with a French infusion
Appearing on maps as a bulbous, stunted limb between the Pacific Ocean and the vast plains of Canterbury, Banks Peninsula is geographically distinctive, rising abruptly from its flat horizons. It is quite understandable that Captain Cook labelled it an island when he sailed past in 1770; understandable also, that he honoured his expedition’s botanist, Joseph Banks, by giving his name to such a prominent feature of the coast.
Living in Christchurch, I find it easy to forget that some typical New Zealand farming hill country is found almost on my doorstep. I am reminded pretty quickly as I head out on the road to Akaroa and the first hills of the peninsula’s volcanic protrusion appear to the east.
Outside the school at Tai Tapu, a sign advertises the school’s cookbook, An Edible Journey, a concept which follows this same route to Akaroa, highlighting many of the local food producers (see the separate story on the following page). The road from Christchurch is still flat for the first 50 kilometres out to Little River and Cooptown and skirts around Lakes Ellesmere and Forsyth.
Little River is a traditional coffeestop on the Akaroa road, but there is a lot more going on in the area than just the pouring of trim milk and sachets of sugar. Somehow, the quiet hills and valleys nearby have attracted a number of practitioners of natural medicine and holistic healing. Marcus and Megan Puentener, who own the Little River Campground in the Okuti Valley, give me a good overview of the area, and tell me that a local population of just 1000 supports three yoga classes!
There are plenty of bush walks, model aeroplaning at Lake Forsyth, an uphill car race in September and Little River is the gateway to the isolated bays on the south side of the peninsula, including Magnet Bay, which provide some secluded surfing. The local summer festival programme includes a Wellness Weekend, a Curious Places and Spaces Tour, a Walking Weekend, and a Drum Festival.
For those drawn to the area, there are some interesting accommodation options. Marcus shows me around the campground, the 7.5 hectares of which provide a classic family campground experience with river (trout, eel, lamprey), massive mud slide, native bush walk, and great views of the surrounding hills. Over ten years ago it used to be the site of Birdlands, and contains ancient kahikatea, matai and totara trees. In 1997, the then Governor-General Michael Hardie Boys, dedicated an old matai tree to the memory of Princess Diana and it still graces the landscape.
Just along the road, James Mullins and Jane Rogers have Okuti Gardens, where the accommodation includes four Mongolian-style yurt tents, a teepee, a house truck and a cottage. The yurts are spread across a hillside planted with pretty gardens, including an organic vege garden, from which guests can pick herbs. It is all very well designed, including an outdoor kitchen which merges into the peaceful scene. It is the perfect place for retreats, meditation, or for anyone wanting a peaceful getaway. The sturdy yurts provide nice comfortable beds, while providing an outdoor camping atmosphere.
BACK IN LITTLE RIVER ITSELF, Stuart and Ange Wright-Stow are providing a different twist on circular accommodation. Beside their general store, cafe, and art gallery, Stuart is converting nine silos into unique accommodation units. The interiors of “Silo Stay” are still being fitted out and Stuart shows me inside one. There are two levels, the bottom being a kitchen and living area, which is linked to the top level bedroom by a curved steel staircase. The idea of making silos into accommodation is creative enough, but the practicalities of putting it all together has required creativity at every turn, a situation in which Stuart has revelled. He has designed and made his own lights using spare piping, used industrial taps and switches, cleverly integrated a rectangular shower space into the bedroom with a glass wall, installed roll-out tables, and, on the outside walls, pulleys with which guests (including those cycling the Little River Rail Trail) can pull up their cycles securely, well clear of the ground. Other features include the silos’ plastic grain gauges (like little apertures in medieval towers) that provide extra light on the staircases, water-conserving hand basins that are linked to the toilet cisterns and skylights directly above the beds that give clear views of the Southern Hemisphere’s stars. Silo Stay was already taking bookings for stays from March 1, 2014.
My accommodation in Akaroa was to be of a more traditional sort. After the hilly and winding drive across the very heart of the peninsula (six kilometres up to the panoramic view at Hilltop, and six down) I proceeded past the northern bays of Akaroa Harbour and stopped at Akaroa Cottages, just a kilometre shy of Akaroa itself.
HERE, TEN SECLUDED COTTAGES are spread across a hillside, mostly hidden from each other by native bush, and I am quick to enjoy the view from my balcony: French Bay below, with the French town spread out on the other side of the bay, and Akaroa Harbour stretching out to the south, all horizons ending with the surrounding volcanic hills. Akaroa is a most relaxing place to stay, and this is why, in the summer, tourists and holiday home owners will boost the town’s population from several hundred to several thousand.
