Friday, 5 December 2014

Wandering Around The Waikato

Hello there my dear friends & readers.
Goodness, before December runs away on me entirely & Christmas arrives on the doorstep "coming ready or not" I thought that I had better write about our lovely time away last week in the Waikato.
Sometimes inspiration arrives in the silliest of simple ways. A few months ago Rob happened to actually read one of those slightly annoying emails that get sent through the AA; this one listing 10 places to see before you die. When he skimmed through the list he came across Wairere Falls, just out of Matamata (Hobbitville), upon further investigation he found a farm cottage for rent just around the corner from the falls on Old Te Aroha road. The cottage was very comfortable & very reasonably priced.
And there are the falls just across the paddock behind the house!
 Each morning we found Buttercup waiting to see us. Isn't she lovely.
 She doesn't chat much I have to say.
I guess she's too busy munching.
 The farm cottage is set on a working dairy farm (great dairy country) 270 cows milked there twice a day.
Steve mentioned that we could pop over to the shed for some fresh milk if we were up in time & the cows were still in the shed. I wandered across the buttercup filled meadow with my jug early in the morning. And I picked wild flowers from the verge outside the house. 
 The Kaimai Ranges are very beautiful.
 The mist & cloud descend in the mornings to cover the land. It's Hobbit country after all.
 We made awfully slow progress on our walk to the Falls look out at first. Everywhere we turned we found absolute beauty & enchantment.
So many different kinds of ferns & other lovely flora abound.
 And rocks falls & rivers, pools & wooden bridges for crossing.
The forest is primordial & extraordinary.
 The most beautiful place I have ever wandered in to.
 We found a pair of Welcome Swallows along the way.
 As we neared the lookout the climb got a little arduous....phewy.
 Funny when you say it out loud.."oh boy I think I've had enough" & the other person says "me too"" you think "oh phew, that's alright then" & you find the determination to keep going, together.
 And finally we arrived. Well, at the look out which is actually only half way to the top!
 But we did it.
 It was the beauty of the bush & the journey that was the most satisfying bit.
Golly we don't have hills like that at home!
On our way back to Matamata we found this glorious tangle of fragrance & beauty 
 on the roadside.
 Isn't the information centre so much fun.
 As you do...
 Matamata was bustling & friendly & so much fun. We found this fabric shop; so crammed full & colourful.
 Rob was quite at home amidst the fabric (must have reminded him of home) & bought himself a cushion.
On the way home just outside Putararu we stopped to walk part of the Te Waihou River track & see the Blue Spring.
We were impressed with the innovation of a composting toilet along the way.

 So much history in this area. Apparently 60% of New Zealand bottled water (not that I go with the idea of bottled water too much) comes from this spring & here's why:

"Te Waihou Reserve is pure New Zealand spring water, nature’s gift to life on earth. Deep below New Zealand’s surface is a Blue Spring that is revered for its properties of exceptional clarity and exquisite blue hues. The entire area is protected and cared for, and the Blue Spring is recognised as one of the purest water sources in the world.
The colour and visual clarity is testament to the high optical purity of the water. And this is no surprise considering the aquifer from which the Blue Spring bubbles, is up to 250 metres deep. The aquifer that the Blue Spring originates from penetrates deep under the bush clad Mamaku Plateau.
The Plateau gathers rain that fell over 100 years ago which makes its way underground into layered aquifers within fractured rock and volcanic sand aquifers.
The water that flows from the Blue Spring just to the east of the township of Putaruru in the North Island of New Zealand, predates European settlement. Water gushes out of the spring into the Waihou River at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute (9,240 gallons per minute) and is a constant 11 degrees Celsius all year round. Because of its contact with geological formations, unique mineral composition is imparted into the Blue Spring water and many of these compositions are reputed to have health giving properties." Source here.
When we got home I found this lovely little video filmed by drone:

 Do remember to click on any of the pictures to see them better, if you'd like to. Some of them don't fit so well on to the space & bits are hiding in the margins!
Thanks so much for visiting. I hope that you have an inspired (by the magic & peace of the season) & refreshing week...a Blue Spring reviving waters week!
See you again soon.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. What a beautiful pictures. Some years ago we went on holiday and stayed in Te Aroha. We walked the same track up to the waterfall and it was indeed very beautiful and ...steep. We also passed through hobbiton. Interesting about the spring water. I would have loved to see te Waihou reserve

    1. Hello Marja,
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment & visit.
      How amazing that you stayed in Te Aroha & walked the track to the waterfall...considering that it’s relatively out of the way place.
      Previously we have stayed quite a few times in Te Aroha at Aroha Mountain Lodge. It’s a funny thing but I felt so at home the first time that we visited.
      I later found out that I spent the first year of my life living in Te Aroha. We love the hot soda smooth & silky.
      Have a happy week.
      I imagine that you have some lovely Dutch cooking to do over these next few weeks before Christmas.
      Much love Catherine x

  2. This is the most magical place - I would absolutely love to stay in the little cottage and do that walk! I think if you live outside of your beautiful country you would not be knowledgeable enough to find a place like this - if I ever get to your side of the planet I'm going there!!! I particularly liked the fact the water is so pure and has been filtered over100 years - that's amazing. Beautiful pictures - I loved the ferns.

    1. Hello Betty, yes I thought of you when I was walking to the falls & all of your long walks in the countryside & your fine observations & paintings. I imagine that that would be quite true..some of these places are pretty out of the way & rather obscure so when you plan on coming to visit you'll just have to ask us again where it is you're going to ; ) Have a good week & keep up that elderberry draft. Much love Catherine xx

  3. Oh I do so love waterfalls! We toured the Columbia River in the northwest US a few years ago & visited every waterfall. I never tire of seeing them. This one is amazing.

    Love your little bouquet as well, purple clover is one of my favorites. I used to pick it for my mamma when I was a little girl. We only have white clover growing here. And the amazing rose, honeysuckle hedge! Don't you wish you could bottle up that scent & carry it home.

    I think my Charlie would have bought the very same pillow Rod chose as well. :)

    Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed seeing the pictures.

  4. Hello dear Catherine, so glad you enjoyed your little visit to the Waikato. Isnt Buttercup just adorable, I do love Jersey cows so much, they have the most lovely natures. Your walk looks amazing & I think you have managed to capture it so beautifully - I love the pic of you both at the top, you look happy & refreshed. It was lovely to meet up briefly & I do wish we all lived a little closer but we will have to make do I guess. Hope you have an inspiring & refreshing week also x0x0x0x

  5. I’ve been wanting to post a comment on your site about how fabulous your garden and nick nacs are. I didn’t know where to do that so I thought I’d just email you.
    Your garden is beautiful and an inspiration to me. I went to “The Magic of Christmas” a craft expo in Palmerston North and they had a caravan like Lucy, like Lucy’s cousin. I told them to check out your blog cos your caravan was fabulous and that you also have a passion for vintage and of course many other things from what I’ve read. I hope they will do that.
    I live in an old villa in Dannevirke and when I see pictures of your garden I can appreciate the work you’ve done but also it motivates me to get in the garden. I’m about to go and do that shortly.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden and vintage delights and just know that there’s someone in Dannevirke that enjoys your vibe.
    Noho ora mai


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! ♥

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