As the sun slips away over the Hawke’s Bay hillside, the soft glow of filtered twilight finds passage over sash windows, and an air of bygone elegance sweeps over Wirihana.
Built circa 1905 by popular Northumberland shipmaster Captain Richard Todd, the commanding residence dubbed ‘Wirihana’ at 153 Thompson Road occupies an exceptional position in Bluff Hill, showcasing ever-changing and stunning panoramic views of the sea and mountains.
It features four bedrooms, multiple living areas and an in-ground swimming pool set over a spacious 1,210sqm (more or less) site.
Bayleys Napier residential salesperson Caroline Meo says the current owners have skilfully combined contemporary grace and heritage charm in refurbishing the original early 20th century estate, designed by prominent New Zealand architect Charles Natusch for Captain Todd’s son as his marital home.
Meo is marketing the property for sale by tender, closing at 12:00 pm on Friday, 8th September (unless sold prior).
“While original plans for the property were lost in the fire at the Napier Council Chambers during the 1931 earthquake, heritage craftsmanship endures through features including Kauri panelling, the gabled roofing and beautiful stained-glass entrance.
“We understand the home became the enduring legacy of Vidie Todd (later Wilson), who spent her life at the residence, enjoying the spectacular vantage point on the hill above the city.
“Surrounded by abundant birdlife and established trees with the sound of waves crashing below on the Ahuriri foreshore, it is simply sublime and very hard to leave.”
Meo says the home has been immaculately and sympathetically refurbished to the highest exacting standards, with unrivalled quality reflected in rich textures, including oak veneer, Calcutta marble and fluted glass.
“It’s a harmonious blend of character and contemporary, both indoors and out - resulting in timeless sophistication and a true lifestyle proposition.”
Set back from the road, Wirihana spans 270sqm (more or less), with visitors invited in through the Kauri panelled entrance hallway and beautiful arched doorway, interconnecting three northwest-facing living areas and several alfresco zones.
“Lofty high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling sash windows accentuate the living spaces, each providing an incredible vantage point from which to stop and absorb views of harbour activity.
“The wraparound return veranda juts out to the ocean, providing a sunny position to enjoy the birdsong of resident tui and kereru, and take in the terraced grounds which boasts a home orchard, established vegetable gardens and manicured lawn.
“Simply stunning, the property provides the perfect backdrop for respite and family enjoyment with the large and flat lawn adjacent to the in-ground swimming pool gaining north-westerly views to the harbour and hillside.”
In the bespoke kitchen, a clean, luxurious palette encircles a marble breakfast bar, and the functional combination of high-end appliances compliment blackened brass, oak veneer and curved cabinetry.
Upstairs, the master suite features a private balcony with mesmerising views and bathroom, with a supplementary room on the level serving as a bedroom or flexible workspace.
“There is an impressive selection of lifestyle-uplifting technology, including Wi-Fi controlled Casambi smart lighting, Wi-Fi controlled garden irrigation, and an indoor-outdoor speaker system.”
Set within an exclusive enclave, surrounded by many of the city’s most beautiful homes, the Bluff Hill area commands some of the highest property prices in the region, owing to its easy reach of the city centre, beaches at Ahuriri and excellent school zones.
Additionally, Napier Airport is nearby, making the property well-suited for regular commuters.
“The supply of urban sites for housing and development remains tight, with the underlying land value of the sprawling property complementing its already comprehensive list of desirable features and heritage appeal.
“Quality family homes of this magnitude and in such a spectacular setting are tightly held, and we expect this rare opportunity will create immense interest from purchasers appreciative of beautiful architecture and the private-yet-accessible urban location,” Meo says.