Akaroa Cottages are variously privately owned, but managed by Megan and Kyle Hazeldine on behalf of Heritage Hotels. Previously, Megan and Kyle had the Akaroa butchery, before working in the hotel and property industries, respectively. It seems to be a good combination of the high standards of a hotel chain, and of an intimate setting (“boutique”, I think, is the industry term), the ambience being completed with spa baths, log fires and birdsong.
I go for an evening stroll into Akaroa and up another bush-covered hillside to the old French cemetery on L’Aube Hill. It was the first consecrated burial ground in Canterbury, dating from the early 1840s, but, unfortunately, by 1925 most of the headstones had disappeared, and only some of the names of Akaroa’s original French settlers could be deciphered from broken headstones and wooden crosses.
Accordingly, only 18 names are inscribed on a lone stone slab, which, surrounded by a walled oblong lawn in a small, quiet clearing in the bush, seems as much to be commemorating the careless loss of the recorded gravesites as the individual pioneers themselves.
Two original grave inscriptions, however, have been attached to the slab, showing through their verdigris that the 35-year-old navy captain, Édouard Le Lièvre, died here in 1842, as did Pierre Le Buffe, a 26-year-old sailor. (Graves of French settlers who died at a later period still survive in the Catholic section of the Akaroa Cemetery on the south side of the town.)
In contrast, there has been no carelessness that has prevented the commemoration of the raising of the Union Jack by the British on August 11, 1840, just days before the French arrived. The Britomart Monument was unveiled in 1898 at Greens Point, on the southern outskirts of the town, in the presence of Premier Richard Seddon with a salute from the guns of HMS Tauranga. A plaque on the obelisk states that here on that day in 1840, Captain Owen Stanley of HMS Britomart “raised the Union Jack to demonstrate British sovereignty to the people on Banks Peninsula and to the French corvette L’Aube which arrived on 17 August.”
In other words, “We were here first, and we don’t care what settlement plans you Froggies think you have – and, by the way, we’ve been collecting Maori signatures on a document all around the country. Put those other red, white and blue flags away, and bow to the Queen’s colours!”
The French settlement here in Akaroa, unique in New Zealand, was nevertheless established on British territory, and today there are many residents of Banks Peninsula who can trace their ancestry back to these early French settlers.
One of these is Pip Waghorn, whose ancestor from Normandy, Étienne François Le Lièvre, came out as a blacksmith on the whaling ship, Nil in 1838. He was a friend of Captain Jean Langlois who set up the Nanto- Bordelaise Company, and he returned to Akaroa with him on the company’s emigrant ship, the Comte de Paris, arriving in August 1840 with a total of 63 emigrants (at the same time as the French warship, L’Aube).
Pip and her husband Hugh, (whose ancestors were very early settlers at Little Akaroa) farmed over the hills at Pigeon Bay for 23 years, then at Hororata and Cheviot, before returning to Akaroa ten years ago. They set up the cruise company, Akaroa Dolphins, and now also run fishing charters, Captain Hector’s Boat Hire, and La Thai restaurant on the waterfront.
Hugh used to pilot the dolphin tours, but now leaves that mostly to their business partner, Craig Rhodes. The Waghorn’s elderly Cairn terrier, Hector, used to always go out in the boat, but his dolphin-spotting role is now ably filled by Murphy, Craig’s six-year-old Jack Russell-Bichon Frise cross.
I did not know it when I joined a dozen others on an afternoon tour, led by Craig Rhodes and Rebecca Cooper, that Murphy was on board, let alone that he would be the star of the show.
Murphy will hear the dolphins well before they appear, and will excitedly dash up to the bow of the boat and give a good few affirmative barks. When the dolphins swim alongside the boat, he watches them closely over the side, but, they tell me, never falls in, although he’s always wearing his little life jacket.
The dolphins are Hector’s Dolphins, the rarest and smallest dolphins in the world, and they follow the boat as we head south down the harbour, some of them swimming several abreast right beneath the bow, keeping exactly to the boat’s speed. They seem to find this pace an absolute breeze, for occasionally one will flick its tail and put on a burst of speed which makes it disappear into the greenblue fathoms and out of reach of the boat within seconds. It is quite likely that such playful speedsters are the very ones that appear doubling back later on and crossing the boat’s path with energetic leaps. Murphy has seen it all before (since he was just three months old), but is still fascinated, and slightly dumbfounded in his doggish way, with these strange, wet creatures from an inaccessible world.
