For 35 years, June Costello has become used to people's jaws dropping the first time they walk into her home.
The uninterrupted view of Mairangi Bay beach through huge conservatory-style windows in her living room is so spectacular, the first word out of visitors' mouths tends to be "wow".
"It is pretty amazing," says June. "You never get sick of looking out, and the view is ever-changing, depending on the weather."
There's just a path and a narrow grassy reserve between the house and the beach, so the outlook can never be blocked.
The view from the living room is echoed by the choice of flooring: golden heart kauri at the entrance sea-green coloured carpet in the open-plan living room.
"I chose that deliberately so the flooring would reflect the view of the sand and the water," says June, who has a keen interest in interior design.
The north-facing outlook can be further enjoyed from a spacious deck, elevated and private.
June and her husband Pat bought the cedar duplex house in one of Mairangi Bay's best streets back in 1983.
It had been built by a friend as his own home in the late 1970s and the Costellos were delighted to become the next owners.
It's been a wonderful place to bring up their sons Daniel and Joel, who could leave the property via a door next to the deck and instantly be on the beach.
The boys also had the bonus of a large rumpus room on the lower level of the three-storey house.
It has a kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom, has also been used by guests, and would suit an au pair or extended family.
The next level up, the main living area, has standout features such as the bespoke circular brick fireplace and wooden beams.
Although praise is always heaped on the view, the kitchen also impresses. It was given a complete makeover about 10 years ago, but still looks new.
June spent many hours researching exactly what she wanted and came up with lots of clever ideas, like putting drawers in what is usually wasted space behind the kickboards. These shallow drawers are the perfect places to store items like platters.
The pale tongue-and-groove-style cupboards were chosen for their "beachy vibe", and June selected a granite bench-top. "It's bullet-proof, it never shows up any marks, which I love," she says.
Some of the original kitchen cabinetry was recycled and used in the spacious laundry, which includes a chute from upstairs.
A powder room nearby was updated to include a vanity unit made of limestone embedded with fossils. That same limestone is used in the upstairs bathroom.
Meanwhile, the en suite off the master bedroom has a very different look, thanks to the dark tongue-and groove-walls which make it seem as if it's straight out of a Fijian bure.
The master bedroom itself has the feel of an island resort, with its high, beamed ceiling and huge picture window framing the view of the beach.
The bedroom next door also looks out on the water, while a sea view is visible through a small window in the huge study.
Only the third bedroom doesn't get a glimpse of the water; instead it looks down on the landscaped entrance to the house, set well back off the road.
Whitby Crescent is a quiet, no-exit street of quality homes. It's only a few minutes' walk along the beachfront path to Mairangi Bay villageand its shops cafes, restaurants and supermarket.
The Costello house is close to surf, tennis and bowls clubs, and the renowned Murrays Bay Sailing Club, which has produced many of New Zealand's America's Cup heroes. It's also a short drive to the Pupuke Golf Club.
June says it is going to be hard to leave after so long. "It really does feel like you are living in a holiday home all the time," she says. "We've been very spoiled."
22 WHITBY CRES, MAIRANGI BAY
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House 250sq m, land ½ share of 849sq m.
• Tender: Nov 22.
• Inspect: Sun 12-12.45pm, Thur 6-6.30pm.
• Contact: Tara Menzies, Bayleys, 021 720 307; Craig Bishop, 027 222 5566.