Uku and then Mac and I set off exploring the countryside looking for locations that appealed to us. Then we made up a flyer detailing what we were looking for in a lifestyle block, included a little about our family, and set off on Mac's motorbike, me on the back, and delivered our flyer to mailboxes in the areas that we had identified as suitable. We had quite a few replies, many from people who had not yet subdivided, and a couple from people who hadn't even thought about it until they read our flyer. We whittled it down to two properties, one which had land well developed, but with an old and not easily modified house, way too small for our family of five. The other was a piece of bush and a horse paddock.
We fell in love. The property was in the process of being subdivided from the farm and as yet had no driveway, so to look at the 'usable' land, we had to walk from the farmers' house, through the bush. By the time we reached the paddock, I was choking back tears: we couldn't afford it and we could see that he wasn't going to drop the price but as we walked through the trees, including large rimu, and by the waterfall and stream, I knew that any other property would be second best. Jeff, 9, loved it too: he disappeared accompanied by the farmers' fox terrier, and when he returned he commented (much to the farmer's horror) on the beautiful yellow flowers (gorse!)
So when it came to choosing between the well developed place we had almost decided on before we saw this place, I expected Mac to take the practical path. But he had fallen in love too.
So, Secret Waters (named by Jeff, our then 9 year old) it was!