There are also a few sightings of lone, little blue penguins on the surface of the sea, some cloudy orange formations of krill, and, on the western shore, a good number of basking seals and roosting shags.
Aside from the marine life, we enjoy the spectacular views of the cliffs, of the harbour, caves and rock formations (one in the distinctive shape of an elephant’s head). On the return to Akaroa wharf, Murphy knows that the search for dolphins is over and returns upstairs to sleep on the floor of the bridge. Craig Rhodes’ ancestry also goes back to the whaling days of the area (his children are the seventh generation of the family). Israel Rhodes started farming at Flea Bay, not far outside the Akaroa heads, on a large farm that extended back over the hills to Akaroa, and farming continued through the generations (including Craig).
TODAY THE FARM AT FLEA bay is owned by Francis and Shireen Helps, and later in the week I find myself rolling up in front of Rhodes’s 1850s cottage there, for I am to join the Helps’ Pohatu Penguin tour, which is timed for dusk to see the little blue penguins coming ashore for the night.
The cottage is one of the properties that provides accommodation on the 36-kilometre Banks Peninsula Track (for the second night of the four-day walk that crosses seven private properties and returns to Akaroa in an anti-clockwise direction, via Stony, Sleepy, and Long Bays. There is also a two-day version).
Outside the Helps’ farmhouse, I join a tour with some of the walkers, and some other tourists who have been picked up in Akaroa by one of the Pohatu Penguin mini-buses (I have driven the 13 kilometres from Akaroa myself – a steep drive up and down – in my 2WD, though the narrow, gravel road is better suited to 4WDs).
Francis Helps gives us camouflaged jerseys so that we can blend into the hillside of the narrow bay and not disturb the penguins. They are very careful to wait in the middle of the bay until night falls so that they avoid being seen by birds of prey. Then, when they reach the shore, they ascend the steep terrain in a vertical line, straight to their burrows (no leisurely zig-zagging course when a nice warm bed is waiting!)
There is a little track along the cliffs to a viewing platform where we are given binoculars to make out the penguins, but there aren’t many this evening, and Francis thinks that the adults have not caught enough food to return ashore to their chicks and decide it is not worth waiting for the daylight to disappear. We are still able to see some of their population of 1,300: chicks that are already ensconsed in specially built little boxes all around the path. Francis briefly lifts some of the lids of these and we have a few quick glimpses of the little birds timidly cowering in their refuges. They are very nervous and their heart rates can soar from such encounters, so Francis quickly replaces the lids.
He remembers that these penguins were very abundant when he was a child and would nest underneath the farm buildings, or any dark, enclosed space – even upturned kayaks would be fair game for habitation. The population suffered badly in the 1980s from stoats, weasels and other predators and, with Mark Armstrong of Stony Bay, Francis took steps to protect the population. They were on their own in the beginning, but with their growing success, conservation organisations began to lend their support, and now the population is increasing by five per cent each year.
Little blues aside, that evening we were lucky to see a yellow eyed penguin waddling up the steep ground to its nest. There are just a dozen of the birds on the south east corner of the peninsula, including three breeding pairs. This one paused cautiously every so often to look about and did not visibly react to the intrusion of the uniformly camouflaged humanoids. We also got a great view of a seal bobbing up and down just metres from the shore, where an oyster catcher and its chicks were walking across the sand.
FURTHER AROUND TO THE EAST are two of the better known bays of the peninsula, Le Bons and Okains Bays, both with big, wide swimming beaches and their fair share of beach houses. I head down to Le Bons Bay in search of a Russian church I have heard has been built here in recent years. The road, like all those that access the bays around here, winds steeply down the valley, and, with the help of Robin Burleigh (who takes tourists on his mail run around the bays, and happens to be delivering in the bay when I arrive), I am able to find the church. It is hidden from the road up a hill, and not open to the public, but I find the owners, Nikolai and Natalia Koulanov, at home and happy to show me around.
