The six homes in the running for HOME magazine's 2018 Home of the Year Award have been revealed, ahead of the award ceremony this week.
In the 23rd year of the awards, three judges have toured New Zealand from Piha to Hamner Springs to Akaroa to scope out the best of the country's architecture.
HOME editor Simon Farrell-Green said he was "amazed" by the standard of architecture and design that was showcased in the details, and thought put into each entry.
"There were some obvious trends across the homes we visited this year, including but not limited to, the resurgence of courtyards, homes built for quiet retreat, a sense of home within an urban environment, lavish attention to detail and the demise of the garage," he said.
Farrell-Green was working alongside judges Mel Bright, from Melbourne's Make Architecture, and Nicholas Stevens from Stevens Lawson.
One finalist located on Waiheke Island was named "Lantern House".
The house by Herbst Architects was dubbed "dramatic" by the judges in the design and the decor - which was full of moody colours and marble surfaces.
Guy Tarrant Architects' "Mt Eden House" was a "tweak" on the traditional cottage.
"Living areas flow out to a sheltered garden and, as anyone who knows Guy's work will expect, the flow from room to room and the level of detail is exquisite," Farrell-Green described.
Situated in rugged Piha, Herbst Architect's "Kawakawa Bach" was shaped like a square doughnut, with a sheltered courtyard in the middle.
The architects' second finalist sits in the tree canopy on stilts, surrounded by ancient pohutukawa.
Further south, "Totara Road House" by Andrew Sexton Architects sits on a suburban site in Miramar.
The home was shaped in a U-curve, curving around a two-level courtyard garden.
In Hamner Springs, a finalist aptly named "The Family Bach" by Cymon Allfrey Architects is reminiscent of just that.
"Allfrey chose to break down the idea of a holiday house for his own family bach – instead of one big house, Allfrey took the various parts and scattered them around a courtyard," Farrell-Green said.
Lastly, Braden Harford's "H01" house in Cashmere, Chrischurch was a simple design, occupying a section where one of two 1970s townhouses once stood.