Queenstown wharves base for new tourism venture

Future secure: New owner has plans for a ‘stunning resort waterfront village'

A joint venture between Southern Discoveries, Real Journeys and Remarkables Jet has bought Queenstown's St Omer and O’Regans Wharves from Ngai Tahu Property at auction.

Diversified tourism operator, Southern Discoveries, owned by Skeggs Group, is the main leaseholder.

Southern Discoveries managing director David Skeggs says the deal secures the future for the company’s forthcoming new operation to Mt Nicholas Station.

Remarkables Jet director John Porter says the partners’ plans included developing a “stunning waterfront resort village” serviced by a new regular jet ferry service between Queenstown and Remarkables Park at the western end of Lake Wakatipu.

Remarkables Park owns Remarkables Jet.

Tony McQuilkin, a director of Real Journeys, says the company is pleased to have secured substantial additional wharfage to allow future vessel operations on the lake.

The acquisition includes:

  • O’Regan’s Wharf, built in 2007 for $1.5 million with commercial leases in place to tourism operators.
  • St Omer Wharf, which includes a building providing 71sq m of lettable area, plus parking and commercial boat fuel facilities leased to Southern Discoveries.
  • A Queenstown Bay swing mooring on the Gardens side of Queenstown Bay.
  • Kelvin Heights Jetty, a foreshore jetty in The Narrows with foreshore access from Kelvin Heights below the golf course.

The wharves were marketed by Rory O’Donnell and Mark Simpson of Colliers in Queenstown.

They are subject to a long-term lake bed licence and ground lease agreements, with rights of renewal.

Tony Sewell, chief executive of Ngai Tahu Property, says in a prepared statement that the company decided to sell to renew focus on “core business and strategic direction”.

When it was built, O’Regan’s Wharf was described as a $1.2 million venture. Queenstown Lakes District Council contributed $285,000 for landscaping.

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I thought there was already a stunning resort waterfront village there called Queenstown. But maybe I missed something.

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