This Russian Orthodox church is further up the hill from their house and its foreign, onion-shaped domes provide a strange sight among the surrounding hills. The church was built in 2007, modelled on a traditional wooden church in Novgorod that is now part of that town’s Outdoor Museum of Wooden Architecture. The construction was completely traditional, interlocking logs of New Zealand Oregon, and was led by an expert carpenter from Novgorod. The original churches are precious in Russia, for many have been burned and destroyed over the centuries, particularly after the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Named the Church of Protection of the Holy Virgin, it was consecrated in 2011 by Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, with the participation of eight priests from the Russian, Serbian and Greek orthodox churches, including Nikolai and Natalia’s eldest son, Eugene, who is a priest at Auckland’s Orthodox Church. Archimandrite Alexis, of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Australia, has been leading the process of setting up the church, and painted its icons, most during his staying here. Nikolai tells me that they are in the style of the golden age of Russian iconography of the Late Middle Ages.
The whole thing is a beautiful asset, and the church has sometimes been used for services. Christchurch’s Orthodox church holds the regular services, and for the past 12 years has been using the farm here for children’s summer camps.
FROM NORTHERN RUSSIA, I head north to Okains Bay via the Summit Road, which provides fantastic views of Akaroa Harbour. The famous feature here is the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum, begun decades ago by local farmer, Murray Thacker. It is a fascinating local museum, with a variety of Maori taonga and colonial objects, many from archaeological digs around local pas, and many that would be the envy of the country’s major museums. The collection includes old buildings that have been saved from peninsula farms and from further afield.
On Waitangi Day, the museum is the focus of a very successful community celebration that centres on its marae and its two mighty waka that arrive at the landing on the Opara Stream, just across the road. I cross the road to have a look at the two craft, sitting high and dry in their storage shed. Both have fascinating histories. Kahukaka, over 60 feet in length, was made in about 1870 and lay abandoned beside the Whanganui River for many years (long enough for a 10-foot tree to sprout inside her) before being rescued and railed to Christchurch about 40 years ago. Lovingly restored, and the pride of the community, its mana grows with every Waitangi Day.
Each Waitangi Day the museum usually uses the occasion to open up a new display room, and this year it will be the inauguration of a cheese curing room, and a cocksfoot machinery building. I had visited the museum a couple of years before, and didn’t have time to check it out again, for I was meeting the museum’s founder, Murray Thacker, at his home up the hill that looks down over the bay. The octogenarian is still full of plans to help the Okains Bay community. He’s trying to get an old mill going, and has the idea of a guided walk for tourists from the campground up into the hills above. Over a fence, he shows me Pixie Caramel, his cow that is pregnant again. Most years the calves are given to the school, and the pupils care for them and sell them to raise funds.
The growth of the museum and its effect on the Okains Bay community is remarkable. Over many years, each of the communities in the other bays of the peninsula has lost its store and its school, both vital parts of community life, leaving little reason for people to remain (and a fair proportion of those who do remain are only holiday home owners). Murray has tried to encourage the employment of staff at the museum and the adjacent store who can contribute to the building of the community, and this has worked, particularly when they have children who help boost the school roll. There are also one or two houses that he has let at sometimes quite favourable terms. We do a rough count of the school pupils: two museum custodians have seven children between them, there’s one pupil from the store, and four others come from the aforesaid houses. I tell Murray that he is therefore responsible for 12 of the roll of 18 pupils.
“Disgusting, isn’t it?” he jokes. Another four of the pupils are children of his cousins. It’s a massive increase from the time, a few years ago, when the roll was less than half this total and closure was threatened.
As it happens, this very evening will see the school’s end-of-year concert in the school hall, and in another couple of hours I am sitting in the audience with most of the Okains Bay community. The concert ensemble of 18 consists of the entire school, composed evenly of junior and senior, male and female pupils, and as I watch them perform the Nutcracker, Kapa Haka, and a play about sock stew, I am aware that the very fact that they are here at all is a triumph. One of the little girls who sits crosslegged at the front of the stage while the older pupils perform Kapa Haka, unapologetically combs her mousy hair right down to hide her face. She may not know it, but Le Bons Bay School closed at the end of 2012, and last year the government proposed to close Okains Bay School, the last of the bays’ schools outside Akaroa. The community had a meeting to put forward their case, and provide the government with information they had not possessed: the result: the school continues, with a principal and a part-time teacher. Tonight, the retiring chair of the school board is presented with a parting gift and gives a heartfelt speech in which he refers to the potential closing of the school. It is clear that the board and the community have worked hard to keep the school and the community going.
