Fiona and Jason McIntyre have transformed the near-blank slate of half a former dairy farm into a picturesque country estate with grandly scaled home.
Fiona says: "I'd describe it as a spacious dream home ideal for family and entertaining, with lots of bespoke elements."
The couple both had country upbringings and moved from Takapuna to Waitoki, northwest of Dairy Flat, knowing they wanted to raise their family in a rural environment.
Their household now also includes 7-year-old son Riley, 8-month-old daughter Cindy and two ginger cats.
Jason's background is in electronic engineering and landscaping while Fiona had a PR agency, and the pair liked the idea of creating something unique.
They chose Waitoki for its convenience — 25 minutes' drive from the Harbour Bridge and 10 minutes from Silverdale — and were delighted with this 20ha-plus property, which is particularly large for the area.
Fiona says: "The view was important, too. When you look out the front of the house or from our master bedroom you get a beautiful unencumbered view of rolling pasture down the valley."
At first they lived in a little two-bedroom 60sq m office-type dwelling they bought at Field Days, which is included in this sale.
Fiona says: "We carved out the driveway, replaced old barbed wire fences with four-wire electric fencing and planted thousands of trees, including beautiful liquidambars lining the driveway, and London plane trees."
The property's entrance with electronic gates and security cameras features the same beautiful schist used to accent the 2011 home architect Ron Saxby designed for them.
A turn-off off the tree-lined driveway accesses the office and a large shed some distance from the main home.
The two-storey main residence is plastered brick with an Elk's shingle roof, announced by a portico entrance and a 150sq m round, knee-deep water feature doubling as a shallow pool.
Fiona says: "We entertain a lot and people normally say 'Wow' when they walk into this double-height dining room and look up and see the macrocarpa-beamed ceiling so high above."
Cocktails are favoured fare as the McIntyres own an export drink-cocktail business, which, like the local cafe they established, has relied in part on the strawberry crop they've grown each year on some of their land.
Jason's love of wood is reflected in the dark oak hardwood floors in the dining and family room-kitchen, American oak joinery and some macrocarpa-lined ceilings.
The formal lounge's gas fireplace is in a wide chimney breast of schist, laid flat to highlight its colouring.
Fiona says: "I just love curling up in there with a book in winter."
The home also has eight heat pumps.
The lounge, double-height dining room featuring an oversized oak table Jason crafted, which stays with the house, and the family room-kitchen all face north and open to a large deck.
The large entertainers' kitchen includes black granite bench tops, two Miele ovens and two DishDrawers.
As well as a theatre room, downstairs includes Jason's games room with bar where he and friends play poker, billiards and pool.
The sizeable guest bedroom is privately set, its en suite featuring one of four incredibly heavy, imported, brown granite basins.
Completing this level are an office, powder room, laundry-drying room and the internal-access triple garage.
The staircase and upstairs bridge walkway balustrades reference those in Smith and Caughey's.
The upstairs master suite with walk-in wardrobe has beautiful rural views. Three more upstairs bedrooms are accompanied by a powder room and family bathroom.
The grounds, where they've grazed 40 cattle, include a picturesque pond with visiting swans and a spring-fed pond used for irrigation.
The couple are proud of this property but excited about the new adventure of moving to live in a coastal environment.
273 FORESTRY RD, WAITOKI
• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 4 parking spaces.
• Land 20.7ha, main house 605sq m.
• Auction: Feb 28 (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: By appointment.
• Schools: Waitoki School, Orewa College, Kaipara College.
• Contact: Simone du Bernard, Harcourts, 021 433 965.
Property also has a separate 60sq m 2-bd office and 300sq m shed