Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top Homes for sale: Haven for high-flying city commuters

The grand home boasts a helicopter pad, but Vicky Fulton (inset) doesn't fly choppers.

Vicky Fulton's Coromandel property comes with an elevator running between the wine cellar and top floor, friendly peacocks in the back yard, and a landing pad and hangar for your helicopter.

The Whangapoua property is just 20 minutes from south Auckland - if you've got the chopper.

From 2005, Ms Fulton and her former husband designed the property after buying the section subdivided from a block of land around the world-renowned New Chums Beach, an isolated strip of coast revered by Lonely Planet and National Geographic and recently involved in controversy over two planned developments.

"My husband was a private pilot. When we built, my husband decided to get his license. We needed to get back and forth from Auckland easily. We had a hangar attached to the house. It's a great big garage.

Ms Fulton, an Auckland photographer, told the Herald the helipad can double as a car park - fitting 15 cars.

"Flying back and forwards was great when we were constructing the house. An hour from Parnell, or 20 minutes from Ardmore, we would have a chardonnay in our hands within five minutes."

Since separating from her husband, Ms Fulton has been renting out the house and its 1.56ha while trying to sell it for $3.5 million.

Te Punga Lodge is the name of the house when it's serving as a rentable holiday home. But Ms Fulton has also had the house to herself - that's four luxury bedrooms, three ensuites, a powder room, two studies, a 12-person bunkroom and a games room.

The kitchen has a scullery and Italian cabinets and countertop.

Ms Fulton described the vegetable garden as "pretty self-sufficient".

"I've developed the garden over the last seven years. It's lush, predominantly native bush. There's an olive grove, glasshouse, raised vegetable gardens."

The hillside property, overlooking farmland and ocean, attracts wild peacocks and pheasants, tui, kereru and pukeko.

"We were coming here on holidays for many years, 30 years ago," Ms Fulton said.

"I rented properties, then fell in love with Whangapoua itself.

"We knew what we wanted in terms of sun, wind and weather."

The house is concrete tilt slab, with most concrete walls 270mm thick providing strong insulation to aid the heat pumps, smart lights and solar power.

"It's got 2400 tonnes of concrete in the floors, walls and slabs."

Ms Fulton said the helicopter commuting makes her home "fairly unique" on a peninsula known for one-room baches. One neighbour in particular takes advantage of heli-power.

"Michael Fay buzzes overhead to the Mercury Islands, and a couple of holidaymakers come down by helicopter."

Ms Fulton said she is considering moving to Matakana.

"The helicopter got sold. I can't fly it. We're hoping someone who'll buy it wants the same sort of lifestyle."

151 F Te Punga Rd

•Whangapoua, Coromandel

•2005, concrete

•CV: $1,710,000

•5 bed, 3 ensuites and powder room

•Floor area: 700sq m

•Land area: 1.56ha

•Asking price: By negotiation, over $3.5m

•Comes with: Helicopter landing pad, wine cellar, peacocks, six car spaces

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