Living on a 1.2ha block has allowed the Tillman family to grow up having an "old school childhood".

Learning to ride their bikes on the land, and progressing to motocross. Bringing home fish from the sea just three minutes away where they could launch their boat, and then barbecuing or smoking it.

Mike and Donna Tillman and their six children bought the five-bedroom home 15 years ago on a 0.8ha block, as all properties in Clayden Dr were at the time. When council regulations changed and the blocks could be subdivided into 0.4ha sections, they snapped up a neighbour's 0.4ha of bush to add to theirs.



"We now have a 1.2ha property," says Mike.

A decade and half later, just three of their six offspring are at home.

"Three have moved away and got married and things and the other three come and go. The youngest are twins and in their 20s. And my 23-year-old son is in his last year at university.

"We also have three cats, two dogs, 15 chooks — and the goldfish in the ponds."

Mike and Donna were already living at Gulf Harbour when they chanced upon this property for sale with the house that was built in 1980.

22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied
22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied

"We looked around for a lifestyle property and we found this one. We are three minutes from the main Gulf Harbour area but you would think we were an hour and a half away, it feels so rural.

"We just like the whole coast feeling. I had a business at Silverdale so it was easy to go down the coast.

"Even today I leave work and go home and it has a feeling that you're going on holiday.

"There is something very special about the Hibiscus Coast.


"We look over the Gulf Harbour marina and beyond to Rangitoto and the city."

They have called their property Lazy Acres but Mike says you can't be 100 per cent lazy here because there's always a bit of work involved with lifestyle blocks.

Their ride-on mower breaks the back of routine maintenance, and that and other tools are included in the chattels of the sale.

22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied
22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied

They have also renovated the home internally — re-gibbing, reflooring, new toilets and new showers.

Mike likens the shape of their two-level weatherboard and HardiePlank home with Colorsteel roof to a Swiss chalet with its high pitched roofline and internal timber ceilings.

It has the living areas plus two bedrooms and bathroom on the ground level; three bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper level where balconies capture the stunning views.

A large wood burner easily heats the whole home in winter.

"The other special thing about the property is the indoor outdoor flow.

"You can get out to the garden on both sides of the house.

"So depending on what way the wind is blowing, or the sun or the time of the day, you have two options where you might want to park yourself."

The property is beautifully landscaped with established trees and gardens which attract birds.

There's also a large barn.

22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied
22 Clayden Drive. Gulf Harbour. Photo / Supplied

"We use it for the storing our machinery and we have a couple of cars down there, as I collect old cars.

"That could be an office for somebody or it could be a four-car garage."

Another eclectic touch is "Dad's bar" on skids and not too far from the house.

"We cut a hole through the treeline so you can see out to Rangitoto while you have a beer.

The kids gave me the sign that says "Dad's bar, always open.

"And we have a big barbecue area with an outdoor fire barbecue and a smoker attached to it.

"My kids and son-in-law do a lot of fishing, so we use the barbecue a lot.

Mike says Lazy Acres is a great place for a family that wants to spend more time outdoors than indoors watching TV or on computers.

But he and Donna are getting ready to move.

"I'm 67 shortly and while I love spending time on this property, it's probably time to downsize. So it's going to tender.

"If we're happy with the price, we will sell it; and if we're not, we will stay."

• 5 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 4 parking spaces.
• Land 1.2102ha, home 250sq m.
• Tender: Closes Dec 6.
• Inspect: Sun 11.30am-12.30pm.
• Contact: Todd Cooper, Harcourts Orewa, 021 941 676,