Season’s greetings and blinded by greenery in New Zealand..

Looking back at this photo,  taken in November this year, it hardly seems possible that the mountains were so blue and the trees so healthy looking just a month ago.

The Brindabella Mountains near our home in Canberra

During December Canberra has had strong hot winds, and no rain….it is a bone dry brown city.

Although Canberra is not directly affected by bush fires at the moment, there are many bushfires (large and small)  burning across the country, most contained…..for the time being.

Depending on the winds, the grey clouds of smoke from nearby bush fires creep through the city most afternoons.

It was heartwarming to look back through photos and see this lovely King Parrot in spring, eating happily in our plum tree.

In November we also had a new group of Galahs coming to the birdbaths every morning.

Since this early start to a very hot summer, we keep the birdbaths full, and put little pebbles in the smaller bowls, to help the bees and and other insects land on the pebbles, before drinking. All need shade, and water is paramount.

Paul was due to go to conference in Auckland, New Zealand, in early December.

We were somewhat apprehensive about leaving home during these uncertain times, however, we took all the precautions we could before we left, and also had someone to come and water the garden.

photo by Affordable Travel Club

Looking at the above map you can see we are closer to New Zealand than to many parts of Australia. The map below shows that it only takes three hours to get to New Zealand from our region.

Despite our proximity to New Zealand, it is a very different country to Australia.  New Zealand  is lush and green with an abundance of water.

After leaving our smoke-filled city,  we landed in New Zealand, and as we  got off the plane we were almost blinded by the light and the greenery everywhere!

Water…water everywhere..

New Zealand is full of friendly people, magnificent scenery, National Parks, and wonderful gardens..

I intend writing a few posts on New Zealand after Christmas….but spoiler alert..

our Air BnB in Akaroa ..surrounded by a wonderful garden

The pretty little French town of Akaroa on the South Island is  a delight  to  visit…..

….and I have a few tempting photos of an incredible garden which will just take your breath away, Fisherman’s Bay Garden…

Jill Simpson, a keen gardener, has, with the help of her husband Richard, created a garden along the rugged and dramatic coastline of the Banks Peninsula. (New Zealand’s South Island)

In more recent times she was influenced by the new perennial movement in the UK and Europe, and the Prairie style in the US.

The garden has something for everyone…and to think they are at the Southern tip of the Banks Peninsula and are exposed to the winds from the Antarctic…..there is no excuse for the rest of us!

This is a garden that will make you want to jump onto the next flight to New Zealand, and if you can’t do that, well, at least you can read my blog posts early next year on this garden and more..

Meanwhile, back home, it has been a very tough week for most of Australia. Record high temperatures, fires and smoke in almost every state. Thank goodness the temperatures are due to drop next week…and hopefully in time for Christmas.

I know what Australians would love most for Christmas……… rain!

Many thanks for reading my blog today, and during the year. I enjoy writing about green spaces, and I love reading blogs from all over the world….a little slice of life from other people, who may be far away, but share ideas and ideals…. how similar we all are despite our differences.

Season’s greeting to you all, and may Christmas and the New Year, bring peace, harmony and some common sense to the world in 2020.

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.


26 Replies to “Season’s greetings and blinded by greenery in New Zealand..”

  1. I lived in New Zealand for twelve years fifty years ago so it is lovely that you are taking me back there where I was s o happy. Great pictures, i look forward to more.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too and may 2020 be a good year for you.

    1. Thanks Susan, and I can imagine being happy in New Zealand, so beautiful and still very much as it was years ago. Best wishes to you for Christmas and New Year, allow yourself a few days before you begin researching more interesting London places for us all to see!

  2. I couldn’t agree more re common sense. It seems to be failing everywhere at the moment. The scale of the fires is just heartbreaking. We were looking at some of the local news reports this morning, from areas we visited less than a year ago. I do hope conditions improve this week and things can be brought under control.
    Enjoy a peaceful Christmas and all the very best for 2020. I shall enjoy reading about New Zealand very much.

    1. Yes it is hard to keep up with the amount of places affected by fires. In the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns where they are usually preparing for cyclones, they are now declared a bush fire risk! South Australia and then Kangaroo Island ….both affected by extreme conditions….thank goodness you didn’t choose this year to visit!
      Have a good Christmas, and you would enjoy New Zealand.

