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5 New Zealand baches that do summer living in style

Article by Homes to Love

Whether they look out onto the sea, the bush or the mountains, these are the places that got us longing for a holiday. Scroll down to see some of our favourite baches featured on Homes to Love

Hanmer Springs bach, best baches 2018

1. Hamner Springs family getaway

Christchurch architect Cymon Allfrey, principal of Christchurch-based Cymon Allfrey Architects designed this Hanmer Springs Holiday home for his own family. The original concept of a two-storey dwelling didn’t survive the scrutiny of his wife Angela and their two teenage daughters. In its place, Cymon has designed something looser, more innovative, and more sympathetic to the family’s goal of a dwelling that inspires genuine holiday living.

The bach is both practical and inventive showing the practices ability to push architectural boundaries and was a finalist for HOME magazine’s 2018 Home of the Year award.

The site is broken down into three separate small buildings which are scattered around a central courtyard. “It’s almost like a campsite the way you are always crisscrossing the grass to get to other things, forcing you out into the elements,” says the owner.


Karekare bush bach, best baches 2018

2. Karekare bush bach

At the bach that Poole and his wife Krista Dudson built at Karekare a couple of years ago, there’s no wifi or cell reception. And there’s no art: just a lovely collection of objects the couple knew would go in the house before they even had a design.

In 2010, the couple bought a steep sliver of bush a short walk from the beach, with a narrow ledge pinched out  of the hill occupied by a couple of illegal shacks. The hired architect Nick Stevens who designed a two-storey timber box with cross-laminated timber beams doubling as floor and ceiling between. It’s clad in black corrugated steel, an economic, hard-wearing material that sits nicely in the bush.

Where it departs from being just a simple shed is the interior finish – there’s a uniformity of material on the inside and it’s very well detailed.


plywood interior, best baches 2018

3. Peka Peka holiday home 

In thick coastal bush between the road and the sand dunes, the driveway curves gently through tall stands of kānuka, ngaio and pittosporum, before you finally catch a glimpse of the Kapiti Coast holiday home hiding like a very flash hut among the trees.

It’s this sense of discovery, privacy and retreat that first attracted Architect Herriot Melhuish O’Neill’s clients to this patch of protected bush. And it’s these things that see the couple and their family travelling from their Wellington home most weekends.

To reach the front door, you almost have to push back branches to access the little finger of decking forming the front step. An oiled cedar exterior wall follows you into the hall, a small space that telescopes the view before opening up into the spectacularly airy living area.


Hawke's Bay beachfront bach, best baches 2018

4. Hawke’s Bay beachfront bach

Mangakuri is one of those classic little east coast beachside settlements. There’s one winding road in and out, over grassy burnt hills, the dust kicking out behind your wheels. The gravel road winds along the dunes between the beach and a handful of houses, which are small and polite, generally one storey.

The McClellands’ place is at one end of the beach, up a small rise and sheltered with plantings of flax, pōhutukawa, ngaio, karaka and cabbage trees . There’s a farm gate, a loose gravel driveway and, at the top of the drive, two weathering cedar boxes designed by Gerald Parsonson.

Parsonson’s plan was uncomplicated: a “simple, rectilinear box” clad in greying cedar and green-painted fibre cement board, with an open-plan living area downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs, along with a small garage with two bedrooms above. Inside, Parsonson kept things simple. There’s a plywood floor, exposed floor joists above and plasterboard walls. There’s a loosely Greek theme, but it’s not over-egged: a rendered fireplace, built-in seating, a sense of enclosure from the intense Hawke’s Bay sun.


Pauanui bach, best baches 2018

5. Pod-scheme bach in Pauanui 

With three grown daughters (one married with a child and the others recently engaged), Warren and Christine Drinkwater knew they wanted their Pauanui bach to be one of the very best, with the capacity to accommodate their growing family.

Warren told architect Paul Leuschke, of Leuschke Kahn Architects, that the house needed to work just as well with two of them in it as it would with 10.

The design he came back with included the main house with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living spaces. The pièce de résistance, though, was a separate ‘pod’ featuring two bedrooms, each big enough to accommodate a queen-sized bed and a set of bunks, separated by a bathroom in the middle.

“Paul’s pod scheme was brilliant – it was exactly what I’d been thinking of. It means we all have spaces to retreat to, plus it’s created a U-shaped arrangement which allows for privacy and cuts out wind,” says Warren. For Warren and Christine, they can celebrate many special moments at their one-of-a-kind bach, whether it’s just the two of them, or 10 or more.


Photography by: Sam Hartnett, Vanessa and Michael Lewis, Paul McCredie, Andy Spain, Mark Smith, Sam Hartnett/bauersyndication.com.au

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