At this Whakamarama holiday home, you can set a luxurious pace.
WORDS JENNY RUDD/ PHOTOS AMANDA AITKEN
When I was a child, my family had a bach on Waiheke Island,” says Christine McMillan. “We roamed everywhere, across fields and over fences, peering into boat sheds, wondering what we’d find.”
Although Christine’s Whakamarama holiday home, Morning Tide Villa, was inspired by her Waiheke childhood, the pieces inside it come from all over the world.
“I bought lots of things in simple seaside places, like the villages in Cornwall that are home to artists. They do the beachy way of life I have in my memory. I want guests who rent this house to feel peaceful as soon as they walk in the entrance at the bottom of the driveway, so we designed it so there’s water everywhere you look.”
Morning Tide Villa sits on the edge of a finger of land north of Tauranga on Plummers Point Road, looking across to Matakana Island. Here, the expression ‘drink in the view’ could not be more apt – it quenches any thirst for nature. At the front of the house, tidal waters ebb and flow around the green coastline, and at the rear is a swimming pool designed by Mark Cashmore, plus a gas fire built into the deck with shaded sofas and chairs so you can sit outside day and night.
Every detail throughout the property’s two main buildings encourages you to slow down and enjoy the moment. A veranda wraps around them both, and each of the bedrooms has its own character, with wrought-iron beds from the UK and lighting from Belgium upping the comfort and warmth as the sun sets.
“I built this house when my boys were growing up and have so many memories here: doing homework in the games room looking out at the pool, barbecues in front of the fire as the tide came in,” says Christine. “Now it’s time for other families to enjoy it as we have.”