  3. New Zealand is beautiful, and supposedly in the upcoming climate crises, it will fare better than most places. On the news, I have seen Australia burning, and it is a horrifying sight, even on screen. I hope that rain comes soon, and that 2020 is the year that our species stops dumping so much carbon into the atmosphere.

    1. New Zealand is lovely, but unfortunately also has its own risks, it is on a volcanic fault line, so is prone to earthquakes! However, you will enjoy the lush green summer photos in your winter.
      yes, the fires have been dreadful, fortunately today the temperatures have cooled and the wind has dropped, which is a great help in putting out the fires.

  4. I really wish that I could send you some of our rain to help put out those terrible bush fires. I’ve been reading the news of them with growing horror. New Zealand looks so inviting from your lovely photos, especially the beautiful garden. I’m not surprised that so many South Africans have emigrated there. I so so enjoy reading your posts and seeing your lovely, colourful birds. Sending you good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

    1. Many thanks Sylvia, yes, I’m sure New Zealand would be a great place to settle, and the small population makes it easy to get around.
      I enjoy your posts very much, and have learnt a great deal about Iguanas and assorted colourful lizards and birds that visit you in Florida!

  5. I enjoyed seeing your photos Gerrie. I haven’t been to Banks Peninsula for many many years and immediately I wanted to go back there when I saw your pictures. I love the style of garden you described, and have adopted the same here in Mudgee, but my garden is looking very sad just now.

    1. Yes, our garden has been beaten down by those strong hot winds. I’m pleased to say some of the plants we brought back from Lambley Nursery are still surviving, and some thriving! I’m sure you would love a trip back to Banks Peninsula, and especially Fisherman’s Bay Garden.
      I hope you have a cool Christmas, with no fires in sight….and wouldn’t rain be wonderful!

  6. My holiday wish for you is rain. It is hard to understand the dramatic differences in weather. We are covered in several inches of white stuff everywhere you look, and we’re at 16°F. The garden in New Zealand is beautiful as is the landscape. I’ll look forward to your future posts. Common sense was something we use to all have, but somewhere along the way we lost it. It would be great if we gained it back.

    1. Many thanks Judy, and how we would love a big bucket of your snow right now! However, the weather has cooled down now, and things are settling a bit.

  7. I’m looking forward to more New Zealand posts–such a gorgeous place. As for those fires, it looks like Canberra has been smothered in smoke–what an awful time. Let’s hope the skies open up with some rain soon. Here’s wishing for a better new year!

    1. Many thanks Brenda, it is cooler to day, but overall looks to be long hot summer. Yes, New Zealand is a lovely country and I’ll enjoy using my many photos for few posts.

  8. Oh…those fires are terrifying, I am praying for rain. Lucky you visiting New Zealand, that’s a dream that’s been on my bucket list for years. It all looks delightful, looking forward to hearing more. All the very best to you and

  9. We have one of those wintry Christmases – our rain tanks are almost full and today the beaches were empty.
    Fervently hope Australia gets gentle rain. Heartbreaking to read about those fires, and the poor exhausted firefighters!

    1. I am so pleased to read that your water tanks are almost full again, because your drought was dreadful last year…maybe there is hope for us! Yes, the firefighters are our heroes, and the many volunteers looking after them. I remember those wintry Christmases.

  10. I’m looking forward to your posts in the new year, Gerrie. I have been watching and listening to the news about the bush fires with mounting horror. I hope you get rain very soon.
    I hope you have had a good Christmas and I wish you a healthy and happy new year with enough rain and an end to the devastating fires.

    1. Thanks Clare, yes wonderful rain would cure all the fire problems. Some states had some rain in the last couple of days. One silver lining is the generosity of people to each other, particularly fire fighters. Perhaps it takes a crisis to bring a community together.
      Happy New Year, best wishes for 2020

    1. Thanks Sarah, yes we are okay although there are some fires in National Parks not far away. But is is absolutely devastating for many parts of the country, loss of lives and homes, and tremendous loss of wild life & their habitat. Hoping for some rain soon. I will keep in contact through my blog.

      1. Thanks for taking time to reply. I have seen images of Canberra with thick smoke and they are such a contrast to the images you have previously shared on your blog. Take care, hope the rain arrives. Sarah x

        1. Thanks Sarah, I have written about the smoke and the fires in a new post. Hard to believe it is the same city at the moment.

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