The massive community spirit of this small school can be witnessed by the tourists from the cruise ships that have called at Akaroa since the wharf at Lyttelton suffered earthquake damage. They come over the hills to tour the museum, where they receive a traditional Maori welcome onto the marae. The powhiri is followed by a performance by the school’s Kapa Haka group, and all guests receive a hongi from every one of the children. It is a unique experience, a real welcome from a real heartland community that they will not receive elsewhere.
EVERYONE IN THE BUSINESS community here tells me that without the cruise ships, it would have been extremely difficult for many businesses to survive the post-earthquake decline in tourist visitors.
During the summer about two cruise ships visit Akaroa each week, and I witness two during my week’s stay. I don’t notice a big influx of tourists on the day that the Caledonian Sky visits, for its passenger capacity isn’t much more than 100, but two days later the Diamond Princess puts up anchor, with a possible 2,600 passengers and 1,200 crew.
It’s a lovely sunny day, and little landing boats shuttle back and forth between the ship and wharf, helping fill Akaroa’s streets with strollers. Cameras are out to record French flags, cute cottages; one focuses on a rose bloom well past its best in the front garden of a motel, another on a wisp of cloud above the hills, yet another on a bride and groom on the beach.
The sculptor of the statue of the French artist Charles Meryon painting an imaginary canvas would be doing nicely if he had a dollar for every tourist that has posed for a photo in its empty frame.
The novelty of Akaroa’s unique French heritage has not been lost on the town’s businesses: a tricolour flys outside the “La Boucherie”, there’s a “Chez la Mer” backpackers, a sign for “L’essence” outside the petrol station – even the police station gets in on the act with “Gendarmerie” – not to mention all the signs on the streets named after the early French settlers (and named “Rues” in the 1960s).
I stroll up Rue Balguerie, past quaint cottages and picket fences, and stop to photograph number 44, the birthplace of Frank Worsley, Akaroa’s most famous son.
He was the captain of the Endurance, the ship of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-17 Antarctic Expedition which became trapped in ice for months before being crushed and sunk. Worsley’s skills in navigating the lifeboat, the James Caird, took Shackleton 1,300 kilometres across terrible seas to South Georgia so that an expedition could be mounted to rescue the 22 men they had left, stranded on Elephant Island.
His father farmed in the hills above Akaroa, and his mother came to stay in this cottage to give birth. While just a boy, he helped his father fell trees on the peninsula, which he later regretted: “It was a mad waste: the colonists in their greed for more grass seed and sheep pasture burned millions of pounds worth of timber, recklessly destroying the wonderful beauty of the bush...”
Worsley is also remembered in Akaroa with a bust near the main wharf, and an exhibition about his life and achievement in the museum (though following the earthquakes the wing in which it was displayed is closed).
I CONTINUE UP RUE BALGUERIE to number 68, the Giant’s House. This “magical mosaic sculpture garden” has been recommended to me, but I really am not prepared to be overwhelmed by the large number of largerthan-life-size sculpted figures packed artistically into the terraced garden, linked by tile and mosaic paths, steps and low walls.
There are clowns, acrobats, musicians, zoo animals, a little blue penguin, a large boat, even an Adam and Eve.
Then, when one starts to take it all in, piece by piece, the careful detail in every square inch, one marvels at the use of bright colours, and their clever creation by the painstaking construction of mosaic surfaces (thousands of pieces of broken china are the most remarkable of the materials), and one marvels further when one realises the technical steel and concrete work required before the artist finishes the colourful mosaic outer surfaces of the figures.
As important as anything to the whole grand effect are the humorously conceived faces of the figures and their relationships with each other through a most accomplished composition.
As I wander about with delight, all the other visitors, without exception, remark in amazement, “What a lot of work’s been put into all this!”
It is a complete understatement, especially when you realise that this is all the work of one artist over a period of 15 years – and it wasn’t Antoni Gaudi playing truant from Barcelona’s unfinished Sagrada Familia, though you may be forgiven for thinking so.
The artist is Josie Martin who lives on site in the lovely old (1880) wooden two-storey house. It’s large, high-ceilinged rooms are perfect for showing her paintings to tour groups, as well as interesting objects she’s acquired from all around the world (there is a separate gallery showing exhibitions of Josie’s work at the back of the house).
It is obvious that here, as in the garden, everything has been designed and arranged with the eye of an artist. Josie is trained in horticulture and art, and has exhibited widely, taught in art workshops, and attended numerous art residencies in Asia, America and Europe (including Barcelona).
