One of the most spectacular places in the world is Fiordland, a national park on the southwestern coast of New Zealand. To get there we took the Trans Alpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, then rented a car in Greymouth and headed south, stopping overnight in Hokitika and Wanaka. We traveled the Te Anau-Milford highway, which goes through the beautiful town of Te Anau. The town is situated on the shore of the largest lake in the South Island (below).
Te Anau is a gorgeous resort town. The street names reminded us of the dual Māori and European history of New Zealand: you'll see Mokonui and Mokorua, along with Duncan Street and MacDonald Park. Just a block off the lake, at 68 Mokonui Street, we found the quilted banner and garden path leading to The Pansy Patch.
We loved our visit to The Pansy Patch! Linley Hodgkinson, the owner, has a fantastic selection of batiks, Kiwiana, and other prints....
... and a wall full of yummy Tekapo Yarn. It is 100% pure New Zealand wool named after Lake Tekapo. It makes you feel like diving right in (the wall of yarn, not the lake !)
We couldn't resist purchasing some vibrant batiks and cottons with Māori designs, which you'll see below... and some yarn. We were even lucky enough to get a sample of some cherry plums growing on a tree in the front yard ! For more information and hours, contact Linley Hodgkinson at email@example.com or phone 249-8913.
Our ultimate destination was Milford Sound, a fiord that is lined with sheer rock walls and cascading waterfalls, which tumble hundreds of meters to the sea below.
After marveling at the jaw-dropping vistas on the South Island, we flew from Queenstown back to Wellington, and a few days later we headed up to Auckland. We arrived in Auckland on its anniversary day celebration ! Fortunately, the shops were all open. Some wonderful boutiques and cafes can be found in Devonport, which is only a 10 minute ferry ride from downtown; this view of Auckland and Waitemata Harbor is from Devonport.
After a delightful cappuccino we strolled up Victoria Road. We browsed some wonderful antique, clothing and jewelry shops, but managed to save our pennies until we came to....
The shop is in a historic building, which looks like this....
and, true to its name, it is filled to the brim with fabric !
We found a large selection of Japanese cottons here - we purchased five different fat quarters - along with some unusual prints from all over the world. It was a great way to finish up our trip !
And now for the unveiling... here are the fabrics we came home with from the four NZ shops we visited. Do you like them?
The middle group of fabrics have Māori motifs and icons, including koru swirls, tiki and a wharenui, and native birds including the adorable kiwi. The bright batik designs are in the shape of abalone shells (pāua). We fell in love with the black-and-white novelty print which includes Māori icons, names and translations! We heard greetings of "Kia ora" and "Haere mai" throughout our journey. We smiled at one of the translations on the fabric... "Haere ra = Cheerio" !
We'd rather not say Cheerio to New Zealand, as we hope to go back someday and visit the many beautiful places we missed ! Thank you all for your warmth and hospitality.
Image credits: The image of Waitemata harbor is from Wikimedia. All other photos are by Quilt Inspiration.