Wairua Bay – now known as Carey Bay – is on the market after being in the ownership of just two families since 1871.

A 300-hectare landholding – with 5km of private coastline – has gone up for sale on Waiheke, with a price tag expected to run to the tens of millions.

It is the largest parcel of prime coastal land in the Auckland region to come on the open market in two decades.

Held in 16 titles, the property could be carved up or remain a private residence and working farm with potential for further development.

Accessed off Man O’ War Bay Road, it is located on the north-eastern side of the island with uninterrupted views of the Hauraki Gulf, with significant tracts of native bush and ancient pā sites.

The Carey family from the Scottish fishing town of Arbroath, headed by patriarch and gentleman farmer William Carey, settled on this Waiheke land in 1871 building a home at Wairua Bay – now Carey Bay – in 1886.

They farmed the land, having a herd of shorthorn cattle for dairying and clearing forestry for a firewood business.

The original family owners became renowned for their welcoming hospitality to locals and visitors, with four generations of Careys calling the property “home” before it changed hands 100 years after the initial purchase.

Anglo-American couple Philip and Diana Goldman bought the property in 1971, calling it Fountainhead Farm.

Initially splitting their time between Waiheke and California, Philip stepped back from the family business in the United States and they settled permanently on Waiheke extending the original Carey homestead with substantial additions made to the 1800s dwelling.

According to nephew Hugh Perkins, his Aunt Diana was the keen farmer of the pair, demonstrating a progressive approach to farming.

Philip Goldman had three main passions in life says Hugh: the libertarian movement – hence the name “Fountainhead”, after a book of the same name by Russian-American novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand; railways, and spending time on this Waiheke property.

With just two families as custodians since 1871, the land will now enter a new chapter.

• Liza Hamilton

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