The Riverhead Tavern about 30 kilometres northwest of Auckland is up for sale.

The tavern began trading in 1857 and is believed to be New Zealand's oldest riverside tavern.

JLL New Zealand Director of Hotels and Tourism Nick Thompson says opportunities like this are rare.

"The iconic offering in West Auckland presents a huge opportunity with a spectacular riverside location that is easily accessible by road and ferry with a substantial pontoon, jetty and pathway leading directly to the venue," said Mr Thompson.


"The added bonus of water access means regular ferries as well as personal recreational vessel and tenders from super yachts are able to gain direct access from the Auckland Anchorages to the hotel."

The Riverhead is steeped in local history and played a part in the development of early New Zealand with thousands using the wharf and hotel as the gateway to lands in the north before the completion of roads and railway.

The Riverhead has a waterfront harbour location and is an on-licence licenced premises that provides food and beverages across four main trading areas. Apart from being a local tavern, it provides extensive restaurant, function, and wedding facilities.

It is currently owned by Stephen and Paula Pepperall, who bought the property in May 2010, undertaking a major and award-winning renovation.

JLL Australia Hotels and Hospitality Group Vice President Will Connolly said opportunities like these are attracting constant attention from overseas.

"In recent years the New Zealand hospitality market has seen an influx from Australian-based capital, with prominent operating groups identifying the advantage to secure assets at a level in which is near on impossible in the Australian market given its tightly held and competitive environment," said Mr Connolly.

"Auckland is New Zealand's global gateway with more than 70 per cent of all international visitors arriving via Auckland International Airport (AIA) every year."

The current owners have invested about $6.42 million since 2010 into substantial renovations and extensions with the intention to move The Riverhead away from the traditional 'Country Pub' or 'Tavern' and develop into a destination venue offering three distinct trading operations with no direct 'like-for-like' competition.


Since its transformation The Riverhead has been a winner and finalist in several New Zealand hospitality and business awards with consistent trading from multiple revenue streams.

The substantial 5,131 square metre site comes with two adjoining vacant residential sites of 1,201 square metres and 1,252 square metres, located in one of Auckland's growth suburbs with substantial new residential developments set to continue.

Mr Thompson said that while the region around Riverhead and the neighbouring towns of Kumeu and Huapei have been traditionally known for their vineyards, better motorway connectivity means Riverhead is growing as a suburb with recent subdivisions and new housing being a strong feature of the surrounding landscape in recent years.

"The market for properties of this nature is developing, particularly in the West Auckland area with a number of family-friendly bistro-style restaurants and micro-breweries appearing. However, none of these can be directly compared to the multiple income streams and iconic nature of The Riverhead," Mr Thompson said.

The Riverhead is to be offered to market via an Expressions of Interest campaign closing Thursday 14 November. All enquiries can be made with Will Connolly at JLL on +61 432 116 287.