Maximising the Mackenzie lifestyle

Maximising the Mackenzie lifestyle
Merino Downs is a small, exclusive community of like-minded families who cherish nature.

Located in the heart of the South Island’s Mackenzie Basin, Merino Downs beckons its fortunate residents the opportunity to experience the outdoor paradise that lies literally on their doorstep.
Co-developer Chris White says the area is the perfect junction for exploring the Mackenzie, Waitaki and Aoraki Mount Cook areas with the convenience of the laid-back town of Twizel just five minutes away.
The Mackenzie Basin is a beautiful part of the world not facing the same pressure and congestion as other New Zealand tourist regions, Chris says.“I think the ability to access the outdoors here at a relatively low price is quite unique.”
The region has massive open plains and valleys within the mountains, along with New Zealand’s largest watershed of rivers and streams; it is also internationally renowned for its massive canal trout as well as its crystal clear night skies.“This Central South Island location has a rugged, idyllic serenity that is difficult to experience in the more urbanised tourist destinations.
“Unlike nearby mountain destinations, the quaint, small Kiwi-town feel of Twizel has survived amidst large-scale high country runs.The economic hub of the region, it is a town of just 1300 permanent residents, offering schools, healthcare facilities, and general services.
For permanent residents, second-home owners, and visitors alike, the location features the best of both worlds, pastoral landscapes with outdoor adventure as well as easy access to township and travel.In developing Merino Downs Chris has partnered with North American entrepreneur and environmentalist Trammell Crow.
Together the pair have engaged best-in-class architects, landscapers, and engineers and are working to make Merino Downs the most accessible and sustainable, intimate, luxury living community in the Mackenzie Basin.
With a total of 34 lots sized 5,000 to 6,000 square metres, Merino Downs is a small, exclusive community of like-minded families who cherish nature and the laid-back Kiwi connection to the unique environment around them.
The subdivision is about maximising lifestyle, not the number lots. More than 50% borders rural land with 360 degree vistas of different mountain ranges from each cardinal point of the compass.
“We wanted to maintain this rural environment which is why we have larger lots. Priced from $375,000 to $435,000, the first lots were offered for sale about 18 months ago; of these half had sold by late last year.
A considerable investment has been made in landscaping and recreational features, including three kilometres of post and rail fencing, rabbit fencing and a walking track connected to a park and reserve.Dwellings can only be single level and must adhere to a 15 metre boundary setback.
While buildings in the subdivision are subject to covenants, intended in part to preserve the architectural integrity of the development, these are not too onerous compared to some.
Planning rules for properties of the lot sizes available allow for a secondary dwelling of up to 50 square metres which means there is potential to provide tourist accommodation; based on existing rates, this could create up to $30,000 a year income, Chris says.
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