U.S. Billionaire Snaps Up New Zealand Resort
A luxury New Zealand resort is now in American hands. Wharekauhau Lodge is a tranquil getaway in southern Wairarapa that has played host to Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Bill Gates and many other rich and famous individuals. Billionaire William P Foley II is the new major shareholder. Foley is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Financial Inc. He is also the developer of Rock Creek Cattle Company, an 80,000-acre working Montana ranch with a golf community and real estate development. He has not stayed at Wharekauhau before but has invested in New Zealand wine businesses. The sale price of the lodge hasn't been disclosed. The Dominion Post says that the new owners are planning a complete makeover of the property.
Like Foley's Montana property, Wharekauhau is a working farm. The estate is home to Romney and Texel sheep and Angus and Simmental breeds of beef cattle. The farm is 5,500 acres and has a main lodge that resembles an Edwardian country mansion. There's also a small group of guest cottages and Chateau Wellington, a three-bedroom house with views of Palliser Bay. The recreation center includes a heated indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court and outdoor jacuzzi.