Anna Verboeket has lived in Westmere for almost 20 years. She and her husband have recently renovated their worker’s cottage overlooking the zoo.
Anna has also owned a house in Chester Avenue and rented in Warwick Avenue; Nigel had a house in Norfolk Street in the 90s.
Anna’s favourite room is the living room. The family uses it for entertaining and 'just living' - it’s open plan into the kitchen and dining and opens onto a large deck overlooking Anna’s extensive, lovingly tended garden filled with rare cycads, bromeliads, hibiscus, frangipani, and bird of paradise. You can sometime see giraffes from the lookout at the end of the garden.
Beyond the garden, the view from the deck looks down onto the zoo. Lions, monkeys, screeching Kiwis and seals barking are all part of the property’s soundscape. The family has seen elephants with their keepers being fed on the bamboo grown for them at the foot of their property, and cheetahs on leashes coming up to the old Old Mill Road entrance to the zoo.
There’s lots of bird life too - tuis, gray warblers, fantails, rainbow lorikeets and, in the twilight, hunting swallows. Beyond the zoo and Point Chevalier, the property looks out to the Waitakeres, with drop-dead sunsets all year round.
The living room is Anna’s favourite because “It's sunny and warm and it looks out onto the distant view. And it's green, 10 minutes from the city."
Her favourite things in the room? "Nigel’s speakers (not), the tiki bar sign gifted to us by a friend, photos of the kids."