Fri, Nov 25, 2022 3:39 PM

My Home


Tessa Jaine

John Martin, known to the locals as Johnny Driftwood (he made furniture from driftwood back in the day) sailed to New Zealand from Australia 30 years ago. He bought a house on Rarangi Beach and loved living there so much that he convinced his parents, who were still living in Australia, to come out and join him. He bought a home for them just down the beach from his own.

For the next 20 years John’s parents, Irene and Neil, enjoyed travelling between Australia and New Zealand. Spending summers in New Zealand and our winters over in Cairns with John’s brother.

John’s mum passed away last year after a battle with cancer. His dad continued living at the home where John and Millie have been caring for him, but recently he moved into a rest home, Alzheimer’s has meant he can no longer live by himself.

After discovering almost all of New Zealand, John and his partner Millie are ready for their next adventure and are preparing to go back to Australia.

John says his parents made the most of life and believed that you need to enjoy what you’ve got – you can’t take it with you! He gives us a glimpse into his parents Rarangi Beach home which is going on the market for the first time in 20 years.


Where is your home and how long have you lived here?

Rarangi Beach. My parents (Irene and Neil) have lived here for around 20 years on and off (between NZ and Australia). Answering on their behalf.

What four words would you use to describe your home?

Epic views, relaxed lifestyle.

What inspired this look?

A love of beauty, art, different cultures and the relaxed beachy vibe.


What piece would you never part with?

Mum would have never parted with the driftwood copper candle holder I made for her many years ago, it sits on the dining table.

When it comes to homewares do you, save or splurge?

Mum would definitely splurge. She loved beautiful things and decorating her home accordingly.

Which items or fixtures did you splurge on and where did you save?

Splurged on new carpet, only the best quality for Irene!


What was your favourite spot?

Dad’s favourite spot was the garage where he loved wood joinery, which you can still see features around the house.

What’s your favourite room?

Mum’s favourite room was the kitchen, she was always in it cooking, whilst admiring the view out her window. Irene was a great cake baker, every year she made the biggest Christmas fruit cakes.

Best seat in the house?

Mum and Dad’s favourite seat was the wooden bench we built, situated near the beach.


What should every home have?

A garden.

Do you have any tips on how to keep your living area orderly?

Declutter on a regular basis and be willing to let things go you no longer use or value. Everything has its place!

Best memory in your home?

Relaxed family gatherings.

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