As Akaroa prospered in the later years of the 19th century, some of its better-off residents began to build larger houses than the cottages and small homes of earlier years.
This substantial house, with its style influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the English Domestic Revival hints strongly at the New Zealand bungalow style of the 1920s and 1930s. The house is believed to have been built about 1898, when the land was bought by H.C. Orbell, a solicitor who served on the Borough Council and was mayor of the town.
Previously known as Ardgowan, it did not acquire its Greek name, which means “We behold the sea” until the 1950s. It has remained a private residence.