By Donna McIntyre
John Morris reckons the holiday home he, fiancee Kerri and their two children have on the clifftop above Onetangi Beach gives them the best of both worlds.
When they're at the home they enjoy the privacy this elevated location offers, yet by walking down a track they can be on Onetangi's sand in minutes (add a few more on the way back up the hill), enjoying the island's longest beach and its clear water.
"It is private and isolated here on this property so we tend to spend a lot of time at home and then we can walk to the beach, have a swim and return home," says John.
And the views from this sun-drenched, property are sensationally uplifting. Big skies above and the bay below with the distinctive shape of Thompsons Point to the west, and in the distance across the water are other islands of the gulf, the Coromandel to the east and further north-west to Whangaparaoa.
Another focal point is the ship and cruise liner movements into and out of Auckland.
John says he bought the wooden home in February 2009. Back then it was just one storey.
It was a great holiday base for the couple, who now have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, as they were living in the central city and this island retreat was the antithesis to their inner-city life.
It had been built approximately five years earlier and they decided to add the extra storey, not just for the additional space but also to capitalise on the potential views by being higher. They used an architectural designer to achieve continuity of materials and design.
It's a layout that captures the views through the floor-to-ceiling aluminium framed glass slider doors, with cedar shutters allowing breezes to freshen the home when the doors are shut.
The ground level has the garage, bathroom with underfloor heating and bath, two bedrooms and open plan living, dining and kitchen with stainless steel bench tops and Bosch dishwasher, Smeg oven and F&P fridge/freezer.
The kitchen island bench lined with American oak has the sink in it, and breakfast stools for that all-important first meal of the day. There's an open fire and a heat pump for chillier days. Adding texture and tone to the large space are the American oak floors.
The glass sliders open from the living area and the front bedroom to the tiled terrace with outdoor table and chairs and the landscaped patio and lawn butting up to grasses, hedging and flaxes bordering the area where the section continues down the cliff.
Upstairs is the new master bedroom with sliding doors opening to, or offering separation from, the lounge/office.
"It is a versatile space. You can have two bedrooms, or bedroom and office," says John.
This area is carpeted and the tiled en suite off the bedroom is luxurious with underfloor heating, large shower, heated towel rack and double sinks.
And the large deck on this level — measuring approximately 52sq m — is where the family would spend a lot of time, with the magnificent views, highly visible thanks to the glass balustrades, and easy access again through the glass sliders.
"We use the upstairs deck a lot as that is where you get the best views. Most of time we are outdoors unless it's raining," says John.
He says the special aspects of this property are the amazing views and the layout of the contemporary, well-designed home offering easy indoor-outdoor living.
"It's a cool layout in terms of how it all works. And because of the architectural design, it looks the part.
"Also, the privacy and not being far from the beach; and it's on idyllic Waiheke.
"Onetangi is a great beach and the largest beach on the island and Onetangi is a quaint little town. Charlie's is always a good spot and there are so many nice vineyards around.
"Tantalus and Stoneyridge both have nice food."
The family has decided to sell as now they live in Castor Bay.
"We are not coming here so often now as we bought a clifftop property in Castor Bay and they are similar properties," says John. "So, we don't feel the need to go to Waiheke."
460 SEA VIEW RD, WAIHEKE
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 1* parking spaces.
• Land 2000sq m, house 194sq m.
• Tender: Closes 8 Feb.
• Inspect: Phone to view.
• Contact: Charles Collins, Kellands, 021 376 095.
* Plus 2 OSP