Relax and adjust pace to village life

By Catherine Masters

397 MATAKANA VALLEY RD, MATAKANA
3
1
0*
SIZE: Land 1.428ha, house 140sq m
PRICE INDICATION: Interest expected above $900,000, set sale date closes 4pm, Feb 5 (unless sold prior).
INSPECT: Phone the agent for viewing times.
SCHOOL ZONES: Matakana Primary, Mahurangi College
CONTACT: Shane Romani, Sotheby's Realty, 021 889 906, (09) 360 7771
FEATURES: *Plenty of room in a separate barn. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens and vast lawns, the dining and living areas enjoy great northwest aspect. A large barn, annex room and a small olive grove complete the property. Very close to Matakana Village, cinemas and markets.
397 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
397 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.

Jonathan Iles never thought he could afford the kind of lifestyle property he dreamed about, but after moving to New Zealand from England the dream came true.

When the IT specialist saw a property in Matakana he fell in love with the gardens and the land first, then the house and the setting.

"Wandering around that, like, for me, an Englishman in New Zealand, was just an exquisite dream. It's just idyllic - really, really beautiful."

The cottage, which he believes was once a school house moved on to a 1.4ha section complete with olive trees, has been easy living and close to all that Jonathan loves.

He is a keen kayaker and takes his kayak to Matakana village, from where he paddles along the creek to the sea.

The village is a 2km easy walk, cycle or run and the coffee at the Black Dog cafe is great, he says. There is the farmers' market, a boutique cinema with different themed ceilings - and he says even the architecturally designed public toilets are worth talking about.

At home, he will miss curling up in the lounge and looking out the windows at the great view with the fire roaring in the winter and the doors and windows all open in the summer.

The house is cool when it's roasting outside, he says.

"Every room you have, including the bathroom and the loo, has a stunning view, so you can be in the shower and there's no net curtains or anything because you don't need them out there, and you're just looking out on tui sitting in the flax. I mean, it's nuts, it's just really nuts like that."

When he first saw the house and grounds he liked that everything seemed in proportion and that there was a sloped area with olive trees, which added more character.

He has made his own olive oil, too, which he says tastes great - "it's absolutely gorgeous and it's fresh and untainted".

"What you can do is collect the olives and go down to the village and there's a local press where you can put your olives in and get them pressed and for a relatively small charge, as long as you take your own bottles, get out your olive oil."

There's a big shed outside that swallows up his kayaks and motorcycles and he has even enjoyed maintaining the grounds.

"I just had to get myself a John Deere drive-on lawnmower, which is not quite as fast as my motorbikes but it's really good fun.

"I've had garden parties there - it's fantastic for entertaining. It was just exquisitely beautiful, that's what it was.

"It wasn't too big to be able to look after and it wasn't built up. It's a long way from other houses and I could also see the potential for developing it as well, which I never got to because things haven't worked out that way."

He did go as far as getting planning permission to extend the sleepout into a self-contained double bedroom and lounge, which would have been great for family and friends coming to stay, or it could be used for a rental.

He also believes the section is large enough to have a secondary dwelling.

Jonathan doesn't much want to leave, but he's spending more time in other countries because of his work so says it makes sense to move closer to the airport. "For me it was a dream place to live and to own and it will be somebody else's dream."

- NZ Herald

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