Day: July 2, 2009

A farmstay on the wonderful westcoast, NZ

We all know of the wildly popular Wild Foods festival in Hokitika – mountain oysters, possum kebabs, and huhu grubs tickling our tonsils – but how about Hokitika for some R&R during a quieter time?


Apart from walks in the bush or on the beach, watching the dramatic sunsets, or other such relaxing things, what else is available in Hokitika? There is plenty so check out the visitors centre when you arrive. For history buffs the 22 point heritage walk is a great way to get to know, and see, some of the early pakeha history. (described in a freely available brochure)

Hokitika was settled in the 1860’s following the discovery of gold. For Maori pounamu (greenstone) was the natural treasure here and today there are a number of places you can watch carvers as they transform the extremely hard rock into traditional or modern pieces.

web cabbage treeJust north of the town boundary is the Glow Worm Dell – a free opportunity to see these magical tail-lights which are designed to attract food onto the sticky threads from which the worm hangs. Make sure noise is kept to a minimum as you gaze on the thousands of little lights.

Hokitika is also a good base from which to explore other West Coast delights such as Okarito to see the kotuku and of course the glaciers to name only two.

While on the Coast I stayed at  B&B Farm stay – Berwicks Hill  in Ruatapu, 14 ks south of Hokitika. Perched on a hill it provides wonderful views of both the Tasman Sea and Southern Alps. It lived up to its advertised “warm and friendly stay”.

Owned by the Berwick family for three generations, the farm is now run as a hobby farm. Close by is the beautiful Lake Mahinapua with its great bush walks, a golf course, and the beach. With only two rooms for guests booking ahead is recommended -arrive with an empty stomach as the food is superb too.

Visitor Centre

Cnr Tancred & Hamilton Streets

Phone 03 355 6166 fisherman in clear waters

Berwicks Hill homestay:   Phone NZ 03 755 7876

phantom posters and poetry

Check out this great book site New Zealands best! Here is one of his (Graham Beattie) postsI took the poetry photos in Christchurch last week.

Dark Ages
Dark Ages

Poetry plasters New Zealand and Nashville

Poster poems will soon be plastered across 13 centres in New Zealand and in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of an initiative by a national poster company.
Phantom Billstickers has produced A1 posters featuring poems by New Zealand poets Tusiata Avia (pic left) and James Milne (aka Lawrence Arabia) and by Tennessee poets Jeffery McCaleb and Michael White.

On Tuesday 2 June the poem posters will be placed nationwide – Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill —as well as in Nashville.

New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate, University of Auckland Associate Professor of English Michele Leggott, will help launch the initiative in Auckland. She will paste the first poster poem, written by Samoan-New Zealand poet Tusiata Avia.
Tusiata will read the poem in front of a public gathering that will include students from Michele’s Poetry Off the Page class and the Masters of Creative Writing paper, James Milne, and University of Auckland poets and academics Selina Tusitala Marsh and Lisa Samuels.

Over the next six months, four poets will be “exhibited” monthly as part of Phantom Billsticker’s commitment to supporting emerging and established poets. Forthcoming poets to be “postered” include Michele Leggott, David Eggleton, William Direen, Otis Mace, Kevin Fraher and Hilaire Campbell.
“In these tough times, we wanted to put some beauty and thoughtfulness back into the streets of New Zealand,” says Jim Wilson, head of Phantom Billstickers, Ltd. “We are particularly proud of our national poets, both known and emerging, and we want to help spread their words so everyone can enjoy them.”
“I welcome any effort to promote the beauty, playfulness and power of poetry, particularly when it helps take poems off the page and into the consciousness of people going about their daily lives,” says Michele Leggott.
The first poster will be pasted at 12pm on 2 June at a Phantom Billstickers site on Auckland’s Queen St, opposite the Britomart Centre. Refreshments will be provided. All welcome.web poetry poster cheek

The crash comes
and I fly from the top bunk
along the hallway to the lounge
my feet not feeling the floor
and there they are
my father’s hand
on my mother’s white
throat. Call the police
like soprano
me slow dancing
toward the receiver
my father’s hand stretched out
clasping me like you clasp the cheek
of an irresistible child
pulling me across the carpet
like a cutie.

Tusiata Avia is an acclaimed poet, performer and children’s writer.
Her solo stage show Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, premiered in Dunedin in
2002, has since been performed throughout NZ and overseas. Her first
collection, also titled Wild Dogs Under .
Photo at top by Martin Hunter
My Skirt, was published in 2004.
In 2005 she held the Fulbright-CNZ Pacific Writer’s Residency at the
University of Hawai’i.
Bloodclot, her second book of poetry, was published in 2009.

Posted by Bookman Beattie at 9:22 AM