Waiwera Thermal Resort and Spa

PHOTO: The Waiwera Thermal Resort and Spa. Photo: Google Maps

Wairewa’s long abandoned thermal resort is being marketed as having extraordinary potential for tourism as the current owners look for a development partner or buyer.

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The resort’s well-documented demise was caused by the sudden departure of its investor Russian businessman and reported billionaire Mikhail Khimich in 2018, who is reported to have since died in Russia with Covid-19.

Now the properties’ current owners Urban Partners, with realtor Colliers, are looking for a joint venture partner or buyer for the resort, hotel, water bottling and campground.

Project director Doug Osborne said they expect interest from around the world.

“The site has extraordinary potential, recognised as a regional tourist attraction by the Auckland Unitary Plan and has zoning allowing for business, residential developments, health and wellness, tourism, hospitality and visitor accommodation.”

Osborne said the border closures had delayed the quest for a development partner.

A look inside the now abandoned Waiwera thermal pools

A look inside the now abandoned Waiwera thermal pools Photo: Newsroom.co.nz

“While we have long understood the potential of the site, the subsequent restrictions of Covid, and associated border closures, have added further delays to our goal of finding an excellent partner who can see the wellness opportunity of the site and work with us to develop the coastal haven to its potential,” he said.

“We have always had high ambitions and the best of intentions for this wonderfully unique freehold location and its thermal waters, and now that the main issues behind the protracted delays have been resolved, we are happy to confirm we are marketing the site to those interested in partnering, developing, or purchasing this world-class wellness destination.”

He said the marketing campaign will target those in the wellness, tourism, leisure and recreational sectors.

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Colliers director of sales Josh Coburn said the opportunity to redevelop a coastal enclave near Auckland is unique.

“Waiwera offers what no other property in New Zealand can; a coastal development of scale, within 45 minutes of Auckland’s CBD, with the benefit of a rare geothermal bore.”