Rachael Imrie and Nigel Snowden had never been to Point Wells so when they saw a property there they decided to go for a recce.

"It piqued our curiosity and there it was, about five minutes from Matakana and a couple of minutes from Omaha. It's just a very sweet, old fashioned village," says Rachael.

"It's like a little place that time forgot really. It reminded Nigel and I both of holiday places of our childhood; the grass verges and dead-end streets. We were really charmed by it and then a couple of years later we saw the bach advertised, so we went up there."

That was about eight years ago and, while Rachael says the house is lovely, what she really raves about is the location.


"It's got gorgeous views and it backs on to this little reserve. It's a very iconic Kiwi bach. You know, when you were living in London in your 20s and you thought back to New Zealand, it's the kind of place you always thought about."

The couple, their two children and Alfie the dog have spent a lot of time up at Point Wells, only an hour from Auckland, especially during the summer holidays.

"It's got a big, flat lawn with pohutukawas and tui and fat little wood pigeons. It's just gorgeous.

"The house is really nice. It's charming and comfortable but definitely the key element is the location."

The bach is on the Whangateau Harbour estuary and Rachael says while she had never spent much time on estuaries she is sold on them now.

"I love them now because they have this constantly changing view. They're definitely at their prettiest when the tide is high but they're almost more interesting when it's low because you see horses being ridden on them and kids out fossicking, people walking.

"It's kind of low level but there is always something changing on it and it's quite a peaceful, lovely sort of thing to look out on."

And being on an estuary is great for little children because the water is shallow, she says.
"We paddle board and kayak and windsurf — you can [put] the dog on the paddle board. He wasn't too sure about that but he's survived it many times."

The children liked to ride their bikes to the jetties and jump into the water at high tide or cycle to the icecream shop.

The house dates back to the 1970s and is open plan and airy — the former owners went "crazy with ranch sliders" — with a wraparound deck and views to Ti Point one way and to houses at Omaha another.

The downstairs area needed a bit of work so they brought in an architect to reconfigure the space and added wraparound decks as well.

It's only a three-minute drive to Omaha and they cycle to Matakana for coffee in the morning. There are art galleries and the Matakana Cinema, a great farmers' market and roadside stalls selling produce.

There are also many beautiful beaches such as Tawharanui and Pakiri all within a 20-minute drive — and there are, of course, plenty of wineries.

Rachael says she had to talk herself into selling but says the children are 16 and 18 now and the family is not using the bach as much.

You can't hold on to things forever, she says, and it's time for someone else to enjoy it.
"I'd like someone to love it as much as we have."

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