Saturday, March 20, 2010

Residency and the Outdoor Life

So far this Sunday, myself and the other half have been sat around the dining room table attempting to fill in our Expression of Interest for Residency. I think the decision to stay in New Zealand was made last year when we sat on a bench above Eastbourne looking across the bay to Wellington and P turned to me and said that he could imagine living and growing old together here. Bearing in mind it was rainy, cold and incredibly windy at the time I am not sure what prompted my other half to make that particular statement at that point! We have lived in 9 different houses together all over the UK and in Europe and this is the first place that we have really wanted to stay.

So this week we have been getting organised and started filling in the applications for residency. Blimey it is complicated. We completed our Work Visas is a huge rush as P had to start his job as soon as possible. These forms are far more complicated. We are currently surrounded by birth certificates, passports and academic certificates. I find the whole thing incredibly stressful knowing that (however unlikely) they might well turn around and say we are not welcome in this country!
Yesterday we decided to make the most of the late summer sun and headed to Otari-Wiltons Bush. Its apparently the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. It is quite beautiful and some of the information boards dotted around the place provide some really interesting facts about the weird and sometimes quite bizarre natural plant life of this country.

Walking through the tree canopy is spectacular.

The girls insisted on searching for Goblins in the roots of all the trees. It took us ages to walk any distance.

Otari-Wiltons Bush Stream

A Northern Rata

The information board that J is hiding informs you that the large tree shown above started life as a windblown seed that lodged high up in the branches of another tree. It then grew, sending shoots down towards the ground which eventually grew into a separate trunk that would support the new tree when the original hosting tree died. Amazing to think that such a large tree develops in this way!

This plaque was placed overlooking the gardens and surrounding bush.

I don't think Leonard and Maud should worry too much. Judging by the amount of people at the gardens this Saturday - this sanctuary is very highly prized indeed.


  1. Beautiful photographs! We had a similar experience on our visit there - not much fast paced walking, but lots of stops to explore and make believe. I sometimes think back wistfully to our pre-children days when Dan and I would back-pack in the bush for days on end, sleeping over night in DOC huts, covering lots of kilometres per day. However, our precious children really do know how to stop and take in the smallest details and we do gain a lot of pleasure from watching them explore.

  2. Otari-Wilton is wonderful. Happy you have decided to stay. I hope the residency application process goes smoothly for you. It can be such a headache, but hopefully will be over and done with before too long.