Looking out across Auckland's Waitemata Harbour from her 12th floor apartment, Heather Anderson is reminded of her childhood on the family farm in Southland.
"I grew up east of Gore and I loved being able to walk around the farm," she says.
"You can walk right around this whole apartment — it's my farm walk."
A tour takes in the circumference of the apartment, with its unrestricted 270-degree views.
Off the central lobby, the large granite kitchen and dining area look west to the Waitakere Ranges.
The adjacent lounge and master bedroom, which share a semi-circular, indoor/outdoor transition lounge, follow the harbour bridge north.
The guest bedrooms each have their own city and urban views to the east and the south.
A northwest-facing quadrant deck off the lounge and dining area looks out to the North Shore.
A closed-in eastside deck accesses the master bedroom and second guest bedroom, which share an en suite.
For Heather and her husband Mike Clark, both retired, these are Auckland's best front-row seats. "We see all the yacht races and all the harbour events," says Heather. "When the America's Cup was here we saw all the boats coming in and it felt as if we were part of the celebrations.
"Then there are the bridge lights, which are beautiful, and when the fireworks are on, they're right in our faces. It's wonderful."
Heather thought she'd never catch a bus until she moved here. "But I do because it is right here and so easy to get into the city."
It took Heather and Mike time to find their feet. They'd originally lived on a lifestyle property near Wellington before moving to Auckland, when their son Scott was a rising junior tennis player.
They bought an apartment in Remuera and then Heather decided she didn't like apartment living.
"I'd come from a house with a tennis court and pool, so we moved back to a big property," she says. "Then I thought we have to do the lawns and all these repairs ... "
Heather quickly realised she no longer had the no-maintenance advantages of a body corporate — the lure of apartment living became irresistible.
Scott, then living in the United States, found this apartment for sale online in 2007 and emailed his parents.
"I came in here, walked right around it and saw the views and it made me so happy," says Heather. "I didn't realise how good it was to be living in an apartment till then."
Heather and Mike lived here for 10 years until 18 months ago, when they moved into their renovated two-storey penthouse, one of 16 apartments (including the manager's on the ground-floor ) in this 17-storey development.
Between them, they own six apartments, designed in 1985 as the "Shangri-La Mansions". And they are proud of the collaborative approach among Shangri-La residents towards its upkeep.
12/97 JERVOIS RD, HERNE BAY
• 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• 243sq m.
• Auction: Feb 20.
• Body corp: $22,795 a year.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 2-2.30pm.
• Schools: Ponsonby Primary School, Western Springs College, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
• Contact: Pene Milne, Sotheby's, 021 919 940.