Businessman and fishing fan Ron Pattenden was inspecting another house in Gulf Harbour, nine years ago, when he looked up and saw the two properties that would eventually become his single dream dwelling, taking up three top floors in a prestigious luxury apartment complex.

"I said to myself that it was exactly where I wanted to live and I set about buying them," he says.

"The first one was available already and I had to wait three months or so for the second."

Ron says that once the properties were purchased, plans were drawn up for what's turned out to be a sensational, super-sized penthouse.

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"It was a huge job and it took nine months to complete. I was lucky to have a great team of builders so it went without a hitch.

"Every single aspect of the finished place is high quality because only the best will do, as far as I'm concerned."

The property has its own private entrance, reached by elevator, and once you are inside the space and versatility it offers are immediately obvious.

The main living and dining area is huge, as is the designer kitchen with vast granite benchtops and copious storage room. There's also a separate bar, which is great for entertaining.

There are four bedrooms in the property, and three bathrooms, but Ron says there's potential to add more bedrooms, as many as three, on the second floor.

One of his favourite features in the house is the turret on top, from which there are spectacular 360-degree views of the harbour, the marina, and Auckland city, which twinkles after sunset.

While the turret would be ideal as a home office, Ron doesn't think much work would be done because the scene outside is always so mesmerising — even in bad weather. In summer, the balcony is another popular spot for lazing the day away.

Having twice the house, you also get twice the garaging with generous under-cover parking for four cars and the big attraction for boaties is undoubtedly the 15m berth, allowing you to set sail from home. If your boat is bigger, there is also a 30m berth, available by separate negotiation.

For nine years Ron has watched as Gulf Harbour has grown. While many of its original inhabitants were retired, it has become increasingly popular with families, partly because of the excellent local schools and also because of the opportunities for enjoying water
sports.

Shakespear Regional Park is right on the doorstep and everybody in the area has their favourite beach.

Golfing is another local attraction, with a world-class course at Gulf Harbour Country Club and there are now a significant number of cafes and restaurants catering to a variety of tastes.

Auckland is approximately one hour away by car but many Gulf Harbour residents use the ferry service, avoiding traffic and parking hassles.

These days Ron and his wife Louise — who is also passionate about boats and fishing — live most of the year in Vanuatu, where Ron owns Blue Marlin Lodge.

"Given the little time we spend here in Gulf Harbour these days, this place is just a bit big to be sitting empty for months at a time," he says.

"With the America's Cup coming up, this will be a brilliant spot to be based."

68/58 HARBOUR VILLAGE DR, GULF HARBOUR
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 4 parking spaces.
• Land 511sq m.
• Inspect: By appointment
• Schools: Gulf Harbour School, Whangaparaoa College.
• Contact: Darren Newell, Harcourts, 022 628 3867, harcourts.co.nz/OR9645