South Island Travels…..

Last week  we spent a few days in the South Island attending the annual Culverden Fair, Art in a Garden and visiting Akaroa and various galleries in order to re-charge our creative batteries and pause for a while to take stock and look from outside in to our own business, except there was little pausing!  It was a very stimulating few days.  Here are some photographs.

6000 people, mostly women from all over New Zealand come to shop at the premier crafts fair of the year organised by three farmers wives.  This year was the 20th anniversary and a splendid day it was.

The Humble Hanky Stall – our favourite – small, simple, clever, well priced and the ladies were having fun!

Flaxmere Garden in Howarden, a garden of national significance owned by Penny Zino hosted Art in A Garden the same weekend.  A magnificent venue with a huge selection of sculpture on show.

My favourite – a bronzed heron guarding the ponds as a permanent resident.

Fiona Pears, now internationally known violinist was entertaining the crowds and a very talented performer.

Our selection for the People’s Choice Award – Christchurch Cathedral made out of corrugated iron by Ben Jensen who is under 15 years old and is raising funds to rebuild the cathedral. 

Talking of rebuilds, we were fortunate to be shown around the new Court Theatre, which is currently being completely rebuilt within a huge factory shed space.  The Court building was destroyed in the earthquake and thanks to  a tremendous fund raising drive led by the CEO Philip Aldridge it will re-open in just over a month.  The first public institution in Christchurch to do so – an incredible feat during incredible times for the city.

We were very sobered by the sight of central Christchurch, until one actually sees it, one does not really comprehend the scale of the disaster.

We also visited a professional sculptor, Raymond Herber of Iron Ridge Quarry in the Waipara Valley where he shows his permanent display of sculptures.  If you are passing, do visit as it is quite something.

This very large Clydesdale horse is metal coated in stainless steel and is extremely impressive particularly in this landscape.

Our last day we visited Akaroa on their French Festival Day – it was perfect weather and Akaroa came out in all its glory.  Only an hour and a half from Christchurch – spectacular scenary, lots of great cafes, little shops and galleries and friendly French people who did not say much.

We also liked their current political stance!

It was good to experience South Island hopsitality and see their creative side, but it was also reassuring to know that what we are doing here is on track and we hope a visit to Birdwoods is up with the best visitor experiences in New Zealand.  Next time, we will show you in more detail our new Conservatory addition and the inaugural exhibition.

Until next time,

Louise and all at Birdwoods x


About Birdwoods

My husband and I are the owners and operators of Birdwoods - a well known visitor attraction 3km out from Havelock North. We moved to New Zealand 14 years ago from Zimbabwe where in another life we owned a farm in Africa! View all posts by Birdwoods

One response to “South Island Travels…..

  • jilly dawson

    We are really enjoying your blog! We have great friends who have a house in Akaroa, one of the old, original ones and have stayed and admired the beautiful bay, though not much french spoken!

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