A country pub adjacent to the hugely successful New Zealand national cycle network has been placed on the market for sale – just as a new spur to the track has opened up a few kilometres away.
The Coach House hotel in the Coromandel township of Puriri sits on the Thames to Paeroa link of the Hauraki Rail Trail which opened in 2012, and now rivals the Otago Rail Trail as New Zealand’s most used tourism cycling amenity.
In five short years the Hauraki Rail Trail has continually expanded – driven by high visitor numbers from across the ‘Golden Triangle’ population matrix of Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland. The new 55 kilometre Kaiaua/Thames trunk of the cycle route opened this month.
The Coach House hotel is located some 250 metres from the off-road cycle track, with the new Kaiaua/Thames spur making Puriri township a ‘pass-through’ point rather than a termination or commencement destination.
The property at 8865 Paeroa-Kopu Road – also known as State Highway 26 – traces its roots back to 1881 when the nearby Coromandel region to the north was prospering through the kauri logging and gold mining economic activities, with the Karangahake Gorge to the south was prospering through the gold mining and road building.
The hotel was built as a coach stop on the Thames to Paeroa/Thames to Waihi/Thames to Te Aroha routes. Horses were stabled at the rear of the property and in a neighbouring paddock.
Sitting on some 3,165 square metres of freehold land, the Coach House land, buildings and hospitality business are being jointly marketed for sale at auction on December 6 by Bayleys Thames and Bayleys Hamilton.
Bayleys Hamilton salesperson Josh Smith says the 450 square metre building contained five double-bedrooms, a café-style restaurant, and two traditional Kiwi country style bar areas – one a ‘public’ bar, and the other area known as the ‘ladies lounge’ dating back to the early 1900s when women were not allowed to meet in the male-only bastion of the main bar, and a north-facing grassed garden bar with children’s playground.
Josh says the building’s amenities had been substantially refurbished and modernised over the past two years – with a more family-orientated clientele now stopping in for meals and drinks.
“Like many country hotels throughout New Zealand, the Coach House has transitioned from serving a purely gumboot and singlet-wearing local rural clientele, into a destination venue,” he said.
“Saying that, the pub has remained true to its loyal customers who have enjoyed the brighter new format and wider range of both food and beverage options, as well as entertainment ranging from the traditional pool table through to big-screen TVs showing sporting events.”
A commercial-grade kitchen in the Coach House serves both gastro’ pub meals such as dukkha-crusted prawns or coconut curry mussels in the main restaurant, through to short-order bar food such as gourmet burgers and chips in both of the two bars.
Cooking equipment in the kitchen features a six-burner gas hob, deep fryer and grillers – both under a stainless-steel extraction range – walk-in chiller unit, and commercial-grade dish washer/rinser.
Mr Davis of Bayleys Thames says the property represented an opportunity for either an investor to buy the premises and lease out the food, beverage and accommodation business to an operator, or for a hospitality-focused owner-occupier to take on the premises lock-stock-and barrel and expand the current range and standard of offerings.
Mr Davis said that while the prominently-positioned pub had undergone internal enhancement over the past couple of years, there was further opportunities to add more value and service offerings on the site.
“At the side of the property is an expansive flat grassed area – where the original coach horses were allowed to graze - which could be developed into a camping amenity through the installation of motor home power cabling, or an ablution block to service tent campers,” he said.
“This would have the obvious benefit of driving business to the adjacent restaurant and bar.”