It was the promise of an idyllic rural lifestyle on the city’s edge that lured Sarndra Newman onto the historic Woodlands property in Bethlehem.
Ten years later, she and husband Maurice are sharing that same dream with a small group of retirees.
The former Gisborne farm girl remembers the first time she encountered Woodlands’ glorious, tree-lined driveway and generous tract of green space.
“I was instantly smitten,” she says of the paddocks for ponies and sheep, with an ancient, gnarled pohutukawa for the three children to climb. Even then, she envisaged a time when the children were grown, the surrounding land could evolve into something broader and more special.
Now, Woodlands Boutique Village is a unique haven of just seventeen architecturally designed, environmentally-friendly homes nestled among established trees that attract wood pigeons and tui.
“It has to be the kind of place we’d love to live, a place our own parents could happily move into,” she says.
That means a no-compromises approach to build quality but it also means access to a communal vegetable garden, hive honey and fresh eggs from the resident chooks. It certainly means security, independence and privacy with the kind of care that only family owners can offer.
With stage one of the village underway, Sarndra and Maurice are on site every day and will remain ‘just through the hedge’, in the family home that doubles as the village’s administrative heart. Son Nick is currently designing the clubhouse and spa that will nestle into an existing stand of native bush, and plans are afoot to create a blokes’ shed, complete with workbench and tool-lined walls.
Sarndra has turned her artist’s eye – she is a potter and a painter – to the interiors and insisted on solar panels, double glazing and efficient heating.
“We keep going back to that ‘what would we appreciate’ test, like stone bench tops in the kitchen and raised garden beds for residents who want to grow their own vegetables. A convivial clubhouse, with glorious Mount views, where people can borrow a book or meet friends for a drink.
“Most of all though, we want to create a place with real heart, a place that feels like home.”
A home at Woodlands includes:
· Cost saving solar energy
· Northerly aspect
· Energy efficient LED lighting
· Rainwater collection tanks
· Full insulation
· 2.7m high ceilings
· Close to Bethlehem Town Centre, Medical centres & public transport.
For a retirement rich in goodness, Woodlands may be just the place you’ve been looking for. If you are interested in learning more, Village owner Sarndra would love to talk to you.
Mobile: 021 0265 3536
Phone: 07 576 8874