By Catherine Masters
Raewyn Court always had her eye on the houses high on the ridge of a volcanic crater looking across the harbour one way and out over the Onepoto Domain the other.
Husband Robert says though the couple had a beautiful property in Beach Haven with amazing views, Raewyn continually said as they drove to the harbour bridge she wished they could live with that view and that location.
The pair keep an eye on property and were regulars at auctions, so when Raewyn's daughter rang one day suggesting they go open-homing, they popped up the drive to this property and Raewyn said "Oh wow, I could live here".
They were lucky enough to buy the three bedroom 1960s concrete and brick build after the auction around three years ago and have enjoyed every moment of their life here.
Their kitchen/dining area is Raewyn's favourite spot to hang out. There are large windows everywhere and the view from the dining room takes in the lush greenery of the Onepoto Domain, which has a lake with ducks and pukekos plus walks, a cycle track, sports fields and a flying fox.
Walk into the kitchen and the view crosses the motorway and the curved Onewa Rd on ramp to the harbour and Viaduct.
To the left they see the yachts at the Bayswater Marina and they can see North Head in Devonport, plus a peep of Rangitoto.
Robert loves the views but also that they live on the ridge of a volcano - "Hard case, eh".
"You're digging in the garden and you get all these stones with holes that are aerated volcanic rock and they're light."
The eye is drawn to the views in nearly every part of the house. The lounge has picture windows across the harbour, as does one of the bedrooms, and the master bedroom has views across the Onepoto Basin.
Downstairs there is internal access to the garage and tons of storage, and outside they have a deck and seating areas, and a concrete platform with a path right down to the motorway.
They think that before the land below was reclaimed, the water would have reached the bottom of the path.
Robert says that "every single day" Raewyn raves about the location and the view.
The pair met in 1991, have run businesses and lived in Pauanui, Tauranga, Drury and Beach Haven, but have adored living here.
Big, fat wood pigeons visit regularly and Raewyn and Robert say the house is also a brilliant location for holiday-makers - the couple used to list it as a holiday rental from time to time.
Raewyn says: "Everyone who came - we got 47 remarks or something like that on Book-a-Bach and everyone is just 'Oh my God, location and views'."
It takes around four minutes to get to the CBD in off peak traffic and there is always something to watch, be it cruise ships coming through or traffic on the motorway.
Though they have loved living here, the retirees say it's time to downsize and make the most of their time, though Robert says their timing is a little off given Team New Zealand has now won the America's Cup.
"In another four years you can sit here and watch all the yachts coming and going."
They are moving to an apartment in Milford and plan to travel and seize the day, including buying a caravan and seeing more of New Zealand.
But, says Raewyn, "There's not one day I haven't appreciated being here."