Seafriends for sale a description of the Seafriends property and assets
With deep sadness we are offering the Seafriends
property and business for sale. This document gives you insight in Seafriends
as a marine conservation and education centre, and the 10ha property on
which it is based. First preference goes to buyers who wish to continue
the Seafriends 'business' of marine education and invest further to make
it more viable. Last preference is for buyers who just wish to buy a unique
gem of a property for a private dwelling.
The Seafriends property has seen a dramatic change from a naked subsistence
farm to a millionaire's dream with fully grown specimen trees, a playful
design and plenty of privacy and space to realise more dreams.
The old shearing shed (woolshed) has been converted to a cafe/restaurant
with educational facilities and a marine aquarium, while retaining a rustic
look. Various terraces from the patio to outside, make the place an attractive
venue for parties.
Seafriends is a running concern with business commitments.
For further information, e-mail Dr Floor Anthoni: floor (at)seafriends.org.nz
-- Seafriends home -- sitemap
-- Rev 20060613,
Description of the property The site is described as Part Allotment 45 Parish of Omaha, a triangular
section of 10.05 hectares bordered by the Leigh to Pakiri Road on the northern
boundary and the Goat Island Road on its eastern boundary. The site contains
a number of buildings associated with the operation of the Marine Education
Centre, including an aquarium, library, dive workshop and cafe and an old
dwelling. These existing buildings are located towards the south eastern
boundary of the site where the land is most accessible and flat. The site
is generally steeply sloping in contour but extensively tracked for access
by tractor. There is a flat site towards the top of the property, suitable
as a building site for a one-dwelling subdivision. It has breath-taking
views of 270 degrees from the Hen and Chicken Islands to Auckland. The
view over Goat Island Road towards Goat Island is particularly beautiful.
The dwelling is an historical cottage which now dates over 160 years of
age. Built from the classical native timbers of its age and later provided
with a twin topped roof, it has a character of its own.
Almost attached to the dwelling is a small shed that used to be the slaughterhouse
and chicken coop.
The original woolshed has been gutted and refurbished to contain the restaurant,
kitchen, education centre and aquariums. Its interior has been kept rustic.
Underneath the old woolshed, two implement sheds have been changed to house
the dive hire department. Additional space has been provided for storage,
refrigeration and implement sheds.
The single car garage has been retained and part of it allocated
to the dive tank compressor such that its noise won't interfere with the
tranquility experienced in the cafe/restaurant. The dive tanks with compressed
air are stored here too. The garage is also used by way of workshop, with
a long work bench and tool storage.
In between garage and woolshed, a flat area has been dug to serve as parking
and turning area. It is bordered by tall trees and flower beds.
The access road from Goat Island has been reinforced and widened and provided
with passing bays. Stately Phoenix palms and specimen trees invite visitors
to an estate of class. There exist four access gates to the property, from
A second road provides access from the Leigh-Pakiri Road, but it is steeper
and not metalled.
Adjoining the cafe, several areas have been developed in tiled terraces,
one of which is large enough to accommodate a marquee for 120 seated guests.
Paved roads lead to the various terraces and to the 'bottom field', a flat
area suitable for playing or parking.
After experiencing considerable land erosion, the steepest land has been
retired, and various patches of trees planted. The idea was to retain visual
lines of sight in order to enhance the spatial experience of a steep land
looking out over a wide valley towards the sea. Gullies have been planted
with tall poplars.
Around the dwelling and woolshed, six fenced paddocks have been retained
in grass, and they are being grazed on contract. A small yard has been
retained for stock management. Specimen trees have been planted where the
landscape could be enhanced.
Shelter belts and sheltering groups of trees have been planted to create
a warm and sheltered microclimate. The steep property faces north and the
warmth of the sun is stored and reflected by the hill side. Land winds
pass over the shelterbelts on the road sides and the sea wind is lifted
by shelter belts closer to the restaurant.
It is one of the very few properties in this zoning with an established
business and income.
The property and cottage have played a role in the history of the area.
Located about 90 km north of Auckland where the Pakiri Road crosses Goat
Island Road and the Omaha Access Road, it has once been used as the local
school. It has also provided the oxen and horses to pull cars over the
muddy back roads. Because of its warm sheltered aspect, it had extensive
fruit trees as even tomatoes were grown in the open air.
The property once belonged to a 200 acre holding granted to Duncan
Kemp on 20th June 1864. 80 acres of this were later given to the three
Knagg brothers, hence the present-day partial allotment of 25 acres of
COMPUTER FREEHOLD REGISTER UNDER LAND TRANSFER ACT 1952 Limited as to Parcels Search Copy
Identifier: NA545/260 Land Registration District: North Auckland Date Issued: 27 November 1931
Prior References: DI 6B.512
Estate: Fee Simple
Area: 10.0519 hectares more or less
Legal Description: Part Allotment 45 Parish of Omaha
Proprietors: Anthoni Family Trust
Interests: D629009.2 Mortgage to Southland Building Society - 7.8.2001
at 2.06 pm
Location map drawn for the denied subdivision
click on the image for a larger version. High
In this aerial view, taken in 1999, the Pakiri Road winds
up-hill along the southern boundary (left).
