You Could Own an Entire Abandoned New Zealand Village for Only $1.8 Million

If the drone of listening to your neighbors go about their daily lives has finally gotten to you, if you’ve longed for a lavish forever home on the water, or if you’re sitting on an ungodly pile of cash just waiting to be spent, we have a real estate investment opportunity for you.

lake waitaki village house
Trade Me

For about the cost of most decent single-family homes in Southern California, you can own the entire New Zealand village of Lake Waitaki. The official listing notes the property includes eight three-bedroom homes, nine garages, a bar, and a 6,300-square-foot lodge with a full commercial kitchen and a billiard parlor. Considering that it’s sat vacant for nearly three decades, it’s also remarkably well preserved.

What the new owner is likely paying for, however, is the views. The idyllic setting on the country’s South Island is sparsely populated, and the water and mountain vistas are spectacular. The surrounding area remains untouched by tourism and commercialization. The remote location means it’s well situated for skiing, hiking, and hunting. For a taste of civilization, there are plenty of vacation-friendly water and adventure opportunities available in the township of Oamaru less than an hour away.  It’s an ideal spot to start your own “digital detox” resort or opt to keep it all for yourself, your significant other, and your dogs and abscond from society a la Howard Hughes.

Lake Waitaki was settled in the 1930s as a permanent base for laborers who built and kept running the nearby Waitaki dam. In the mid-20th century, the settlement’s population peaked at more than 3,000 people. However, once the dam was automated in 1989, it no longer required workers to keep things chugging along and civilization in the rural outpost quickly dried up. The town has lain shuttered ever since. Thankfully, it received historical status in 1995 — a move that protected it from almost certain demolition.

The town is currently on the auction block for a cool NZ$2.8 million (USD $1.8 million). While that seems like a steal considering the price tag includes an entire village, recent legislation could make the sale far more challenging to complete. In August, the New Zealand government effectively banned foreign investors from buying homes or land in the country. So, if you’re keen to add Lake Waitaki to your investment portfolio, you might want to start looking at first marrying a Kiwi.


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