We’ve just come back from 10 days up North, around Leigh & Matakana. We wouldn’t usually choose to go away at this time of year, as the garden is in full production. Family commitments were persuasive. While we were away we visited a wonderful Sculpture Trail at Brick Bay. If you are up that way it’s a great way to spend a few hours, & the walk takes you past waterlily ponds, into native bush & pastures. Some of the work was stunning, alas I can’t show you any pics, but you can find out more at http://www.brickbaysculpture.co.nz

The other place we have always visited is the marine reserve at Goat Island, which is one of the best coastal areas to visit. You can walk into the waves up to your knees & have Blue Maomao & Schnapper swimming right next to you. The diving is great, (so Geoff tells me) & at low tide you can explore the rockpools, esp good if you head to the right of the track that takes you come down to the beach, & head out to the pools at the low tide mark. There’s also a glass bottomed boat trip you can take, some of our group did this & loved it. During school holidays the beach is crowded, but even then if you go early or late in the day it’s not too bad. Plenty of info on the Marine Reserves through Google.

We’ve come home to find the sheep have been in the gardens, & created familiar havoc, & its so hot & windy we can’t get out there to do any repair work. Luckily the gardens are resilient & will bounce back, & we are resilient & will replant & tidy what is beyond help.

It’s great to be home again, one of the best things about going away is the renewed appreciation of home!