One of the few remaining largely unaltered beach-front Auckland baches is on the market.

The Devonport home's kitchen faces away from the golden sand beach looking out to Rangitoto Island, the master bedroom has pink walls and a macrame lampshade and the unmanicured lawn is dotted with pōhutukawa and palm trees.

Inside, highly patterned carpets dominate the living and dining areas and the small rooms contain the views rather than opening out to them.

Marketing for the 14 Arawa Ave property said it "has spanned generations of the same family who have cherished its heart-stopping beachfront position".


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The "charming, original character villa" has three bedrooms and one bathroom.

Heritage experts hope there will be few changes when the home - which has a July 1, 2017, Auckland Council valuation of $4.9 million - on Cheltenham Beach is sold.

Devonport Heritage deputy chairperson Margot McRae said the beachside property was a classic example of a home from another era and a reminder of a time when life seemed simpler.

McRae hoped the future buyer would appreciate the home's highly unusual nature - an almost completely preserved snapshot from more than a century ago.

"It's an original beach bach and precious as a beautiful example of holiday homes, built for people coming from the city before the bridge was built," she said.

"It's wonderful to see something like that in such original condition and we would hope any changes made are sympathetic and uphold its value, respecting its low-rise integrity."

The site is zoned single-house under the Unitary Plan, protected with character overlays.

"It has as much protection as most houses in Devonport and it can't be demolished as of right," McRae said.

"It's beachfront and street front, which comes into character overlays. Any buyer would have to go through the whole resource consent process if they sought to demolish it, particularly because it's pre-1940s. But significant alterations can be almost as bad as demolition."

Devonport Heritage chairperson Trish Deans said zoning allowed for a building height of 8m, "so an extra storey could be added".

Property records showed owners of the 594sq m property were the late Betty Margaret Eleanor Wildman and Geoffrey McLeod Wildman. Heirs to their estate are the vendors.

The vendor family's grandmother, Mabel Mason and her sister, had bought the home, perhaps around the 1930s and holidayed there from St Mary's Bay.

In 2013, former Arawa Ave resident Claudia Page interviewed Mason's daughter, Betty Wildman [nee Mason], and said the house was "a remnant of a gentler time when neighbours all knew each other and there was a genuine community".

"People walked everywhere or caught the bus," Page recorded. "Most people didn't have a car or a garage, at least at first. Her aunt and uncle were the first to have a car and that is why number 14 had the big garage at the [street] front."

Victoria Bidwell, of Bayleys, marketing 14 Arawa Ave, also sold two other Cheltenham beachfront properties off nearby Rata Rd in the last year. That is the same street where singer-songwriter Lorde grew up.

The houses at 4 and 10 Rata Rd are thought to have fetched more than $8.5m each but both were newer or renovated, and both stood on bigger sites than 14 Arawa Ave.

Bidwell said the Arawa Ave house was probably built around the turn of last century. Significant alterations were carried out in 1926, she said, noting how rare original Cheltenham beach baches are.