The Good Life: A home amid native bush, but just 17 minutes from the capital

Hankering to escape the rat race, and get some serious social distancing in, but can’t stand the thought of being too far away from the action? This just might be the place for you.

Set amid 38 hectares of semi-rural and covenanted native bush, this 80s-built home has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and two reception rooms as well as an office, art studio and several outbuildings.

A mature garden surrounds the home, with two small paddocks leading to regenerating and mature native bush, part of the bird corridor linked to Zealandia.

The home was architecturally redesigned by the Joneses, which is when they embraced the classic Kiwi shed red color.

Harcourts / Supplied

The home was architecturally redesigned by the Joneses, which is when they embraced the classic Kiwi shed red color.

“We’ve lived here 26 years,” says owner Rose Mary Jones. “It’s been a lovely place to live.”

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While it might look like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, it is in fact only 9.5kms from parliament, a 17-minute drive from the center of Wellington.

“When you’re here you feel quite remote, it’s quite a special valley.”

The property was built in the 80s and renovated in the 90s.

Harcourts / Supplied

The property was built in the 80s and renovated in the 90s.

Originally a goat farm, the dwelling was built by Dr. Rob Moody in 1980 as two separate buildings. When the Joneses bought the property in 1995, they joined the two with a tall, glassed-in, atrium-like connecting space where the kitchen and dining room are now.

The architects who designed the space persuaded them to use the classic Kiwi shed red for the home.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and can be accessed from both sides.

Harcourts / Supplied

The kitchen is the heart of the home and can be accessed from both sides.

“We stuck with it. In fact, it’s always been known in the family as the red house.”

A venue for teenaged gatherings when the couple’s children were younger, Jones says the home wasn’t always peaceful but it was a restful, private retreat. Both Rose Mary and Mark worked in high pressure jobs at Wellington hospital, so after a shift “it was a very relaxing place to come back to”.

When they first moved in, the property was all paddocks. There was no garden close to the house like there is now. That was all Rose Mary’s work of hers.

There are multiple ways the home can be configured - it's been great for parties.

Harcourts / Supplied

There are multiple ways the home can be configured – it’s been great for parties.

But there is still plenty of space for small animals if you wanted to keep them.

“Our girls had ponies and we used to have a few cattle. They’re quite hard work.

“Eventually, apart from the garden, we let the property grow back to bush and some of that is covenanted. So we’ve got two areas of QEII covenanted bush, which is wonderful.”

The Joneses have lived her for almost 30 years.

Harcourts / Supplied

The Joneses have lived her for almost 30 years.

Behind the property is the Karori stream, which leads you up into the bush and stands of mature rewarewa. There are farm tracks and other walkways into the Karori wilds too.

The property is adjacent to block owned by the Wellington Natural Heritage Trust so the area is heavily pest controlled, which means there are often myriad native birds on the property and in the bush surrounding the home.

Jones sees tūī and bellbirds, as well as saddlebacks and kaka regularly. There used to be some hunting up in the bush, but most of the goats and deer have been hunted out now, and the native wildlife is coming back.

The home would suit a large family, with energy and enthusiasm to spare.

Harcourts / Supplied

The home would suit a large family, with energy and enthusiasm to spare.

Back at the house, many of the rooms are designed for flexible use, and can be configured several ways.

“Mark’s got a study and I’ve got an art studio, so it’s a very flexible house. All the areas flow into each other really well. It will accommodate a large number of people all doing different things.

“The other lovely thing about it is that the kitchen was designed to serve on both sides of the house – a courtyard area with a big table in it, and the deck with a big table on the other side. So if it’s slightly windy or breezy on one side, you can go out the other. We’ve had a lot of pretty good parties here.

The modern, fresh interior needs very little work.

Harcourts / Supplied

The modern, fresh interior needs very little work.

“The house number is a rural number. So it’s 2.87k from the bus stop, not far out of your way take the kids to school or pick up from the bus stop. They can ride bikes, as well.

“There’s quite a lot of maintenance in the garden, which is why we’re downsizing. It’s quite a big house, it’s five bedrooms plus, the studio ants and study. We don’t need all that space anymore.”

The home has plenty of private space for a large, bustling family.

Harcourts / Supplied

The home has plenty of private space for a large, bustling family.

There are also several outbuildings, including a potting shed, hen house and double garage / workshop, so ample room for anyone who likes “pottering about”.

The five-bedroom, two-bathroom, 283sqm home, on 38 hectares of land is unusual for the area. That makes it difficult to price, however the RV is $ 2.04 million. The average in Karori, which is mostly suburban, is about $ 1.39m, according to Homes.co.nz.

The listing is with Jane Park and Matt Sisson for Harcourts with an open home on Saturday March 19, from 11.30am to 12.30pm. The home will be sold by tender on March 24.

There is plenty of space for an avid gardener to create something really special.

Harcourts / Supplied

There is plenty of space for an avid gardener to create something really special.

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