Fishermans Bay: New Zealand, a trip down memory lane..

In the last few weeks, my camera died completely (after valiant service), and within a day my computer broke down. We took trip to Sydney, and we were delayed a day because we had a puncture in the car tyre (this is starting to sound like a country and western song)

……and so close to Christmas!

Fortunately everything is going well now. However, without my camera I was at a loss to send a post before Christmas. As good fortune would have it, a couple of days ago, Face Book sent me a “memory” showing some photos of our visit to a wonderful garden in New Zealand in December 2019.

The garden, called Fishermans Bay is in the south Island of New Zealand, and nearby the picturesque bay called Akaroa. I hope readers who have seen my post on Fishermans Bay in 2019 won’t mind seeing this gorgeous garden again, not to mention Akaroa itself.

The holiday house we rented in Akaroa was proof alone that the town and surrounds had an abundance of flowers and greenery and gorgeous gardens . ..

We walked across the lovely gardens to have coffee by the bay each morning. .

Akaroa Bay is wonderful in the soft afternoon light. …

Fishermans Bay Garden was a scenic drive out of Akaroa, along a dramatic coastline.

Jill Simpson is the gardener helped along by her husband Richard. As it was mid-December, and almost Christmas , it was especially kind of Jill and Richard to allow us plenty of time to wander through this splendid garden.

They did casually tell us they have ten children between them, and a full house for Christmas!

Needless to say, Paul and I both spent time admiring the garden, and taking quite a few photos.

We were extremely lucky to have such a warm sunny day, the weather was near perfect. …

Many thanks to Jill and Richard, this is a garden we will never forget…

View of the Banks Peninsula from the Fishermans Bay garden..

Best wishes to everyone for a very happy Christmas and may the New Year bring some joy and tranquillity.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

Akaroa: a bit of French magic in New Zealand

My previous post was of Fisherman’s Bay Garden, just 20 minutes away from the pretty coastal town of Akaroa, on the south island of New Zealand.

Akaroa is the Ngai Tahu word for Long Harbour.  The Maori, who were the first to occupy this Bay, took advantage of the abundant supply of “food from the forests, seas, river, and skies”.

No wonder the British explorer, Captain Cook, when he had circumnavigated both islands, sent word back to England that he had ”found Paradise”.

During our holiday in New Zealand we were charmed in every way….not only was the weather perfect, but our B&B was set in a beautiful garden.

The volcanic soil and plentiful rain makes gardening look easy in New Zealand. ( As you can see I have garden envy!)

In this bucolic environment the morning began with a slow walk through the green lush garden, and then a stroll down the hill to the coffee shop.

In 1838 a French whaler Captain Jean Francois L’Anglois was so impressed with Akaroa Bay that he  made a provisional purchase of the land in the Banks Peninsula from the local Maori.

However, by the time the French settlers arrived in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and the Maori chiefs had been signed.

However, the French still established a settlement with 60 French immigrants and the descendants of these original French settlers are still in New Zealand.

Today Akaroa is seen as both a historic French and British settlement.

The small French community has had an immense influence on wine and other imports from France.

 

 

 

One of my favourite buildings ..the Coronation Library.

We watched children (and young adults) jumping off the pier to swim…what an idyllic way for children to grow up!

Our B&B host had told us that the butcher sold very tasty baguettes at lunch time, and she was right!

Every day we bought some baguettes overflowing with cheeses, ham, salad, local pickles, and chutneys …we sat under the trees near the town square, and watched the boats coming in and out of the bay.

In the town square was a sculpture of a French artist and well known engraver, Charles Meryon whose later work in Paris reflects the influence of his stay in New Zealand.

Sculpture of French artist Charles Meryon

On our last evening we sat in the garden of a restaurant called Mandala, which had Pacific Indian and Asian fusion food..

After a delicious meal we walked around the beautiful bay..needless to say, I took more photos than I could ever use!

The combination of seeing the Fisherman’s Bay garden, and staying in Akaroa made this a very special place.

When we arrived back in Australia we faced a long summer of bushfires and unpredictable weather. (now coming to an end, hopefully)

It has been a lovely distraction looking through these photos, and Akaroa will always have a special place in my heart.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.