By Donna McIntyre
Having a Muriwai bolthole has been a great way for Victoria Crone and her daughters to escape the demands of their city lives.
Victoria bought the bach in the summer of 2014, living in her Auckland apartment during the school and working week and heading to the coast for holidays and some weekends.
"Ever since I moved to Auckland, I've loved the Muriwai area," she says. "It's rugged, wild and stunning. I have family nearby in Waimauku so that's been a bonus.
"There's so much to do in Muriwai - the beach, bush walks, horse riding, take the Jeep off-road down the beach where no one is around."
Handy, too, being just 40 minutes' drive from Auckland's CBD.
"You feel like you're miles away from the city despite being so close. The beauty of the west coast manages to put everything in life in perspective quickly," says Victoria, who now heads government growth agency Callaghan Innovation after polling second in last year's Auckland mayoralty elections behind Phil Goff.
Victoria brings her two daughters, their dog, Milo, and cat Moochi to the 1970s brick and cedar house that overlooks the coastline. To the left are the hills of Muriwai, then the golf course and beach, and the forest on the right-hand side.
"It's such a powerful landscape," she says.
"The house is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the best of Muriwai, while being nestled nicely into the landscape."
The angles at the front of the home mean the indoor-outdoor living, kitchen and master bedroom share the same views as the lounge.
"No matter where I am or what I'm doing - relaxing, cooking, working - I get to enjoy the surrounds," says Victoria.
The bach's entrance has stairs on the left up to the main bedrooms. Kitchen, living and dining are on the entry level with access to the deck and front lawn.
There is also a bedroom and bathroom on this level, plus a double garage housing the laundry, bikes, kayaks and the jet ski. And, being close to the beach, there's an outdoor shower for rinsing off sand after walks and swims.
Victoria has upgraded the Fisher & Paykel applianced kitchen, put in a new outdoor shower and a better laundry.
Floors are concrete and wooden. "This is functional, however, they also complement the landscape [the house] sits in," she says. "It's white, has a brick feature wall downstairs, and some beautifully designed light shades to add a bit of flair."
There is a heat pump when needed but Victoria says the brickwork retains a lot of the daytime solar warmth.
Upstairs are the master bedroom, en suite and two more bedrooms, one of which is much bigger than the master room. This room is where Victoria's daughters and their friends tend to hang out.
Victoria says the views from upstairs are too good to close out with drawn curtains or blinds.
"I have to say my favourite thing is waking up in the morning and watching the views as the sun rises. Invigorating. It's a great house for a family and for entertaining. We've had lots of kids there playing games outside. The great thing is you can configure these rooms in different ways; it's very flexible."
She thinks her property is special because of the views and its easy accessibility to the city.
"It's a view that will never be built out or interrupted.
"I'll often take the dog running on the beach in the morning, come back, wash him in the outdoor shower, cook breakfast for the kids and eat it outside, then spend the day at the beach with the kids, maybe do some gardening.
"Then Mum and Dad may head over for dinner or we'll tuck into fish and chips and a movie. It doesn't get better than that."
She is selling because she doesn't get out to Muriwai as much as she would like. "I'd love the chance for another family to really enjoy it. Either someone wanting to live permanently in Muriwai, or a family looking for a bach without the hassle of several hours' commute."