COASTAL RE­TREAT AT MO­TUNUI

COVER PROP­ERTY

Taranaki Daily News - Your Property Weekly - - Front Page - War­rick Quinn

Niki reck­ons she has the best kitchen view in Taranaki … and it’s hard to ar­gue.

The stun­ning vista from Niki and hus­band War­ren’s prop­erty at 129 Tu­rangi Rd Lower at Mo­tunui takes in large swathes of the Taranaki coast­line – views of Onaero, sweep­ing up past Urenui, White­cliffs, on to Mokau and fur­ther afield, ‘‘even to Kawhia on crys­tal clear days’’, and also down the coast to­wards New Ply­mouth.

‘‘I learned to be a cook in this kitchen – with a view like this I was happy to spend time here,’’ Niki laughs.

Ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed by Mike Johns, the four-bed­room, nat­u­ral tim­ber, board-and-bat­ten split-level home was built in 1996 af­ter the cou­ple found their ‘‘piece of par­adise’’ when re­turn­ing from over­seas.

‘‘I am a coun­try girl at heart and al­ways wanted to live in the coun­try and bring a fam­ily up with the same op­por­tu­ni­ties of wide-open spa­ces to ex­plore. We were look­ing for a piece of coastal land and th­ese sec­tions came up. We were one of the first to build and a lit­tle com­mu­nity has de­vel­oped since then.’’

About half­way be­tween Waitara and Urenui, and a straight­for­ward drive into New Ply­mouth, Tu­rangi Rd Lower flows down to­wards the coast and nar­rows to a quiet sin­gle-lane stretch, where a hand­ful of houses have popped up over the years, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the beau­ti­ful sea views.

‘‘We had a ba­sic idea of what type of house we wanted and Mike did a fab­u­lous job – we get the sun­rise and sun­set, views of the coast, and we can see the moun­tain from the up­stairs rooms. It’s also got a real homely feel,’’ Niki says.

The struc­turally unique home boasts in­ter­est­ing an­gles, a soar­ing cathe­dral ceil­ing with ex­posed wooden beams, and a mul­ti­tude of alu­minium-framed win­dows, which make the most of the mil­lion-dol­lar views and the all-day sun. A deck wraps around the liv­ing and din­ing area on the lower level and is shel­tered from the pre­vail­ing west­erly wind by es­tab­lished trees and shrubs.

Step­ping in off the deck, the warm kitchen and din­ing room ar­eas, which face the sea and the front gar­den, flow into the main lounge, where a bay win­dow is the per­fect spot to read a book or watch boats and sea life, in­clud­ing the an­nual whale mi­gra­tion.

While the win­dows pro­vide plenty of sun warmth, the house is oth­er­wise heated by a wood burner with a wet­back. The long chim­ney stretches up the wall of the lounge, pro­vid­ing plenty of warmth for the up­stairs rooms.

Past the kitchen on the left is a bath­room, fol­lowed by the laun­dry, be­fore you reach the good-size guest bed­room at the end of the pas­sage. Off the laun­dry is an out­side door to the drive­way, and an­other to the two-car garage, which has an­other door lead­ing out to the shel­tered back sec­tion.

Tak­ing the stairs, you reach a charm­ing, curved mez­za­nine, which looks out over the lounge and has proved a talk­ing point with vis­i­tors and a fun spot for kids to ex­plore.

Off the mez­za­nine are three more bed­rooms, in­clud­ing the master bed­room, which has an en­suite with a cute tri­an­gle­shaped win­dow – out one win­dow you can check what the weather’s do­ing at sea, and out the other, what con­di­tions are like on Mt Taranaki. The master bed­room and the sec­ond bed­room share a deck that, once again, pro­vides beau­ti­ful views over the ocean.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing,’’ says Niki of the master bed­room. ‘‘When you wake up and the sun’s com­ing up, you just feel awake and ready to get on with the day. Sun­rises over the sea and hills to the east can be an ab­so­lutely sen­sa­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

With two grow­ing boys, in 2003 the cou­ple asked Mike Johns to de­sign an ad­di­tion, so up a few more stairs is a large games room built by Kelvin Pearce. As well as an­other toi­let, and two ceil­ing sky­lights, the room boasts a set of French doors open­ing out onto a bal­cony. This room could eas­ily be con­verted into a new master bed­room or a stu­dio.

‘‘The boys have had a great time up here with their mates, play­ing pool, en­joy­ing videos and watch­ing the stars through the sky­lights at night.’’

It is the boys, and their grow­ing in­ter­est in out­doors, mo­tor­bikes and moun­tain bikes that has prompted Niki and War­ren to buy a big­ger piece of land, build again and put their loved home on the mar­ket.

‘‘Our kids are grow­ing up and we need more room. It’s been a hard de­ci­sion, but a life­style de­ci­sion.’’

With the sea on its doorstep, Niki be­lieves their home would suit ‘‘peo­ple with a sense of ad­ven­ture and who want a coun­try life­style with­out hav­ing to main­tain land’’.

A size­able back­yard and a ‘front yard’ of the ocean for swim­ming, kayak­ing, fish­ing and surf­ing mean there are plenty of op­tions for keep­ing chil­dren and adults en­ter­tained.

Michelle Gyde, of Ur­ban Stu­dio Prop­er­ties, is mar­ket­ing the prop­erty and says it has a ‘‘feel of nat­u­ral, earthy and calm that will cast a net out to young fam­i­lies, those who yearn to be by the sea, cre­ative souls search­ing for in­spi­ra­tion or those who sim­ply want to sit back, re­lax and ab­sorb the view’’.

Pho­tos: MARK HAR­RIS AT OPEN2VIEW

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