Bach Living: A Waiheke Island beachfront retreat.
For years, Bob Mcmillan resisted the pull of Waiheke Island. It was his wife of 50 years, Kerry, who urged him to take the fateful trip to the island in 2009, which resulted in them purchasing their beachfront home.
It certainly wasn't the mundane cedar house that had won them over. It was the location: a patch of mostly flat land at the secluded end of the beach, sheltered by the headland, and only a stone's skip from seas and views across the Hauraki Gulf.
By the end of their first summer in the house, the couple had decided to start afresh, designing a beachy, art filled home using mostly recycled wood.
"When we arrive, we just open the doors and windows, put the cushions out and we're ready to relax," Kerry says.
* Waiheke Island has been voted among the world's best islands
* Let's live on... Waiheke Island
* House of the week: Waiheke Island
What do you love about the spot that you're in?
It's the best beach in Auckland with safe swimming conditions and no through traffic.
What's the first thing you do when you get to the bach?
When we arrive, we just open the doors and windows, put the cushions out, turn music on and we're ready to relax.
What are your bach traditions?
Putting up a different flag daily, by children if they're in residence.
What is the best walk in the neighbourhood?
The walk along Onetangi beach at low tide. There are always treasures to find, like the driftwood in the en suite - the house's first piece of art.
What is one thing you must see when you visit?
The excellent art galleries. We visit at least one every time we're over.
What's your best BBQ meal?
You can't go past steak with a bottle of Waiheke red.
What do you do on the evenings or on a wet day?
We like to play cards, read or watch old movies.
What do the kids do?
The kids love to climb rocks, swim or play on the beach.
What are you favourite activities at the bach?
Taking the sea legs to an isolated beach for a picnic or golf.
Do you have a favourite local restaurant or café?
Poderi Crisci's vineyard restaurant in Awaawaroa Bay. You have to indulge in the long lunch where the owner Antonio selects the food for you.
What's the best party you've ever held there?
Our son's engagement party was one to remember.
What's New Year's Eve like at your bach?
Getting together with friends with a pot luck meal.
- NZ House & Garden