Not in view is the Goat Island Road, along the bottom.
The palmtree-lined drive is at bottom centre,
and the garage, cottage, woolshed and marquee in centre.
The knoll with commanding views at top centre.
The old cottage is sheltered all around. In the distance
the poplar trees losing their leaves in autumn.
In the far distance the knoll providing 270 degrees of
stunning panorama, the declined house site.
Frontal and side view of the woolshed. Above the restaurant/
classroom and cafe; below the dive rental store, toilets and showers. Click
on the image for an enlargement. High-res.
Plan view of the woolshed complex with paved paths and terraces.
Click on the image for a larger view. High-res.
The main entrance road is bordered by a row of Phoenix palm
One bank of the main entrance road is retained by a dense
The view over the Goat Island valley with Goat Island . The
coast around the island is a marine reserve.
The historical cottage seen from poplar valley. More palm
trees bordering the 'bottom field'.
The kauri cottage is made of hand-sawn weatherboards.
On its shaded side, the cottage has a verandah.
The alternative entrance drive is flanked by Phoenix palms,
but is not hardened.
A paved walkway leads from the cottage to the woolshed, through
dense plantings, a childrens' forest.
Plenty of lawns to enjoy the sun and the fragrance of foliage
An aerial view of the property looking East, taken in
Poplar Gully in the centre and many shelter belts.
Description of the cafe/ restaurant The combined use of the main space in the woolshed as class room and
as restaurant was possible because the restaurant operated mainly at night
as the schools came during the day. Also the main business for the restaurant
happened in the summer school holidays.
The cafe has inside seating for 50-60 people and was, till recently,
fully licensed for as many. Sewage and toilet facilities have been provided
to suit. There are two normal toilets and an invalid's toilet with ramp
access. Kitchen facilities are found in an 'inside' kitchen for direct
access from the main restaurant, the main kitchen for cooking, meal preparation
and dishwashing and a servery adjoining the patio terraces.
The patio terraces, outside terraces and inside dining room are ideally
suited for parties and are limited only by inside seating for 50-60 guests.
The cafe/restaurant which opened in December 1992 was a popular place
with good patronage, even through winter when special evenings were organised
to celebrate the cooking from various ethnic origins: French, Mediterranean,
Indonesian, Dutch. Also special fish food celebrations were held. For these
occasions the restaurant was changed entirely by means of props and elaborately
painted scenery. These have been stored in the attic above the restaurant.
Since a spate of new cafes and restaurants appeared outside Warkworth,
and also since strict drunk-driving laws, the restaurant has lost patronage
to the extent that it urgently needs to find a new identity. Even so, it
must be remembered that the main business season in New Zealand is very
short and that the winter months would be best served by closing the centre
and to implement changes and additions.
The combination of a cafe with the education centre worked well as it
provides another attraction for visitors.
The centre of activity around the parking place, bordered
by Norfolk pines and Phoenix palm trees.
In the foreground the cafe/education centre complex.
The dive shop can be a busy place in summer when the weather
is fine but the parking facilities are always adequate.
The patio terrace has been roofed over and is protected against
wind and weather.
A wedding party just before the arrival of bride and groom.
The outside terrace is large enough to seat 120 in a marquee.
Inside seating allows for 50 guests but more can be accommodated
with different configurations of tables and chairs. This was once a shearing
Description of the education
centre Since the late 1980s, New Zealand's seas have experienced rapid degradation,
which even today, has not been sufficiently recognised. In 1990 Dr Anthoni
decided to devote the rest of his life to saving the sea, for which a marine
education centre was needed. Located near the first marine reserve at Goat
Island, exploring the sea was an important activity that our children should
not miss out on. From humble beginnings with secondhand suits, eventually
an extensive collection of special wetsuits emerged in a large variety
of sizes. With it came a large collection of fins and masks. Even optically
corrected masks are available for short and long sighted divers.
Between 1992 and 2000, the Goat Island marine reserve enjoyed spectacular
popularity because of the many friendly fishes that were attracted by feeding
them. However, since the Department of Conservation prohibited fish feeding,
the numbers of visitors diminished. But enthusiasm from schools remained,
sufficient to keep Seafriends in business. Now that the plight of the sea
is becoming popularised, interest for the marine environment may increase
again, just at a time that Seafriends' educational resources have been
A day at Seafriends typically rotates students between three activities:
rocky shore studies, snorkelling in the sea, and lecture with aquarium
visit and a movie. But many more resources have been developed for further
studies and skills development (see appendix). The Seafriends web site
on internet has become an indispensable resource for schools, educators
and decisionmakers. Unfortunately, most students visit Seafriends only
one day in their lives, and even then the programme is rushed. Our most
memorable visit has been the Correspondence School who enjoyed a full week
submersion in matters of the sea. It demonstrated that our programmes are
able to keep children fascinated from eight in the morning till ten at
night, for a whole week. Such programmes can be reinstated in the form
of summer camps, once accommodation has become available. See the list
of resources in the appendices.
