Rachelle and Marty Christian Kells can't decide if you come through the front door or the back door to their Kumeu home.
Rachelle says the front is where the main entrance is, but Marty says the front is where all the living is.
The couple jokes they have argued about this for six years but it doesn't much matter because they both agree the vista at the front (or the back) off the lounge, past the pool and the paddocks to the bush, is magical.
Once you are through the gate, you're in paradise, they say.
Rachelle tells how one misty morning deer appeared from the bush in the distance.
"It was just like from another world. It was amazing, magical. And then another thing which is really beautiful is in autumn you get the hot air balloons coming over."
The couple, children Yasmin and Giselle, four waggy dogs, three cats and two kunekune pigs (Dorothy and Lola - they "sleep, itch and eat", says Giselle) have loved living here and the adults are getting pretty sentimental about leaving.
Rachelle and Marty are animal mad. Turn around and there is a dog or a cat hoping for a pat: "It's animal heaven," they say.
The Kumeu River runs at the end of the property and though they can't see it, they can access it. On the other side is a reserve, which they say means the property can't be built out.
Though they don't have animals in the paddocks, they say you could easily have a horse and they have enjoyed watching the neighbour's horses, and often foals, in the paddock next door.
The house itself is warm and homely but stylish and with high ceilings. There is a great expanse of polished matai floors throughout the kitchen, dining and living areas which, though open plan, still have a degree of separation.
"It's got a soul," Rachelle says. "A lot of people have said that about our house. I think it's because you still feel really connected to nature, what's going on outside, because you walk in and straight away you're drawn to the bush. You kind of feel you're part of what's going on outside."
Outside is a deck area with an outdoor fire where the children roast marshmallows, and a pool which has lights for evening swims.
The sun pours in on the kitchen side in the morning and winds its way around the house through the day. Downstairs there is a playroom, which could be a bedroom and another big bedroom people often think is the master bedroom, but it's not.
That's upstairs, where the couple has been known to have four dogs on the bed. There's another deck overlooking the pool and the view.
Rachelle says the property is perfect for those wanting to get a little out of the city but who still want plenty of amenities. Kumeu is growing with new housing and a new supermarket being built, and this is wine country, too.
Whoever lives here will have the best of everything, she says. They are moving to be nearer to Rachelle's family, though Marty says he will especially miss the heritage fruit trees he put in - figs, feijoas, apples and plums.
But they are going to build their dream home which will include a three-car garage designed with the dogs in mind - "They're going to have their own wing," says Rachelle.
She's quite serious - the dogs will get the old sofas - though it's a pretty good guess they'll have the run of the new property, too.