Sunday, July 8, 2012


I've spent the last few days in Central Otago - the Maniototo basin to be precise. Being inland, winter, and of a reasonably high elevation, the temperature was rather cold. On Wednesday and Thursday the night time temperatures plummeted to -12. Now those sorts of temperatures are rather foreign to this coast dwelling Dunedinite. Did you know that water can come out of the tap so cold it makes your hands ache, or that simply clutching a woollen top, that has sat in the drawer overnight, can chill your fingers until they tingle?

Ah, but even these troublesome events are fodder for the writer. You see, totally without plan, I have travelled the same roads as Amelia is about to travel (in the next chapter of my book) and at the same time of the year.

Here's a couple of shots of the views on the way to Strath Taieri.

Having crossed over a mountain range we descended into Strath Taieri, where Middlemarch is the main town.

Then, leaving Amelia to her own devices, we travelled on around the the northern end of another mountain range until we reached the Maniototo basin.

On the side of a hill not far from the old gold mining town of Hamiltons is our destination: An old TB sanatorium converted into a Christian community named En Hakkore. A few families farm here and there are several houses available for families if they need a break or a holiday. They have also converted the nursing home into accomodation for conferences and turned the old Laundry into a hall. We spent many holidays here when the children were younger, but it became less attractive as the kids moved into their teens. Now, it seems, they are over that and off we went, minus our eldest.

The complete break from television, the internet and phones was a real blessing. I feel like I have had a complete rest and now I'm rearing to go again.

Nor far from where we were staying

Firewood stacked up in front of an unused dormitory. Essential for heating and hot water.

Some of the residents!
The eggs were yummy.

The view from just below En Hakkore looking out over the Maniototo.
More of my holiday coming soon!


  1. Great post, Sue, and such awesome photos! It looks mighty cold down there but cosy, too. Those wood stacks are impressive.
    Looking forward to your next post. :)

    1. Thanks Joanne. Yes it was cosy once the fire took off!

  2. Wow, how beautiful. Even though it looks cold, it's beautiful.

    1. I never get tired of the beauty of this place. It always has that 'Wow!' factor.