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Down to the sea again

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Located just inside the entrance to Whangarei's deep, natural, all-weather harbour is Marsden Cove, a new marina subdivision

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Waiting at the boat ramp can quickly take away any sense of spontaneity from a day out on the waves. Marsden Cove, located on the southern side of the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, offers another option for dedicated boaties. Here, man-made canals run through the development, providing owners with a section on the water's edge and a private jetty where they can berth a boat – less than a stone's throw from their front door.

A Hopper Developments subdivision, Marsden Cove incorporates a network of canalside sections that are designed to appeal to a mix of holiday-makers, retirees and boating enthusiasts. A central hub, including retail outlets, a café and fuel outlet, is connected to homes by a network of footpaths, helping to create a lively and sociable atmosphere for residents.

In addition, recent approval of the marina as a New Zealand Customs port of entry for sea-going vessels brings extra activity and an international flavour to Marsden Cove. Overseas cruising yachts come and go, using the berths and other facilities available at the marina.

For boaties looking for an easy and convenient base, a section at the Cove comes complete with its own jetty. The home featured on these pages was designed and built by Cranston Homes to double as a show home for Marsden Cove and as a holiday home for its owners and their extended family.

"Our design brief was to maximise the location and produce a home that was right for this site," says the company's managing director, Blair Cranston.


"Architecturally, we set out to give the exterior a contemporary look, using low-maintenance materials and finishes," Cranston says.

"The design had to make the most of the views of the canal and the wider outlook towards the Heads. To do this, we have provided the house with a number of different interior spaces," he says.

At the heart of the design is a large open-plan living area that extends across the site and overlooks the canal. Full-height sliding doors open onto a terrace and wide stairs lead directly to the jetty.

Double doors from the living area open to a wide gallery that gives access to three spacious bedrooms and a guest powder room on this level, and to the master bedroom suite on the upper level of the home.

Each of the bedrooms on the ground level has its own ensuite bathroom, so that the house can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from entertaining members of the extended family and friends, to operating as a lodge.

Sliding doors open from the gallery onto a spacious central outdoor courtyard. Shelter and privacy are provided by the main living area, a tall block wall along the side of the property, and a large double garage on the road boundary. An open fireplace in the wall adds warmth and ambience, and glass sliding doors into the living area ensure the water views can still be enjoyed from the courtyard.

First published date: 07 January 2010

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Credit List

Location Marsden Cove, Whangarei Heads
Developer Hopper Developments
Designer and builder Cranston Homes Auckland, RMBF
Interior designer Gwen Hopper
Kitchen design and manufacture Silverdale Kitchens
Cladding Honed Architectural Series blockwork from Stevensons; Linea weatherboard from James Hardie
Roofing ColorSteel from Roofing Improvement
Tiling Ceramic from Tile Warehouse
Flooring Carpet from Cavalier Bremworth
Wallcoverings Resene
Painter PR Painter
Lighting Prolux from Jeff Webb Electrical
Heating system Gas fire from 4 Seasons North Shore
Doors and windows APL from Vantage
Window and door hardware Icon APL, from Vantage
Kitchen cabinetry Melteca with Laminex accents
Benchtops Antique brown granite from Granite Benchtops
Splashback Whangaparaoa Glass
Kitchen sink Franke Acquario from Burns & Ferrell
Taps Grohe Eurosmart from Plumbing World
Appliances Fisher & Paykel