The sculpted figures are filled with character, and many have names, some based on people whom Josie admires: there’s Marcel Marceau, rolling a ball in the palm of his hand, and Ruby Delicious, a black singer Josie saw in a jazz club in Brisbane. Ruby sits beside a fountain with Jimmy (Jame Joyce), and, spying on them from over a wall, are the cat and dog, Madame Chatelaine and Major Biffin Sir General Fortesque-Smythe. The latter pair, Josie says, are a tribute to the nosy people who, in the very early days, came looking over the fence at the first of her sculpted figures.
The garden continues to expand, and Josie has acquired some neighbouring property, which I suppose she regards as an inviting blank canvas, just as she did the current property when she moved in. She has plans for a huge giant right beside the house, and this will finally fulfil the promise of the name of the place – as well as the imagination of the little girl who provided the inspiration for it when she looked up at the house from the valley below and said it was so big it must be the house of a giant. THERE IS MORE ART TO be seen back on Akaroa’s high street at the Meniscus wine tasting room on Rue Lavaud, but this is only incidental to the business of trying the wine of Akaroa’s only vineyard. In the historic 1860s cottage, vineyard owners, David and Gay Epstein have lined the walls with their own collection of paintings, inspired by the atmosphere of Monet’s house in Giverny. There are stories behind every one: some traditional oil paintings are by an ancestor of Gay’s; one is a portrait of David’s mother painted in Vienna; another is even painted by an elephant in Thailand. The artistic theme continues in the names of the Epstein’s two dachshunds, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso (and that completes my Spanish trifecta for the day).
It’s a lovely room in which to sit and relax (after 2 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and “cruise ship days”), and sample Meniscus’s Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling or Bouriaud Pinot (their rosé); and the lovely garden courtyard at the back is also very pleasant. There are even some old fashioned boiled sweets for sale, a historic reminder of early settler, Madame Eteveneaux, who made such sugary treats in this very cottage.
This Australian couple have had the vineyard in the hills above Akaroa since 2009, where, David tells me, the climate is similar to Alsace. Yearly production of 3 to 4,000 bottles is limited by the small site as well as by deliberate trimming, and the wines are only available in Akaroa restaurants. When I visit the vineyard, I find one of their French employees (the other is a barman at the tasting room) spraying the vines to prevent mildew. The vineyard is not irrigated for these hills receive enough natural rainfall.
I LAY OFF THE WINE as it is time for me to drive back to Christchurch. On the way I make detours to Pigeon and Little Akaloa Bays, two of the larger bays on the north coast of the peninsula. Again, there are steep valley drives through hill country farmland to access these long, peaceful inlets.
Little Akaloa Bay may be slightly less peaceful when all its holiday homes are full, but even so, I’m sure, would retain the feeling of solitude and isolation. Nice old wharves in both bays indicate relaxing fishing and boating holidays, and in Pigeon Bay I see a public walkway that leads out to the heads, which I will have to try out another time.
I do wander along the shoreline a little way, and am fascinated to see that all the stones and boulders are an unusual dark black colour, as if they have been blacked by a car yard groomer – it’s a last reminder that none of this peninsula would be here today had it not been for a few volcanic eruptions.
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Marcus and Megan Puentener at the Little River Campground. And Marcus with the Matai tree dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana.
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Tai Tapu School advertises its cookbook outside the school.
James Mullins and Jane Rogers in the outdoor kitchen. James and Nutmeg with one of the yurts.
Stuart Wright-Stow with his silo accommodation – “Silo Stay”.
The memorial slab at the French Cemetery.
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Two of the ten Akaroa Cottages. View from the balcony.
Pip and Hugh Waghorn with Hector. Craig Rhodes and Rebecca Cooper.
The Britomart Monument with the cruise ship, Caledonian Sky, in the background. The Union Jack flies at the Britomart Monument.
Hector’s Dolphins. Below Krill.
Murphy, the four-legged dolphin spotter.
Francis Helps (right) briefs the group before the tour. Elephant’s Head rock.
A Yellow Eyed Penguin at Flea Bay.
The Church of Protection of the Holy Virgin, Le Bons Bay.
Murray Thacker with Pixie Caramel at Okains Bay.
Carvings at the entrance to the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum.
Josie Martin at her outdoor piano at the Giant'ss House.
The bust of Frank Worsley near Akaroa's main wharf.
Adam and Eve's apple.
Madame Chatelaine & Major Fortesque--Smythe
Adam and Eve, and apple. Below Marcel Marceau