This 140-year-old gothic revival homestead has been The Retreat Bed and Breakfast for the past 19 years. Lush pastures, majestic mature trees and a romantic driveway all protect what is one of Northland's best-kept secrets.
Built by Edward and Eliza Browne in 1867, and owned by only two families in the first 100 years of its life, the kauri homestead behind the hedges was once central to the historic Albertland Special Settlement Scheme.
In its heyday it was the main house on 485ha of lush farmland, but now all that remains is 3.5ha and a garden that plays host to garden tours.
Constructed largely from heart kauri milled from the surrounding land, the interior is a showcase for all things Victorian. Kauri is in abundance, exposed in the wide-boarded floors, the staircase and the stripped ceilings in the drawing room, though painted elsewhere in conservation neutrals that suit the grand proportions of the rooms.
The present owners bought their home with the major structural repairs completed. As a result, they were able to concentrate on decorating and furnishing its five bedrooms, study/library, three bathrooms and living spaces to provide a range of options for family or home business alike.
Outside are a self-contained, two-bedroom cottage, the former share milker's quarters, sheds and barns.
There's a lawn for croquet, a goldfish pond, a herb garden in the shape of a Celtic cross and a vegetable garden.
The present owners breed Romney sheep with a particularly soft wool from which they make garments sold from the shop upstairs. This activity is fully permitted under the District Plan, as is the B&B.
So whether it is a large family home in paradise, or a new, self-supporting lifestyle just 70 minutes north of Auckland you're after, look no further than this grand home.
Features: Grand historic homestead, beautiful grounds and farmland, plus two home-based businesses make this a one-out-of-the-box lifestyle opportunity. Variety of outbuildings, excellent fences and amenities.
Size: Land 3.34ha; House 298sq m including heart kauri verandas
Price: $1.2 million.
Garaging: Two, plus carport, off street.
Viewing: By appointment.
Private Sale: Colleen and Tony Moore, ph (09) 423 8547 or Colleen 021 144 0028.
Web: View at www.sheepfarmstay.com/forsale