Penny and Bill Le Quesne had been looking for a holiday house "for ages" before they found something that was a good fit.

They had checked out Omaha, Snells Beach and Algies Bay but nothing had the semi-rural feel they wanted — until they spent some time at Mahurangi.

"Bill's sister had a property at Mahurangi West and we were able to spend a couple of weeks there while we were looking around," Penny says.

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As soon as they saw the house at Martins Bay in Mahurangi East, they knew it was the right place.

The views of the Hauraki Gulf and islands were spectacular, and the beach was hugely appealing.

"A lot of the beaches in this area are tidal, but at Martins you can swim and launch a boat off the beach in all tides," Penny says.

They also liked the fact that the house was in a "move in and relax" state without requiring major renovations.

However, they did put on an extension so they could replace the original kitchen, which Penny says was "about as big as a wardrobe".

"The previous owners thought so too, but hadn't got around to replacing it," she says.

That done, they loved the place so much that, although they had bought it as a weekend getaway, they moved in permanently in 2002 and happily stayed put until their recent move to an apartment.

Built in the 60s, this is an "upside-down" house with the living areas upstairs to capture the views.

It has the hallmark big aluminium windows and ranchsliders of 60s style, allowing in plenty of natural light.

"And because it's so beautifully positioned for the sun it's always warm," Penny says.

The living area with its log burner opens to a good-sized deck on the front and another, larger outdoor living area at the side above the double garage.

The adjoining new kitchen offers plenty of bench space and cupboards, and a pantry. The master bedroom and one other bedroom are also on this level, and there's a third bedroom and a study downstairs.

The family bathroom has a shower over the big triangular bath, while the second bathroom has a shower and the bonus of a floor-to-ceiling storage cupboard.

There's a double garage with internal access, and a concreted parking area for a boat,
tractor and extra cars.

The 845sq m section has an enclosed vegetable garden and a glasshouse, and Bill has taken advantage of the frost-free environment to grow fruit and vege. Floral artist Penny has used the garden of flowers for arrangements.

Native trees on the cliff teem with birdlife and Bill and Penny have enjoyed the tui who come to be fed. A handy public walkway provides access to Martins Bay.

Although their new apartment has its good points, Bill and Penny do miss the views, the outdoor spaces, and especially the sound of the waves lapping on the beach at the bottom of the cliff.

33 JACKSON CRESCENT, MARTINS BAY
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 845sq m, floor area 207sq m, plus outdoor deck.
• Auction: Nov 17.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1-1.30pm, Weds Nov 14, noon-12.30pm.
• Schools: Snells Beach Primary School, Mahurangi College, Horizon School.
• Contact: Mick Fay, 021544769, Ray White Warkworth, oneroof.co.nz/1212169