Truffles to top it all off

By Sandra Goodwin

SIZE: Land 4ha, house approx 490sq m plus loft above stables.
PRICE INDICATION: Asking price $3.25 million.
INSPECT: Please phone for viewing times.
SCHOOL ZONES: Te Hihi School, Rosehill College.
CONTACT: Jill Pickett, Ray White Remuera, ph 021 891 078 or 520 9100.
FEATURES: *Plus more in barn. Large solid masonry villa with outstanding views across the Manukau Harbour, loft accommodation above horse stables and a truffiere. Villa has three living areas plus office and opens to grounds including swimming pool, tennis court and helipad.
Laing Rd, Karaka. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Laing Rd, Karaka. Photo / Ted Baghurst

A minimal tweak in address made a major difference to the Burgess family, who scored whopping views when they moved just next door in a serene private road.

Tennis coach Kevin Burgess and his wife Clare, who also own a sporting goods company, previously lived with their three children in a new home they had built. They were initially quite content with the rural outlook from that home, located down an upmarket private road.

"And then we visited our neighbours and saw what absolutely amazing views they had," Kevin chuckles.

They lived down a slight dip, but their neighbours' circa-2000 masonry villa sat on a rise. It enjoys almost 360-degree views, including a vista across the Manukau Harbour to the Awhitu Peninsula, Titirangi and Auckland City.

"It seemed ironic that that sort of view was so close but yet so far," says Kevin.

Hence they were keen to buy when their neighbours sold five years ago, to secure those views and a wealth of facilities they knew their three growing children would love.

"There's so much to do here," says Clare, "with the pool, the tennis court, great outdoor living and the loft accommodation above the barn. And the whole place is wired for sound inside and out. At the same time it's got a lovely quiet position and you don't have to worry about children or pets being near the road."

They were also attracted by the opportunity to refresh the villa by renovating. They wanted to keep it on par with the distinctive extras it boasted; a helipad, an AstroTurf tennis court, a loft above stables and a truffiere (truffle orchard).

"The previous owners had the guru of truffles in New Zealand set it up some 12 or 13 years ago, planting 150 oak and hazelnut trees infected with the truffle fungus," says Kevin. The well-established trees have future potential to produce the pricey delicacies.

Their address is handy to sought-after private school ACG Strathallan College and only seven minutes' drive from the Southern Motorway.

Electronic security gates open to a tree-lined driveway, leading to a European-style fountained garden in front of this pleasingly symmetrical home with internal-access triple garage.

Clare has adorned selected windows with exterior wooden shutters, enhancing the home's enduringly appealing, classical ambience. Many rooms open to outdoors, and covered patios allow entertaining and view-gazing whatever the weather.

"You go out there and look at that view and the world just falls away," says Clare.

The spacious layout includes three living areas plus an office. A restful formal living room, another lounge and an airy open-plan kitchen/informal dining room accompany a formal dining room.

Six bedrooms, including a master suite and guest suite, are in two quite separate bedroom wings serviced by three bathrooms and a powder room.

"Lots of people can co-exist here and still have privacy," comments Kevin.

The resort-style pool complex has a waterfall feeding the heated pool, background planting and a spa pool nearby. Handy to the main home, attractive wooden stables have two horse boxes, tack and feed rooms and large storage areas which can house extra vehicles.

"The previous lady bred horses here so the stables are very well set up," says Clare.

The self-contained loft above the stables provides extra accommodation with a sizeable lounge-bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom.

The property's own bore feeds troughs, gardens, pool and home. Electric fencing defines four paddocks supplementing the truffiere.

Now their kids have grown, the couple are looking for a more lock-up-and-leave property.

- NZ Herald

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