Gordon and Jan Dowsett-Page were smitten with this picturesque lifestyle property with its ponds, waterfall and bush when they laid eyes on it 12 years ago.

"We walked on to this property and fell in love with it in 2006. It's a positively rejuvenating place to be," says Gordon.

"It's become the property we've lived in longest as we've enjoyed it so much."

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The couple emigrated from the UK with their youngest daughter a year earlier, spending months travelling around both islands to figure out where they'd like to settle down.

Gordon says: "We decided we wanted to live around Warkworth because it seemed quaint, charming and similar in size to the little town we'd left in Alresford, Hampshire."

They liked the property the minute they drove up to it. But it was upon stepping through the house to picturesque north-facing grounds that they were smitten.

Gordon says: "In England you stand in your back garden and have five or six other houses looking over you.

"Here when you're looking out over your back garden virtually everywhere you look at is your own property.

"We look out over our garden, up the hill that's on our property and over native bush.
"The whole setting is private, peaceful and lovely."

Visitors frequently admire their setting. UK friends marvelled at the clarity of the night sky while Asian friends informed them their set-up equated to good feng shui.

Warkworth is under five minutes' drive away and Gordon can be at a Silverdale company he works for in 30 minutes.

Jan is a retired nurse while Gordon does maintenance and mechanical work which equipped him well to improve both home and grounds.

Their maintenance and renovation means visitors often think the 1996 home was built more recently.

Their many improvements include decor updates, replacing the kitchen and upgrading bathrooms. The grounds have plenty of room if new owners want a pool or tennis court.

The property consists of 52.3ha of land, with a couple of hectares of gardens, lawns and three paddocks around the home.

They've built bridges over three of the property's five ponds. There's also extensive covenanted native bush featuring tracks and a waterfall.

They've kept the odd farmyard animal but nowadays the shepherd from their neighbour, Sheepworld, grazes some sheep on their land.

The mature orchard the Dowsett-Pages established welcomes you on arrival with fare including olives, macadamia, figs, apples and guava.

They've repainted the home's exterior in Dutch white, nicely complementing its Coloursteel roof in new denim blue.

There's extensive parking fronting the home, a double garage with internal access harbouring the laundry, plus a carport and an additional single garage.

Most of downstairs is devoted to an open-plan lounge, dining room and renovated kitchen flowing out to north-facing outdoor living. A striking double-height void features above the dining area, highlighting the upstairs gallery.

Gordon says: "We get lovely views from both upstairs and downstairs."

The tiled kitchen features timber cabinetry and granite benches, including one atop an oval island. Timber floors grace the dining area and lounge.

The entrance hall, a bathroom and stairs to the upper floor complete this level.

Angled ceilings are a hallmark of upstairs. It offers four good sized bedrooms, including two slightly larger ones with walk-in wardrobes at either end of the home, and two more
bathrooms.

The couple are selling to downsize, move closer to New Zealand-based family, and to visit family overseas.

17 CHRISTINE PLACE, WARKWORTH
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 4 parking spaces.
• Land 52.30ha, house 242sq m.
• Price: Over $1.6 million.
• Inspect: Sun 11-11.30am.
• Auction: Sun, 19 Aug.
• Schools: Warkworth School, Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Jenni Marsh 021 717 719, Dahnie Burton 021 628 327, oneroof.co.nz/1167084