The house that Christmas built

The largest and most expensive private home in New Zealand is up for sale through Browns Sotheby's International Realty – and even comes complete with its own dedicated ‘Christmas gift room' and miniature ponies…

The home in Coatesville, 15 miles north of Auckland's city centre, was built for an expat British couple who commissioned local Architect Greg Noble to construct a ‘traditional English country home.'

The couple, Richard and Ruth Bradley, are the founders of Christmas hamper company Chrisco and wanted a home from home when they emigrated from England to New Zealand in 1993.  

The four-storey home, which sits on 55 acres and spans 48,000 square feet, took four years and £11.5 million to build. It comes complete with a dedicated gift wrapping room – an essential in any home- as well as seven bedrooms, guest cottage, wine cellar, theatre, garden maze, tennis courts, vineyard and boathouse.

As well as being home to the Bradleys, it is also home to four miniature ponies and two llamas and is an easy drive to the popular beaches on the North Auckland Peninsula.

The build sadly cost the life of a tradesman, who was killed on site after being struck by a steel boom while two co-workers were trying to dismantle a crane.

When the house was first built, Greg Noble, the Architect behind the house said, ‘It's not unusual historically to build in the classic country house style and there are plenty of good colonial examples everywhere.

"However, the country adopted a modernist approach from the 1950s and there has been little traditional building since.

"Creating a brand new English-style country house, in new gardens and its own parkland setting is unique today – not least, because this kind of opportunity is so rare in the UK," added Mr Noble.

In recent years, city types have flocked to rural Coatesville, transforming farmland into substantial country homes.

It is the first real green belt area just beyond metropolitan limits and is also popular with the affluent, since the retail and entertainment centre of Albany is just minutes away by car.

If you are interested in purchasing a slice of New Zealand, English style, contact Browns Sotheby's International Realty on +64 9 366 4666.