Despite having lived in his Sandspit home for six years, Roger Burrill never fails to be wowed by the view.
"Every time you walk in you can't help stopping and looking," he says. "It's gobsmacking."
The property looks out over native bush to Kawau Bay, Hauraki Gulf and beyond to Great Barrier Island. It's no surprise that Roger and his partner Helly Mabey bought the house for the view. But there was also an added incentive.
"Helly is from Great Barrier, and if I was going to get her over here [to the mainland] I had to find some place where she could still see Great Barrier," says Roger. "This place was perfect."
Floor-to-ceiling windows in many of the rooms make the most of the outlook. Even in the en suite you can look at the view while having a shower, says Roger.
"Luckily no one can see in — at least I think they can't! We've had no complaints over the years, but nobody has been queuing up to buy tickets either."
The house is private and peaceful, thanks to the bush-clad site which extends down to Brick Bay. There is a track to the beach through the bush.
The Sandspit marina, where Roger keeps his boat, is a two-minute drive away. The house is also handy to Snells Beach, Matakana and the shops and amenities in Warkworth.
Already just a 45-minute drive to the Auckland Harbour Bridge in off-peak times, the completion of the Puhoi to Warkworth section of the motorway is likely to shave another 10 minutes off the journey.
As well as the location and view, Roger and Helly were taken with the house itself, a cedar home over two levels.
Built for a British couple in 2004, it included a downstairs area designed to hold model trains.
That room now makes a great second living space or media room. There is also a guest room and bathroom on this level.
Upstairs, it wasn't just the way the living spaces and master bedroom had been laid out that grabbed Roger and Helly's attention. "The ceilings are pretty special," he says.
The octagonal living room has a soaring macrocarpa ceiling that makes the room feel as if it has come straight from an island resort.
Wooden beams have been used to great effect in the dining room, kitchen and the master bedroom, which also has a high ceiling. The kitchen features a rimu benchtop, plenty of storage and a new double-size gas cooker. There is also a combination cooker and fire with a wetback in the dining room.
Add the woodburning fire in the living room and a heat pump downstairs and the house stays lovely and warm in winter, says Roger.
There is extensive decking on both levels, a spa pool, and lighting that illuminates the bush at night. "It's very nice sitting in the spa at night with a glass of wine looking out," Roger says.
And for earlybirds, it's also a wonderful spot to enjoy the spectacular sunrises over Kawau Island.
Roger and Helly are moving to another property they own, but will miss the Kauri Drive house.
"It really is a very special hideaway in a great place. We just wish we had shifted here 10 years earlier."
21 KAURI DRIVE, SANDSPIT
• 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• Land 9132sq m, house 265sq m.
• Auction: Nov 28.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 1-1.30pm.
• Schools: Snells Beach Primary, Horizon School and Mahurangi College.
• Contact: Jenni Marsh, 021 717 719, Bayleys, and Dahnie Burton, 021 628 327.