mid-rotation stands.”

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