Come with me on an autumnal wander through Eastwoodhill, the National Arboretum of New Zealand. John and I visited for the first time six months ago.
The forced revision of our original road trip itinerary meant we had time for a follow-up visit. Back in the spring the colours were green: lime green, spring green, new green. Now, it’s all about the reds and the yellows.
I wandered along the paths clicking as enthusiastically as I did in November. Sometimes I got exactly the same shot – almost. Click here to check out my spring visit.
Surrounded by all those trees in splendid autumn colours, the temptation was too much for me. Yes, I had to try. To paraphrase our illustrious countryman, Sir Edmund Hilary, he who conquered Mt Everest: Nothing ventured, Nothing won. Although, when I began my mission I didn’t fully comprehend the challenges involved. I wandered from tree to tree, camera in hand, ready to catch The Shot.
Only one, that’s all I asked. Enveloped by the branches of this maple I waited and I waited. A gust of wind was all I needed. That, and very quick reflexes, and knowing how to set the shutter to rapid fire …or something …
This particular leaf is still sitting on the tree – I’m sure of it. Stubborn thing!!
Douglas Cook, the original owner of Eastwoodhill and the owner of the original inspiration for the landscaping, designed this spot with poetry readings in mind. Back in the spring, sheep were sleeping here. Now it’s the resting place for leaves. Thousands of them. Leaves that fell, one by one, from the surrounding trees. Hundreds of which fluttered to the ground while I tried for the perfect shot. And, each one eluded me and my camera.
Turns out a single leaf fluttering to the ground is as impossible to catch as this little fellow in flight. He was happy enough to pose but not once did I get a shot of him in the air.
It was a short walk to the tops. One hour round trip – the brochure said. But, just like our first visit, it took twice as long. The problem wasn’t a lack of fitness; it was all that time spent waiting for the perfect leaf fall, or hoping to catch our friendly fantail in flight, and wishing the sun would come out. It threatened rain all afternoon.
Near the tops we came across Burma Road. Now that’s a coincidence! It so happens Myanmar is in our sights.
Amongst the trees the early camellias, winter’s consolation, were coming in to flower.
Eastoodhill is approximately thirty minutes drive from Gisborne. The arboretum is open every day. There are a range of walks varying between an hour to four hours in length, depending on fitness and how many photos you take. Oh, and whether you become obsessed with attempting the impossible!
The entrance fee is $15:00 discounted to $12.00 for people over 65.
For more international walks check out Jo’s Monday walks.
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa