Mais de Akaroa

Por Murray Dewhurst em Auckland, Nova Zelândia.

Here are a couple of landscape sketches to help fill out the blanks of my earlier correio.  This is the view from Summit Road looking down on Akaroa and the
harbour — fairly rural and remote despite being only an hour from Christchurch.

Akaroa and harbour from the Summit Road

The view below from Akaroa boat club looking past the lighthouse with
the ‘Sun Princess’ in the distance. Boatloads were
gradually being delivered from the cruise liner to shore by a couple of bright orange tenders. Akaroa takes the
cruise liner visits since the earthquake put Lyttelton out of business.
Several thousand new tourists in town every other day must be a real
bonus for local business.

Lighthouse view toward French Bay
 Te Whare Karakia o Ōnuku

A few kilometers along the coast is Onuku where just past the marae you’ll find one of the
prettiest little churches anywhere. Perched just up the bank
from the harbour, Te Whare Karakia o Ōnuku (roughly
meaning ‘the prayer house of Onuku’) the ornately carved church opened in 1878 as the first
non-denominational church in New Zealand. Onuku is important as the first location in the South Island
where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Then over the other side of the peninsular over steep, winding roads is Okains Bay. We found lots of hardy people camping in the campground by the beach despite the cold. Up the road by the old store locals were competing in some Easter tradition of egg and spoon e a sack races. We warmed up with blue cod fish and chips and big pot of tea from the Okains Bay Store and enjoyed the spectacle. The store looks well used like it has been the center of life for the bay for a very long time with postboxes inside and what looks like an old workshop next door.

Then there’s the museu. It has got to be one of the best in the country as well as one of the most remote. Quite small and unassuming looking from the road, it started as a family collection that has grown into an incredible collection of Maori, Chatham Island Moriori and early colonial artifacts. Displays include an awesome collection of waka, a working smithy, a meeting house and and even an old outhouse (we didn’t try it find out if it was working!) housed in a collection of local old buildings that have been moved to the site each one packed with interesting stuff.

The kids loved it but I knew I only had time to draw one item, what I ended up drawing probably isn’t the oldest or most important piece, but as a solid 1 meter square chunk of Totara I was attracted to the solidity and sculptural aspects of it. You could easily spent a few days sketching here!

Totara tekoteko
Okains Bay store

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