Patrick and Lynne Lennan didn't travel far when they moved to their nearly new home down a private road near the Gulf Harbour marina.

The couple, both in their 70s, had lived across the way in Army Bay for 15 years.

"We moved from a large house over in Army Bay to here because we just wanted to downsize because, you know, we're getting on in years now," says Patrick, a retired accountant.

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"That was 6000sq ft with three-quarters of an acre of land," Lynne adds.

Here, Patrick says, they have a lovely spot with lovely views overlooking the park — and no lawns to mow.

There are still four bedrooms and a large section — it's just that little maintenance is required.

The couple added a big deck across the front of the house which looks out to the fields in front of Wentworth College and also looks over their own native bush which goes down to a canal at the bottom of the property.

The bush is basically maintenance-free, says Patrick.

"The local gardener comes in twice a year and in two to three hours cleans up the whole place; goes around, tidies up the hedges, everything. We don't have to lift a finger."

Lynne loves the bush because it's full of bird life.

"We get everything you can think of. We have rosellas, we have tūī, the native doves, kingfishers, kererū."

She points out a dead branch they won't cut because it's such a busy observation perch for the birds.

"They're not at all afraid because it's distanced enough for them to feel safe but close enough for us to observe them."

There's a path through the bush to the canal, which feeds a lake off to the left where people like to sail their model boats.

The lake has black swans and the other day Lynne saw three swans out in front of their house, one of which had five cygnets with it: "It was so cute."

Patrick says the deck has been great for entertaining, especially when family come for Christmas.

The couple have lived on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula for 20 years, moving up from Castor Bay in 1994.

They love it, they say. It's away from the maddening traffic of Auckland — there's very little traffic in Gulf Harbour, which is 4km from the end of the peninsula.

Their house is private but there is always something to watch and at weekends they like to sit out on their deck and watch the interclub cricket.

They're made of aerated concrete with weatherboard and there are schist columns.

Inside features a double-sided gas fire between the living room and the dining area, and the kitchen has a butler's pantry.

They put in a new induction stove that features a self-cleaning pyrolytic oven.

The living areas have doors to the deck, as does the master bedroom, which also has an en suite and a walk-in wardrobe.

There are ceiling fans in nearly every room and a full heating, cooling, dehumidifying system ducted to every room.

The internal access garage has extensive storage, including space in the ceiling (they installed a pull-down ladder), plus there's a walk-in linen cupboard.

The location is fabulous, too, they say. Gulf Harbour has restaurants they can walk to — Thai, sushi and Indian to name a few, plus cafes and superettes.

And, if they want to go to Auckland they just jump on the ferry which has regular sailings throughout the day.

The Lennans say this is a great place if you have children because decile 10 Wentworth College and primary school is walking distance.

Shakespear Park is nearby as is a golf course, and there are lovely beaches all around the peninsula.

The couple are again not moving far. From the deck you can see their new apartment, which has its own berth — they plan to make more use of their boat.

2 BELLA VISTA DRIVE, GULF HARBOUR
• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House 186sq m, land 1250sq m.
• Price: CV $1 million.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm, or by appointment.
• Auction: Oct 6, noon, on site (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Wentworth College and Primary, Gulf Harbour School, Whangaparaoa College.
• Contact: Karen Taylor, 0274 723 637, Allan Taylor 0274 745 845, Harcourts, harcourts.co.nz/Property/857959