Fortuitous timing meant that Zambesi owners Elisabeth and Neville Findlay chanced on this Lockwood home on a trip to Waiheke Island just as the property was going to market.

They bought the clifftop home with their daughter, fashion and advertising photographer Marissa, who says her parents had gone to the island in 2015 to look at another property when their real estate agent mentioned this new listing.

So lucky, say Marissa as properties near the water with such fabulous views can be hard to find. "I own it with Mum and Dad, but it's me who uses it the most."

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Weekend visits and longer stays are easy as she can pop across on the ferry, just 35 minutes from downtown Auckland, and be at the property by car in around 10 minutes after arriving at Matiatia.

"I love the location first and foremost. We wanted something right by the beach with no other houses close. We have the view of the ocean, it's north-facing and we can walk to two beaches.

"It is our holiday home but it's a big home and would be great for someone as a permanent residence as well.

"It is a nice quiet street and we have an eclectic garden with beautiful bush, feijoa, peach, apricot and lemon trees and bananas, lots of fresh mint and bougainvillea.

"It is a cool place to explore for kids and it is good for our dog, Dusty, a chocolate labrador.

"We are so close to Enclosure Bay, like two minutes from our doorstep. I have a son who is 9 and kids can play on the lawn here; or go to Enclosure Bay which is enclosed like a lagoon and it has hot pools and is safe for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and exploring the rocks."

Sandy Bay, where boats can be moored or launched, and Palm Beach, with its beach and great playground, are other handy spots. Or Marissa could pop up to Oneroa or over to Onetangi

"And all the great things about Waiheke, the vineyards. There are lots of walkways, McKenzie Reserve is at the end of the road and Enclosure Bay is wonderful, you have that sense of community. They are all lovely people if you are out walking the dog or you're going for an early morning swim.

"And then you come home to this clifftop and you have the privacy and it doesn't feel like there is anyone around."

Marissa never tires of the views. "We look out to the water from morning until night, you are up so high, that heavenly silvery ocean, it is breath-taking. The sun rises across the water and at night we watch the sun set; we have all day sun on the lawn and in the house."

The home is a Lockwood build, over four split levels. Kitchen, dining and a separate lounge are on the top level, with ranch slider access to the lawn. The next level down has two bedrooms; the big master bedroom and en suite on the level below; and the studio and en suite on the lowest level.

"I like the split level design because it means the bedrooms feel private. And I love that it is a Lockwood home because it has a 70s bach feeling and amazing high ceilings; It's a little bit Scandinavian.

"We did think about painting the wood white, but this house grows on you and we didn't feel the need to change anything. It is so beautiful. All you need is the sun and the bach to enjoy it as it is.

"I just love being in the house with the ranch sliders open, relaxing in the sun and looking at the view, and knowing that I can pop out for a swim; it's so easy."

But now Marissa is saying farewell to her island sanctuary as she feels it is time for a change. "I am moving on to a different project."

89 GREAT BARRIER RD, ENCLOSURE BAY, WAIHEKE ISLAND
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 1377sq m, house 184sq m.
• Price: $2,495,000.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, 11am-11.30am.
• Schools: Te Huruhi Primary, Waiheke High.
• Contact: Shelley Dewar, Ray White, 021 190 1344, waiheke.co.nz/1903890