The Space1. If your holiday needs any of the following you have come to the right place: binoculars, a telescope, an abacus, lava lamp, plasma ball, Balinese xylophones, tarot cards, large DVD collection of obscure kung fu movies and mainstream blockbusters, overwhelming amount of books on all sorts of topics but mostly Eastern spiritualism and weird hocus-pocus
2. There are also a lot of places for a lot of people to sleep (up to 13):
Bedroom 1: King size bed, with a single bed stored underneath that rolls out
Bedroom 2: Queen size bed
Bedroom 3: Two single beds, with another single bed stored underneath that rolls out
Small living room: Foldout sofa sleeps one
Main living room: One of the couches is long enough to sleep one person comfortably
Extra mattresses: We have 3 extra single mattresses that we can pull out of storage for you if you need them. There's space on the floor in both living rooms and the dining room, to place these mattresses. Guest AccessYou'll have the whole of the upstairs to yourself with your own kitchen and bathroom.
Laundry facilities (in the garage) and driveway, garden etc is shared between yourselves and Joy, Brian & Sue-Li who live in the downstairs areas.
Our driveway can park up to 4 or even 5 vehicles, it's also possible to park across the road and down the street. Interaction with GuestsJoy and her partner Brian are in the downstairs rear flat ready to answer any questions you might have. I'm (Sue-Li) sometimes living in the downstairs front flat, sometimes travelling overseas - but I'm always available on email if you have any problems or questions. There's also an elderly cat, Ishtar, who can often be found in the back garden. The Neighborhood3 minute drive to the local train station (Swanson) with regular half-hour services to Auckland Central (or a 25 minute drive during offpeak traffic times to Auckland Central)
4 minute drive to Swanson Village (petrol station, liquor store, butcher etc)
6 minute drive to Fresh Choice Ranui (supermarket)
10 minute drive or 3 train stops to Westfield Henderson (mall, cinema complex)
3-4 minute drive to two different golf courses - Redwood Park and Waitakere
4 minute drive to Cascade Kauri Park - walking tracks through ancient forests, Fairy Falls
15 minute drive to Bethells Beach, Lake Wainamu and huge black sand dunes
15 minute drive to Kumeu District: vineyards and cafes
20 minute drive to bohemian Titirangi Village: cafes, art galleries, pottery
20 minute drive to Arataki Visitor Centre with stunning views over Manukau Harbour, lots of info about native wildlife and walking tracks
25 minute drive to Piha, famous surfing beach and a favourite for many Aucklanders
25 minute drive to Muriwai Beach and gannet colony
25 minute drive to Auckland's city centre (outside of peak traffic times)
45 minute drive to Auckland Airport (outside of peak traffic times) Getting AroundIMPORTANT: If you are staying in this area, you will need your own vehicle.
The village / shops / train station is only a 3 to 4 minute drive away but if you're walking it takes half an hour and there are steep parts! Taxi service is patchy out here too, I'm afraid. Other Things to Note--
PLEASE NOTE - SUMMER GUESTS:
Our lovely forest setting unfortunately means that along with the treetop views and the native bird sightings, there are mosquitoes, especially at sunset and night time.
So when I lived there I was in the habit of keeping the glass doors and windows shut when it's getting dark and the lights are on. (In New Zealand it's not common to install bug screens on windows like it is in some other countries, perhaps because it's only hot for a quarter of the year.)
Also! There is a trick to having a mosquito-free sleep on hot summer nights in this house.
What I do is close the windows and doors, spray the room (there's bug spray located under the kitchen sink - or please ask us downstairs for more) and get the fan out (fans are in bedroom cupboards) for a nice, cool, bug-free sleep :)
PLEASE NOTE - WINTER GUESTS:
In New Zealand, most houses (especially those built in the 1970s) did not have central heating put in, so it’s quite common for houses here to be heated with freestanding heaters. Some of our guests who are less familiar with NZ have found this surprising, so I shall describe the heating situation as below:
There is a freestanding oil heater in each living room and bedroom. Bathrooms have wall mounted heaters. There's no heater for the hallway or toilet, but there are extra heaters and extension cords for you to set this up if you wish.
You can leave the heaters going all day/night, we don't mind (but maybe set them to the lower setting).
We also have a wood burning fireplace, which we can help you with if you want.
OH AND ONE FINAL THING :)
I'm very keen to give people as accurate of an impression of the house as possible before they book. This house is from the 1970s. All the appliances are new-ish, the carpet is quite new and in good condition, but the sofa upholstery is not in perfect condition and the wallpaper, light fittings etc are the originals from the 70s. In the words of one of our previous guests:
"The photos describing the house are as accurate as photos can be. They do not show the wear and tear a house has undergone. If you like clean and modern and chic, this place is not for you. If you like a quiet and peaceful place surrounded by new age books and with a large DVD collection to watch in the evenings, then this place is perfect."