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Exclusive property in millionaire’s paradise in New Zealand fails to sell

Mataka Station, a conservation area surrounded by sea with private white sand beaches, on the Bay of Islands north of Waitangi, is known as a millionaire's paradise.

But when a 53.5 hectare section, part of a working farm, valued at $2.5 million went to auction this week bidding fell well short of the expected price.

Even its place in history failed to attract a buyer. The station is also home to the historic Marsden Cross, which marks the site of the first Christian sermon to be delivered in New Zealand after the landing on Christmas Day in 1814 by the Rev Samuel Marsden.

Scott Cordes, communications manager for auctioneers Bayleys, said bidding opened at $1.3 million and went up in one hit to $1.4 million.

'The auction did not reach the reserve and has been set aside for further negotiations with the highest bidder,' he said.

Mataka is recognised as New Zealand's best rural waterfront real estate and the section has breathtaking scenery but no direct access to the beach.

Bayleys agent Michael Pleciak said the $2.5 million was 'a bargain' because other lots on the conservation estate have sold for more than $3 million.

'It's a fantastic setting and the owner has been clear that he will meet the market price,' said Pleciak.

Buyers, he said, were offered access to the entire farm, which included private beaches, boat-launching facilities, hiking and horse riding.