Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domain

72 Watershed Road, Bunnythorpe, is nominally the beloved home of Gabrielle and Steve, their totally spoilt Labrador dogs, cats, and two tame cows. But we know better - this is Kiku’s place. Kiku is a native New Zealand Pukeko and she rules the roost around here!
Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domainGabrielle fell in love the first time see saw the land, close to town but far enough away for peace and quiet. If that wasn’t enough to sway her there are the great views of the Tararua Ranges and the clincher, a huge lagoon - just perfect for their new home. For an avid bird and animal lover it couldn't get any better. Being the focused people they are Steve put all his 35 years of building experience to use immediately and 12 weeks after buying the land they moved into their new home.

The expansive views continue to amaze Gabrielle. The master bedroom, kitchen, and living rooms all look across open pasture to the Tararua Ranges which provide a canvas for nature to paint a masterpiece at sunset. “We have seen some of the most spectacular coloured skies and we often capture it on camera” Gabrielle told us “We have never tired of these wonderful views”.
Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domainThe house itself is clearly a pleasure to live in, cool in the summer and warm and welcoming in the winter. The layout is practical and family friendly with easy access to outdoor decking through two large bi-fold doors. There has been many a family gathering here over the last eight years. Summer barbecues and parties are easy to cater for with a large bi-fold window in the kitchen acting as a serving and bar area for guests outside.

When Steve and Gabrielle feel a need to retreat the large master bedroom is a calming place to go and aside from the living area is their favourite room in the house. Gabrielle said “A hot shower is something I always look forward to as the water pressure is excellent! Then again, I find the office a good place to hide away for a little internet surfing on the computer or to catch up with far away family and friends on Facebook”. Of course Steve enjoys things a little more ‘blokey’ so he has his man-cave in the separate garage/workshop or you can find him cruising around on his favourite toy, the ride on mower, which he will leave behind for the new owners!
Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domainBut the outdoors are Kiku's domain and the gardens are something Steve is hugely proud of and rightly so. For five years after they moved in Steve landscaped the property. Every stone for the garden edgings and drive way portico is hand picked. Gabrielle told us “locals would comment that every time they drove past a new landscaping feature had appeared. He planted trees, laid concrete, built pillars, erected fences and gates”. The 100m long pond was originally completely surrounded by native trees but Steve wanted to make the pond a feature of the property and a sanctuary for wild birds and water fowl. That's what Steve says, but we think this was Kiku's demand. So Steve opened it out and the pond has became an extension of the front lawn with a jetty to launch and park canoes and two decks. The water has since become a haven to ducks, a clan of Pukeko and a visiting endangered native Dabchick. It also provides a stop over for Canada Geese and a friendly local Shag named "Shaggy". Gabrielle told us “sitting down by the pond is just so relaxing with a glass of wine and book, birdsong in the background. Or just watching the ducks and Pukeko as they enjoy their natural habitat”. Being bird lovers Gabrielle and Steve also mention the Tuis, Fantails, and Swallows. Who needs "Animal Planet" when you are in Kiku's backyard.
Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domainGabrielle also loves the community “we have the best neighbours“ she says. Although they can't be seen from the house she tells us that it’s great to know they're only a wander or phone call away should they need them. The farmer next door has helped with cows, provided hay, firewood and friendly advice on all things rural. The local Hiwinui primary school has an excellent reputation and is within walking distance down the road as is the college bus.

So why sell? Steve is a typical builder and has his mind set on building one last home, one last big challenge before he hangs up his tool bag for good. But Gabrielle is clear about one thing “aside from wonderful memories and photographs of our happy time living here there will be one other thing we will take with us, our beloved pet Pukeko Kiku”.
Welcome to Kiku the Pukeko’s domain

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