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.

Auto

PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

Your van can be backcountry-ready for the weekend and back to work Monday morning.
Outdoors

Tree Tents’ Fuselage Is an Extreme Wilderness Cabin Unlike Any Other

This aircraft-inspired wilderness "cabin" is no ordinary tiny home.
Travel

21 Best Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Adventure

Get out of town ... or just go to the library. Travel books simulate the sensations of sailing, sightseeing, and setting out to explore.
Travel

Enjoy a Different Kind of Island Life at this Private Scottish Escape

Eilean Shona is a self-described, lakefront “Neverland” where visitors are encouraged to appreciate the lost art of sitting still and doing nothing.
Living

Detroit’s Shinola Hotel Has Us Feeling Right At Home

With stylish guest suites and a social “living room,” the Shinola Hotel honors the Motor City’s past while looking to a bright future.
Living

This Crazy Weighted Blanket Will Have You Sleeping Like the Dead

When we first heard about the idea of a weighted blanket, and more specifically the Bearably blanket we were, to say the least, pretty skeptical...
Living

This Brutalist Revival Home in Greece Stands Out By Blending In

Forget those white stucco homes of Santorini. Patio House is the future of Greek design.
Living

All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked

It wasn't easy, but we ranked every Six Flags location in the United States. You're welcome.
Living

Bruce Willis’ $13 Million Country Estate Is For Sale

Butch Coolidge and Korben Dallas would never live in a bucolic country estate in New York, which is why it’s so shocking that action movie superstar Bruce Willis did.
Travel

The Palms Casino’s Newest High-Roller Suites Have a Bowling Alley and Whiskey Room

The Hardwood Suite is a basketball-centric masterpiece, while the Kingpin suite is a bowling bro's paradise.
Living

Old Meets New in a Unique Way in Chicago’s Cortez House

Cortez House is refreshingly modern but with nods to the building’s past … including the original meat cooler.
Living

The Best Mattresses for Side-Sleepers Who Need Support

Do you sleep on your side? You may need a mattress designed with you in mind.
Living

The Jamaican Villa Where Ian Fleming Created James Bond is for Rent and It Is Amazing

You can vacation at the birthplace of secret agent 007, complete with butlers to make your martinis.
Living

The Best President’s Day Sales on Luxury Pillows This Weekend

Tired of sleeping on that old pillow? Upgrade to something more luxurious.