Seafriends for sale
a description of the Seafriends property and assets
June 2006

With deep sadness we are offering the Seafriends property and business for sale. This document gives you insight in Seafriends as a marine conservation and education centre, and the 10ha property on which it is based. First preference goes to buyers who wish to continue the Seafriends 'business' of marine education and invest further to make it more viable. Last preference is for buyers who just wish to buy a unique gem of a property for a private dwelling.

description of the property
The Seafriends property has seen a dramatic change from a naked subsistence farm to a millionaire's dream with fully grown specimen trees, a playful design and plenty of privacy and space to realise more dreams.
description of the cafe/ restaurant
The old shearing shed (woolshed) has been converted to a cafe/restaurant with educational facilities and a marine aquarium, while retaining a rustic look. Various terraces from the patio to outside, make the place an attractive venue for parties.
description of the education centre
The education centre shares its classroom with the restaurant. Visitors find Seafriends friendly for children because it is adventuresome and has marine aquariums with fish.
potential growth and investment path
With further investments, the education centre can build further on its reputation and uniqueness.
time table and sale value
Seafriends is a running concern with business commitments.
For further information, e-mail Dr Floor Anthoni: floor (at)
-- Seafriends home -- sitemap -- Rev 20060613,

Description of the property
The site is described as Part Allotment 45 Parish of Omaha, a triangular section of 10.05 hectares bordered by the Leigh to Pakiri Road on the northern boundary and the Goat Island Road on its eastern boundary. The site contains a number of buildings associated with the operation of the Marine Education Centre, including an aquarium, library, dive workshop and cafe and an old dwelling. These existing buildings are located towards the south eastern boundary of the site where the land is most accessible and flat. The site is generally steeply sloping in contour but extensively tracked for access by tractor. There is a flat site towards the top of the property, suitable as a building site for a one-dwelling subdivision. It has breath-taking views of 270 degrees from the Hen and Chicken Islands to Auckland. The view over Goat Island Road towards Goat Island is particularly beautiful. The property and cottage have played a role in the history of the area. Located about 90 km north of Auckland where the Pakiri Road crosses Goat Island Road and the Omaha Access Road, it has once been used as the local school. It has also provided the oxen and horses to pull cars over the muddy back roads. Because of its warm sheltered aspect, it had extensive fruit trees as even tomatoes were grown in the open air.
The property once belonged to a 200 acre holding granted to Duncan Kemp on 20th June 1864. 80 acres of this were later given to the three Knagg brothers, hence the present-day partial allotment of 25 acres of lot 45.
Limited as to Parcels
Search Copy

Identifier: NA545/260
Land Registration District: North Auckland
Date Issued: 27 November 1931
Prior References: DI 6B.512

Estate: Fee Simple
Area: 10.0519 hectares more or less
Legal Description: Part Allotment 45 Parish of Omaha
Proprietors: Anthoni Family Trust
Interests: D629009.2 Mortgage to Southland Building Society - 7.8.2001 at 2.06 pm

location map showing planned subdivision
Location map drawn for the denied subdivision
click on the image for a larger version. High res.

aerial view of the whole property
In this aerial view, taken in 1999, the Pakiri Road winds up-hill along the southern boundary (left).
Not in view is the Goat Island Road, along the bottom. The palmtree-lined drive is at bottom centre,
and the garage, cottage, woolshed and marquee in centre. The knoll with commanding views at top centre.

Old cottage and poplar valley
The old cottage is sheltered all around. In the distance the poplar trees losing their leaves in autumn.
In the far distance the knoll providing 270 degrees of stunning panorama, the declined house site.

side and front of the woolshed
Frontal and side view of the woolshed. Above the restaurant/ classroom and cafe; below the dive rental store, toilets and showers. Click on the image for an enlargement. High-res.
plan view of woolshed and terraces
Plan view of the woolshed complex with paved paths and terraces. Click on the image for a larger view. High-res.
stately palms welcome visitors
The main entrance road is bordered by a row of Phoenix palm trees.
An inviting bed of blue agapanthus
One bank of the main entrance road is retained by a dense agapanthus bed.
View towards Goat Island marine reserve
The view over the Goat Island valley with Goat Island . The coast around the island is a marine reserve.
Historical cottage seen from Poplar Valley
The historical cottage seen from poplar valley. More palm trees bordering the 'bottom field'.
Old cottage with hand-sawn weatherboards
The kauri cottage is made of hand-sawn weatherboards.
Verandah on the shaded side
On its shaded side, the cottage has a verandah.
Phoenix palms dwarfing a child
The alternative entrance drive is flanked by Phoenix palms, but is not hardened.
A path through dense plantings
A paved walkway leads from the cottage to the woolshed, through dense plantings, a childrens' forest.
relaxing on one of the many lawns
Plenty of lawns to enjoy the sun and the fragrance of foliage and flowers.

aerial view towards the east
An aerial view of the property looking East, taken in 1999, shows
Poplar Gully in the centre and many shelter belts.

