A Queenstown farmer has bought a scenic rural property near Glenorchy, famous as a setting for TV commercials and films like The Lord of the Rings, for an undisclosed price.
The 257ha Arcadia Station, bordered by Diamond Lake, Mount Aspiring National Park and Dart River and the Paradise property, has been farmed for 60 years by Jim Veint (83), who in turn bought it off his father, Lloyd.
Veint will continue assisting with the farming operation and help recruit and train a new farm manager.
Ray White Queenstown owner/agent Bas Smith, who concluded the sale, said he was pleased that, in the face of considerable overseas interest, Veint had chosen a Kiwi buyer.
He confirmed the new owner, whom he would not identify, will continue to allow access for filming.
Though he would not confirm the purchase price, it had been on the market for between $15million and $20million.
Both sides gave in a little in order to secure a good, clean deal, Smith said.
He added the new owner would restore the historic 11-bedroom Arcadia Homestead, which was built by wealthy Englishman Joseph Fenn in 1906.
It was likely to become a guest-house.
Although the new owner will continue to run Arcadia Station as a working farm unit, about 21ha of rural visitor-zoned land, below the Glenorchy-Paradise Road, has significant development potential, including 12 consented, but as yet untitled, residential building platforms.
The property has featured in almost 20 films, going back to 1958, and hundreds of TV commercials.
Those in the industry hail it for its versatility as a location and its convenience, in view of the difficulty in gaining approval to shoot on Department of Conservation land.
British actor Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, calls it his favourite place on Earth.