When considering that the education centre opened in December 1992 with
hardly anything to show for, the progress made since, is indeed exemplary.
The book library grew steadily, first with memorable and rare books, and
later with the best information that money can buy in new books. It now
stands at about 800 books, specialised in the sea and the environment.
The library has public access and books can be loaned over internet.
The sea water aquariums slowly improved as a working ecosystem and they
are now pro-grading (getting better) using the techniques and knowledge
recently discovered by Dr Anthoni. It is the intention to show what the
sea once looked like - not a mean task. In order to create interest for
the sea, the aquariums have always been free of charge. The Seafriends
temperate ecosystem aquariums are not connected to the sea. They are indeed
unique in the world. There are eight tanks of 360 litres each, representing
the local habitats. Two experience tidal rise and fall of the water.
A series of 1000 photographs was printed for visitors to browse through,
such that the immensity of our marine heritage becomes visible.
An ever growing series of books containing web site printouts is available
A wall display shows the underwater habitats of Goat Island and information
The information displays and aquarium displays have been lagging behind
because their information still needed to be collected and assembled, which
is still in progress.
Seafriends had, until recently, a maritime radio licence for shore to ship
calling on VHF channels 74, 73 and 16 as well as the ship to ship channels.
Children being lectured in the classroom, which can seat
over 60 in theatre style. In the background the extensive nature library.
The brown doors lead to the aquariums.
Visitors getting dressed in professional wetsuits with excellent
buoyancy and protection. All sizes, short or tall, can be accommodated.
Seated on the beach and already dressed in protective long
wetsuits, school children receive snorkel instructions and safety procedures.
The snorkelling is the highlight of a school visit, and everyone
is keen to enter the water. Sometimes dolphins come snooping around.
Potential growth and investment
path Seafriends has over the years suffered tremendously from underfunding.
Had it been able to start larger, it would have been able to retain markets
better and to draw more income. Over the years, small competitors have
started in snorkel hire, dive hire, boat hire, kayaks, beach studies and
snorkel guiding. All this to the detriment of Seafriends' income. Even
though Seafriends enjoys kudos from its lofty aims, the average customer
is more interested in convenience and price while often remaining unaware
or uninterested of how they can help save the sea. Many cafes and restaurants
are now competing for a slowly increasing market, each causing harm to
the other. So where does Seafriends fit in today?
Seafriends is entirely unique. Whereas education and hospitality are practised
everywhere, the goal of Seafriends, that of saving our seas and marine
education, are still unique. On this uniqueness it must build further.
Every addition should relate to the sea or have a sea theme. Awareness
of the sea is now, after 15 years of work, slowly growing. Problems in
the sea are accelerating and becoming pressing.
Local camps in Snells Beach (Parklands = 80 beds, Camp Mahurangi = 160
beds) are closing, causing a pressing need for accommodation. Some schools
go to camp but most prefer a more manageable and comfortable option. Seafriends
should have accommodation for at least one class plus parents and teachers
(30+2+5). Two classes could perhaps stretch the facilities, but would be
much more profitable. Accommodation would fully utilise the kitchen. This
market is there NOW and Seafriends should fill the void. One problem is
that schools on camp do many non-Seafriends activities like visiting Kawau,
but this could be combined by boat from Leigh.
The marina on land is an idea to buy medium sized boats that have had their
time at sea and cannot pass safety survey. They could be modified internally
for bunks and would be placed off the deep end of the 'bottom field'. This
way accommodation with a marine theme can be provided and it may not be
expensive to do.
With active education programmes and marketing, every day at Seafriends
can be booked. We have enough programmes to fill a rainy day. Proactive
week-long summer camps are now possible.
For maori children the sea is an important inheritance. Maori see themselves
as caretakers of NZ's environment, notably the sea. It is important therefore
that Maori children are well educated about the sea. This is a new market
which requires lodging. It also requires a subsidy per visit, which should
be obtained from Government or Education.
Time table and sale value Seafriends has committed itself to honour all bookings till the end
of the financial year on June 30th, 2007. Should the purchaser prefer an
earlier settlement, these bookings should still be honoured.
The value of the property consists of the following assets:
Realistic present-day value of land, buildings and improvements
Restaurant chattels, chairs, tables, freezers, crockery, etc.
Dive and snorkel gear, compressor, tanks, suits, etc.
Seafriends business goodwill, markets, consents, licences, franchise
Total sale value