Description of the cafe/ restaurant
The combined use of the main space in the woolshed as class room and as restaurant was possible because the restaurant operated mainly at night as the schools came during the day. Also the main business for the restaurant happened in the summer school holidays.
The cafe has inside seating for 50-60 people and was, till recently, fully licensed for as many. Sewage and toilet facilities have been provided to suit. There are two normal toilets and an invalid's toilet with ramp access. Kitchen facilities are found in an 'inside' kitchen for direct access from the main restaurant, the main kitchen for cooking, meal preparation and dishwashing and a servery adjoining the patio terraces.
The patio terraces, outside terraces and inside dining room are ideally suited for parties and are limited only by inside seating for 50-60 guests.

The cafe/restaurant which opened in December 1992 was a popular place with good patronage, even through winter when special evenings were organised to celebrate the cooking from various ethnic origins: French, Mediterranean, Indonesian, Dutch. Also special fish food celebrations were held. For these occasions the restaurant was changed entirely by means of props and elaborately painted scenery. These have been stored in the attic above the restaurant.

Since a spate of new cafes and restaurants appeared outside Warkworth, and also since strict drunk-driving laws, the restaurant has lost patronage to the extent that it urgently needs to find a new identity. Even so, it must be remembered that the main business season in New Zealand is very short and that the winter months would be best served by closing the centre and to implement changes and additions.

The combination of a cafe with the education centre worked well as it provides another attraction for visitors.

The centre of activity around the parking place, bordered by Norfolk pines and Phoenix palm trees.
In the foreground the cafe/education centre complex.

The dive shop can be very busy
The dive shop can be a busy place in summer when the weather is fine but the parking facilities are always adequate.
The covered patio terrace
The patio terrace has been roofed over and is protected against wind and weather.
The outside terrace
A wedding party just before the arrival of bride and groom. The outside terrace is large enough to seat 120 in a marquee.
Restaurant seating for 50 guests
Inside seating allows for 50 guests but more can be accommodated with different configurations of tables and chairs. This was once a shearing shed.

Description of the education centre
Since the late 1980s, New Zealand's seas have experienced rapid degradation, which even today, has not been sufficiently recognised. In 1990 Dr Anthoni decided to devote the rest of his life to saving the sea, for which a marine education centre was needed. Located near the first marine reserve at Goat Island, exploring the sea was an important activity that our children should not miss out on. From humble beginnings with secondhand suits, eventually an extensive collection of special wetsuits emerged in a large variety of sizes. With it came a large collection of fins and masks. Even optically corrected masks are available for short and long sighted divers.

Between 1992 and 2000, the Goat Island marine reserve enjoyed spectacular popularity because of the many friendly fishes that were attracted by feeding them. However, since the Department of Conservation prohibited fish feeding, the numbers of visitors diminished. But enthusiasm from schools remained, sufficient to keep Seafriends in business. Now that the plight of the sea is becoming popularised, interest for the marine environment may increase again, just at a time that Seafriends' educational resources have been developed.

A day at Seafriends typically rotates students between three activities: rocky shore studies, snorkelling in the sea, and lecture with aquarium visit and a movie. But many more resources have been developed for further studies and skills development (see appendix). The Seafriends web site on internet has become an indispensable resource for schools, educators and decisionmakers. Unfortunately, most students visit Seafriends only one day in their lives, and even then the programme is rushed. Our most memorable visit has been the Correspondence School who enjoyed a full week submersion in matters of the sea. It demonstrated that our programmes are able to keep children fascinated from eight in the morning till ten at night, for a whole week. Such programmes can be reinstated in the form of summer camps, once accommodation has become available. See the list of resources in the appendices.

When considering that the education centre opened in December 1992 with hardly anything to show for, the progress made since, is indeed exemplary.

Children being lectured
Children being lectured in the classroom, which can seat over 60 in theatre style. In the background the extensive nature library. The brown doors lead to the aquariums.
A hustle at the dive shop
Visitors getting dressed in professional wetsuits with excellent buoyancy and protection. All sizes, short or tall, can be accommodated.
Schoolchildren receiving snorkel instruction
Seated on the beach and already dressed in protective long wetsuits, school children receive snorkel instructions and safety procedures.
Keen to go snorkelling
The snorkelling is the highlight of a school visit, and everyone is keen to enter the water. Sometimes dolphins come snooping around.

Potential growth and investment path
Seafriends has over the years suffered tremendously from underfunding. Had it been able to start larger, it would have been able to retain markets better and to draw more income. Over the years, small competitors have started in snorkel hire, dive hire, boat hire, kayaks, beach studies and snorkel guiding. All this to the detriment of Seafriends' income. Even though Seafriends enjoys kudos from its lofty aims, the average customer is more interested in convenience and price while often remaining unaware or uninterested of how they can help save the sea. Many cafes and restaurants are now competing for a slowly increasing market, each causing harm to the other. So where does Seafriends fit in today?

Time table and sale value
Seafriends has committed itself to honour all bookings till the end of the financial year on June 30th, 2007. Should the purchaser prefer an earlier settlement, these bookings should still be honoured.

The value of the property consists of the following assets:

Realistic present-day value of land, buildings and improvements 
Restaurant chattels, chairs, tables, freezers, crockery, etc. 
Dive and snorkel gear, compressor, tanks, suits, etc. 
Seafriends business goodwill, markets, consents, licences, franchise 
Total sale value 
$ 2,100,000
$      30,000
$      10,000
$      60,000
$    150,000
$ 2,350,000

Please note that a sale is not binding until a contract of sale and purchase has been signed by both parties.