(Continuing our travels in New Zealand)

Today, as before, we woke up with the sun. I’ve loved these mornings here in the cabin. I know I’ve already said it but it’s so peaceful and life is simplified. We’ve decided that someday we will return and stay here or find a place that is this simple and remote.

Across from the cabin there is a hillside we’ve been wanting to climb. I still can’t get over how beautiful it is here. I could wander forever in the landscapes. Our first outing for the day was wandering to the opposite hillside. On top it was incredibly breezy and beautiful. You can see the main farm house from this vantage point far away.

We sat in the grass just out of the wind among little yellow flowers. I finished a partial pencil sketch before the clouds started to roll in again. Rain. So we packed up and headed awkwardly down the steeper side of the hill, giggling all the way.

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After a lazy afternoon nap the sun decided to come out again so we headed out to the beach. To get to the ocean we had to pass through several pastures. It’s very close by but there isn’t a direct path so we picked our own and ended up cutting through a cow pasture, hopping a few fences and the stream in the process of getting there.

Once there we had our own private beach with enclosing cliffs on either side. I found a tiny bluebottle (man-of-war jellyfish) lying on the beach as well as a few shells. The constant breeze meant we wouldn’t be sitting down to read or sketch but we did enjoy sticking our toes in the water and wandering around on the sand dunes.

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Eventually the time came for us to pack up and leave the farm and our cabin. We headed east towards Nelson and stopped at Pupu Hydro Walkway, an old hydro plant built during the mining days, and hiking the path up to the water raceway for it. Anson was in heaven looking around at mechanical things. The pathway following the water was amusing to walk as it wound it’s way around the mountain side with little springs feeding it and ferns overhanging it.

If you want to stop here it is located near Takaka off Pupu Valley Road . The trail is a loop trail and takes roughly about 2 hours from the parking lot. More info can be found here.

We ended our evening in Nelson where I met up with an amazing friend, one of my teachers from high school. It was in her class that I made my first digital painting and so her encouragement and influence at that time in my life meant a lot.


Naomi VanDoren

Author Naomi VanDoren

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