Wakatipu ‘jewel in the crown’


A unique lodge property off Queenstown’s Glenorchy Road is on the market.

The Farry family’s 9.5-hectare Punatapu estate contains one of Queenstown’s early luxury lodges and a lush garden fronting a natural rock amphitheatre at the eastern end of Bob’s Cove.

Local Ray White principal Bas Smith, whose company’s listing the property from today, calls it “the jewel in the crown of our local real estate”.

“It’s very hard to find anything like this in the Wakatipu which has the potential to be developed into a complete resort.”

Queenstown’s Baxter Design Group has presented a concept masterplan under which a new owner could add clusters of villas, meditation cabins, an event pavilion and a health centre.

A report by local planner Jeff Brown says despite the property’s rural zoning and ‘visual amenity landscape’ values, it’s likely this sort of development would be consented as it can’t be seen from Glenorchy Rd or neighbouring properties.

Sue Farry and her husband, Pat Farry, a pioneering doctor, bought the then-isolated property in 1973 and commissioned noted architect, the late Ian Athfield, to design their home, which was built in the early ’80s.

Mediterranean-inspired, it comprises five buildings around a courtyard with eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a swimming pool, sauna and gym.

To this day it also operates as homestay accommodation, with guests paying up to $2500 a night.

Sue says she and Pat had unfulfilled ideas to develop Punatapu – Maori for ‘sacred pool’ – for continuing medical education or a wellness retreat.

She’d like to feel a new owner will only enhance what’s already there.

Smith believes there’s still huge demand in Queenstown for super-high-end accommodation linked to the likes of wellness, health, education or conferencing facilities.

The property’s sales method is price by negotiation.