Stewart Island eco-sanctuary up for sale

Stewart Island eco-sanctuary up for sale
Stewart Island eco-sanctuary up for sale

A private Stewart Island eco-sanctuary spread over 172 hectares is up for sale at an asking price of $2.25 million.

The Dancing Star Reserve, which adjoins Rakiura National Park, is on the market after 15 years as a private, protected ecological refuge for native flora and fauna.

Encompassing mountainous terrain, garden meadows, five beaches and some of the oldest native forests in New Zealand, the property features a high-tech, ecologically engineered fence to exclude predators, as well as state-of-the-art electronic and video surveillance.

The listing brings a rare opportunity for anyone to own a piece of prehistoric New Zealand, says listing agent Matt Finnigan of New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty.

Wildlife preservation and biodiversity conservation have been the core focuses of the property’s current owners, the California-based, not-for-profit Dancing Star Foundation. The refuge now hosts well over 126 native species and contains one of the highest concentrations of kiwi in New Zealand.

“This particular property is quite special - it’s one of the largest pieces of privately-owned land on Stewart Island, and with the work done by the vendors, it has the potential to lead the world in conservation efforts,” says Finnigan.

Buildings within the reserve include a 230-square-metre barn and an environmental education centre with a shower block and kitchen. A full-time conservation manager currently lives on site to maintain the property and its inhabitants.

Finnigan says the reserve presents a unique opportunity for tourism operators and corporates, as well as private owners looking to balance their impact on the environment. It would also be of interest to individuals wanting a secluded and amazing holiday retreat or innovative stewards seeking a project with conservation attributes. 

“It would appeal to someone who would like to appreciate and preserve what the land was several hundred years ago. There are very few places like this remaining in New Zealand - or the world, for that matter,” he said.

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Stewart Island National Park

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