Hang up your beach towel and togs

By Donna McIntyre

81 QUEENS DR, WAIHEKE ISLAND
3
1
0*
SIZE: Land 1598sq m, house 104sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: High $800,000s to low $900,000s. Set sale date 4pm, September 30.
INSPECT: Sat, 11am-noon or phone for appt.
ON THE WEB: bayleys.co.nz/173485
SCHOOL ZONES: Waiheke Primary, Te Hurihi Primary, Waiheke High.
CONTACT: Clive Lonergan, Bayleys, ph (09) 372 0222 or 0274 993 278.
FEATURES: * but roadside parking for three cars. Character cottage on ridge over looking Hekerua Bay, on landscaped section. Two decks, three bedrooms. Open plan living all facing north with views. Separate sleepout.
81 Queens Drive, Waiheke Island.
81 Queens Drive, Waiheke Island.

Take a ferry to Waiheke Island from Auckland, jump on the bus and you'll reach this charming cottage with northern views over Hekerua Bay and out to the Hauraki Gulf.

The location is perfect, says Katie Mills of the house her mum, Helen Mills, bought 11 years ago.

"It is super-peaceful and private. The location feels secluded but it is still central."

She says her mum, an artist, has loved living in a community where being an artist is really celebrated.

Helen has spruced up the 1970s home, repainting the interior, regalvanising the steel on the deck and adding curtains, blinds and artwork to make it homely.

"That's Mum's thing. Her homes are always beautiful, thoughtful," says Katie.

The hideaway home on the Queens Drive ridge has been a popular spot with the family and friends.

"This place is mostly about the views," Katie explains. "Nothing beats sitting on that deck with a glass of wine, shooting the breeze. And in winter you crank up the fire. The house is protected from the southerlies and it's quite dramatic in terms of watching the weather come in.

"It's also a great house for entertaining. And there is room to be contemplative. It truly is Waiheke time when you get over here. You mean to take the 1pm ferry back and end up taking the 5 because you are having such a good time."

Access is by a crushed shell path down from Queens Drive, each step defined by sleepers. This picturesque entrance leading to the covered front veranda hints at the thought that's gone into landscaping the 1598sq m section with meandering paths, native bush, citrus trees and a seat along those paths on which to appreciate the views over the bay.

Inside, with its wooden floors and leadlight window detailing, the cottage's layout has the main living room as you come in, with sliding windows to the deck. Next is the dining room, also opening to the deck, the kitchen, bathroom then two corner bedrooms. Stairs lead up to the master bedroom and a study, a favourite spot with Helen's young grandchildren.

"It's a little hideaway ... it's pretty cool," says Katie. Shutters mean the study can look down to the living space or be closed for privacy.

Under the house is another bedroom, storage and a second large deck.

Katie explains how, at one stage, this room was renovated in the Changing Rooms TV show fronted by Kerry Smith.

"Mum had this as her study because she was making a lot of hypertufa and sculpture."

When the family visit they also enjoy the coastal walks, paddleboarding or heading to Little Oneroa Beach for the playground, coffee and pizza.

"Mum also likes that you can take the ferry and in 40 minutes be at Britomart or Downtown."

But Helen has decided to sell her Waiheke hideaway so she can move back to Auckland. "All her grandchildren are on the other side and also my sister in Tauranga has a new baby girl and another grandchild is on the way with my brother. We're not too boo-hoo about it, though, as we have our memories. The house is ready for someone else who will love it as much as we have.

"Once they put their paintings on the wall and hang the towels over the deck, it will be theirs to enjoy."

- NZ Herald

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