End of an era

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Glenpanel Farm the last of Queenstown’s big freehold properties.

It’s marketed as the last substantial freehold land left in Queenstown.

Glenpanel Farm is a 155ha property bounded by the Ladies Mile stretch of State Highway 6 and Lower Shotover Road.

The farm, being tendered by Queenstown’s Browns Sotheby’s International Realty, runs 816 sheep and 670 deer.

Sharyn and Grant Stalker have farmed it for the past 25 years and it has a rateable value of $6,847,000. Grant’s parents Val and Trevor bought it in 1976.

Sharyn says the five-title property “has never been tainted by major subdivision” since the original Glenpanel Farm was established by Queenstown pioneer William Gilbert Rees’s first shepherd, James Flint, in 1861.

Indeed, Grant and Sharyn have expanded the farm, adding part of the adjacent Springbank property.

Coincidentally, the ornate 1909 Glenpanel Homestead, on 1.1ha, which was split off about 15 years ago, is listed with Bayleys by owners Viv and Glenn Carless, who recently restored it. Its asking price last week on the TradeMe auction site was $4.5 million.

The Stalkers say they’re selling to retire from farming and pursue other development projects, including plans for a 400-section subdivision on their Lower Shotover farm by the Shotover/Kawarau river delta.

Grant: “We’ll re-establish ourselves on a lifestyle block round here.

“We’re not getting off the train altogether – just changing it.”

One of about only half a dozen farms left in the Wakatipu, Glenpanel has only been in the ownership of three families.

Grant says the farm’s presently enjoying good returns from lamb and venison, and though most locals have decried this summer’s weather, it’s been good for farming.

The couple have planted thousands of trees and lease the property’s highest point, on Slope Hill, for an Airways Corporation navigation aid that helps planes take off and land at nearby Queenstown Airport.

Sharyn says the Airways rental “helps with our holidays”.

Other features include the Stalkers’ 22-year-old family home, a water scheme that supplies 20 households – the Arrow irrigation pipeline runs through the property – and a duck-shooting hut.

Sharyn, who sold real estate for 14 years, thinks Glenpanel would suit a lifestyle buyer looking for “a trophy property”.

“We’re in the middle of everywhere – you can see three skifields, Lake Wakatipu, Lake Hayes and the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers from here.”

A new owner could subdivide the land or just hold on to it for capital gain, the Stalkers say.

Glenpanel has also been mooted for a nine-hole golf course to replace Frankton’s course, which has a limited shelf life.

And there’s no problem getting in and out of the farm – it has three legal accesses off SH6 and eight off Lower Shotover Rd.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council rates bill is a bit of reality check – it’s $4740.64 a year.

The tender closes on May 13.