A 168 hectare Raglan property, with excellent pasture, a strong history of animal health, and numerous additional income streams is for sale.
Ross Loveridge practised as a vet in Raglan from the 1980s, visiting and admiring Ratanui Farm many times. In the early 2000s, when the farm came on the market, he and wife Jo had no hesitation in buying it.
“He could see the quality of the stock. Clear fresh permanent water, and the lushness of the valley rising to undulating and steeper country nurtures great stock.
“Our animals do well. We make sure they have a great life. All sheep and cattle born on the farm are grown right through. Most of our ewes carry twins, though we don’t scan, just ensure they can relax and have plenty to eat,” says Jo.
With Ross’s animal health background, the soil and pasture management of Ratanui guide the Loveridges to a clear philosophy on stock welfare and nutrition.
“We don’t farm for one day, we farm for the long term. Old fashioned grasses and our superior soils grow healthy stock. Our pastures include clover and plantain, with a little over-sowing. Our stock need trees growing to provide shade and shelter. Healthy stock is the first priority, achieved by careful attention to detail.
“We have totara, rimu, kahikatea, manuka and kanuka growing naturally on farm. With control, the streams are fenced and grow fern and kanuka, creating habitat for the tui, kereru and many other native bird species that make Ratanui home. By fencing these native areas with gates, we can spot spray troublesome weeds. Birdsong is the sound track to farm life.
“With their banks growing naturally, the pebble-bottom streams teem with eel, koura and frogs. We grow all our winter feed on farm. What is grown goes back into the land, nourishing our fertile soil,” says Jo.
Farming is in Ross’s blood: a farmer’s son, he worked on farms while studying veterinary science, and after he and Jo purchased the farm, they fully re-fenced every paddock.
“Ross carried on his full time vet practice, so I was shifting the stock. For ease of movement all paddocks now run onto laneways. Chasing stock around poor fencing is a waste of time, and will teach them how to run through a fence. Our fences are seven wire with battens and electrics, which helps keep the stock quiet and easily manageable,” she says.
Reluctantly deciding to end their tenure as custodians of Ratanui, the Loveridges brought in Richard Thomson of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Hamilton, who describes the property as a genuinely unique offering.
“Lying at the foot of the spectacular Te Mata Hills in the peaceful and fertile Kauroa Valley, its picturesque pebble-bottom streams, lush pastures, ethical farming practices, hospitality and proximity to Raglan set Ratanui apart as a magic formula combining unmatched lifestyle with numerous dependable income streams.
“Its main dwelling is a revamped heart rimu 1950s homestead that tastefully blends original features with modern updates to provide a friendly living environment, enhanced by outdoor living zones with an exceptional outlook,” says Richard.
Several additional revenue streams future-proof Ratanui for a new owner. These include a series of separate accommodation structures, including the refurbished shearing shed, a cottage and units in various parts of the farm, all finished to a high standard, which provide excellent potential revenue from accommodation and events.
As well as creating mountain bike tracks, plus a site on farm to launch hang gliders, providing flights down the valley and across the harbour, pre-covid Jo ran a thriving farm shop that could easily be re-opened, while a two hectare block of maturing pines, a one hectare block of Tasmanian blackwood and a scattering of gums for firewood add further income streams.
Grazing sheep, beef and dairy cattle, Ratanui is located 13 kilometres south east of Raglan and 43 kilometres west of Hamilton.
On offer in addition to the 168ha advertised is a further 97ha in four titles with one holiday unit.