Two of Northland’s most high-profile food and beverage establishments at the apex of the region’s premier tourism destination have been placed on the market for sale.

35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar, and adjoining venue Alongside sit on a private wharf in the Bay of Islands – where hundreds of day-trip tourists depart daily on Bay of Islands cruises such the famous ‘hole in the rock’, alongside charter fishing boat operators and adventure ride businesses.

Nearby Waitangi Wharf is the main disembarkment point for cruise ship passengers calling into the Bay of Islands while the ‘floating cities’ dock in the middle of the bay. In the current cruise ship season running from September 2017 to June 2018, the Bay of Islands is scheduled to host some 63 passenger liners as this sector of the tourism industry continues to grow in popularity.

Casual-dining 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar opened at the end of 2013, following a major refurbishment of a somewhat dated hospitality operation which had been running in various guises on the site for several decades. The Alongside function venue opened shortly after in December 2013.

Now, the two hospitality businesses – and the fully stocked aquarium with its heritage crayfish – have been placed on the market for sale in a private treaty process through Bayleys Real Estate’s tourism and hospitality division, with offers closing at 4pm on April 12.

Bayleys’ tourism and hospitality group manager Paul Dixon and sales colleague Carolyn Hanson said the two fully licensed Paihia Wharf entities had been strategically developed to compliment different sectors of Paihia’s hospitality market. Collectively, the two venues had a seating capacity of 460 patrons.

Hanson said the two venues also offered efficiencies of scale in stock purchasing, staffing, and back-office administration. Combined, the two hospitality operations employ some 25 full-time staff, with an addition of 20 part-times staff brought in over the busy summer period – making them one of the largest food and beverage operations in Northland.

Together, the dual businesses generated a turnover of more than $3 million in the 2016/17 financial year.