Little Joe Mackenzie is the fourth generation of his mother's side of the family to live in this cleverly designed waterfront home which was well ahead of its time when it was built in the 1960s.
Sitting proudly at the top end of Vista Cres in Glendowie, the two-storey concrete block-and-cedar-clad home has seductive views of Tamaki Estuary and the Hauraki Gulf.
Joe's grandmother, Diana Daniel, grew up in the neighbourhood and his maternal great grandparents bought the Vista Cres property in the 1970s. When Diana's parents died in the 1980s, she and her husband David felt the property was too special to leave the family, so they bought it for their own family of four children.
David says shifting several kilometres to live in Glendowie from a bungalow they had been about to extend in Epsom was a bold move, but settling into their new home took no time.
"Your life goes with you, particularly when you have children.
"Our kids moved to the local schools, joined the local tennis club and we all just got on with enjoying the fabulous lifestyle you can have here so close to the water."
That lifestyle included forays on to the water from the bottom of their 1662sq m property in a small yacht, waterskiing from a motorised tinny in nearby Karaka Bay and messing about in a row boat that once washed away with the tide and ended up in Devonport. Diana remembers, as a child, running down to swim at the beach through an area nicknamed Fantail Forest, which is now the Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve.
Sweeping across the front of the Daniels' elevated three-tiered property, the reserve extends 2km at low tide to the end of a sandspit they can see from their front deck.
Birdlife in the reserve includes kingfishers, fantails, Californian quail, cock pheasants and pukeko. From the top level of the house, the views extend from the Glendowie Boating Club, Brown's, Motutapu and Motuihi Islands around to Musick Point, Bucklands Beach and Half Moon Bay, with a peep of the Tamaki River and its moored boats.
As the Dutch consul, Diana's father had bought the house so he could host large parties and the Daniels continued that tradition with three 21st birthdays and a wedding.
"There have been lots of parties ... some that we've known about," jokes Diana.
A large rumpus room on the bottom level has been ideal for teenagers. Also on this level are an adjoining internal-access double garage, small office, fourth double bedroom, purpose-built tool room and laundry.
Stairs lead up from the rumpus room to a well-planned main level which includes spacious and light formal living, dining, kitchen and family rooms that run across the north facing front of the house and open on to the deck.
The master bedroom at the northeast end of the house has his and hers wardrobes with original fittings, a dressing room and an en suite with views out over Tamaki Estuary and the sandspit.
On the south side of a central hallway are two more well-proportioned double bedrooms on either side of a large bathroom.
The Daniels' cosmetic changes over the years have included renovating the bathrooms and the kitchen, painting and recarpeting, but the house has not changed structurally since it was built and retains most of its original internal features.
Now that three of their four adult children are settled overseas, the Daniels feel it is time to move to a lock-up-and-leave property so they can travel more.By Jane Loudon