When Bruce Abraham returned to New Zealand after 20 years working for investment managers Colonial First State in Australia and South Africa, he wanted to be "within ten minutes walk for getting a newspaper and milk".
Doubtless Bay was the place. The Far North bight has a hidden spot within it known as Coopers Beach, which is itself tucked inside Cable Bay. The densely planted paradise is large enough to get lost in, its owner says.
Mr Abraham rents his cottages out as the Sanctuary in the Cove business. He told the Herald the property was large enough for two different holidaying couples to remain entirely separate.
"The cottages are out of sight of each other ... the couples may never come across each other."
Valued by the Far North District Council at $1.64 million, the property's asking price is $4.5 million.
Mr Abraham bought his secret hideaway at the forgettable address of 283 State Highway 10 in 2002.
It boasts a five-bedroom house as well as the two cottages, but Mr Abraham put in far more vegetation than renovation and now runs it as a couples retreat - no children are allowed.
The small roadside corner of the triangular property widens to 130m of private beach. Within the triangle is just under a hectare of land.
The house and cottages provide eight bedrooms and four bathrooms, there's a triple garage, spa bath, 13 car spaces and 533sq m of floorspace, although there's more green growth than bricks and mortar in Mr Abraham's hideaway.
Visitors enter down a 200m driveway. Inside, they encounter a garden with a waterfall, a stream, and a boardwalk for viewing rimu and kauri. There are also a gazebo, pergola and climbing plants.
"I promote it as a botanical wonderland of peaceful seclusion."
Mr Abraham has been keeping a close eye on the nearby Peppers Carrington golf course, bought by Shanghai CRED Real Estate in 2013. "I started at $3 million [asking price]", he said. "I bumped it up twice."
Mr Abraham believes Shanghai CRED is closely connected to Chinese President Xi Jinping, making the investment in the golf course hugely significant.
"The numbers planned to fly into Doubtless Bay will dwarf anything experienced in the Bay of Islands," Mr Abraham said. "It will be interesting to observe the infrastructure changes the new Chinese owners plan for, say, the Kaitaia airport now that Air New Zealand has signalled its intended withdrawal."
The $4.5 million Garden of Eden should provide tranquillity among the land-rush. Anyone purchasing Mr Abraham's property will be acquiring 400 year old totara trees, not to mention the 3000 trees and bushes Mr Abraham estimates he has planted.
"Basically it's a large subtropical garden. Most impressive in the garden are the 15 large pohutukawa on the property. The whole canopy's a brilliant bright red. They're all in flower; the pohutukawa are spectacular this time of year."
"There's banana palms, macadamia nut trees, 30 olive trees ... it's beyond me to remember all the trees. I have little trails, people can wander around the property - 115 named plants.
"The property is about three acres in size. That doesn't seem that big but because some parts are so secluded, you can actually get lost in some parts."