Life on Atawhai farm

It was our very first time experiencing the real farm life. Located 100km north of Westport on the west coast of South Island, Karamea offers a perfect retreat for our farmstay. The population count was less then 500 in this peaceful small town. And there was no mobile network coverage.
The Jackson's had moved to Karamea and started the farm 5 years ago. Atawhai farm was on the border of the electricity distribution area in Karamea. However, the family relies 100% on coal and firewoods for the heating purposes and the electrical switch for water heater had never once been used. Therefore, during our stay, we had helped lighting up the fireplace and coal range sometimes. It was indeed some tricky business and I think we had never successfully started the fire that lasted without help from Bill or Leitu :( It just seemed so easy for them.

yd's main task was spliting the firewoods. Bill had cut down some logs and sawed 'em into smaller chunks, and yd was to chop and split 'em into even smaller pieces so together we could stack the woods in the shed to be air-dried. It was meant for next winter's supplies as B will liked to get things ready ahead. We hope we had done it right so that the family will have dry firewoods by next winter! Bill, if you are reading this, please don't curse us if by next winter the woods are still not thorounghly dried (touch wood!) You may bring the whole family here to Malaysia and stay with us till the winter is over! :p

yd having fun with the makeshift skirt from the tree bark while Sheba sat watching him thinking wtf was wrong with this guy! I was laughing and shaking uncontrollably and hence the blur!

Taking our tea break in the garden on a fine day. Bill always made sure we didn't over-worked ourselves and went on hours without taking break.

Bill taught yd how to drive his tractor so we could help moving the cut trunks to where he could split 'em. To me, riding the tractor driven by yd was a lot scarrier than sky-diving! I must also mention about the dogs. Because the dogs loved to run along or hop onto the moving tractor, so for safety reason they were always tied up before Bill moved the tractor. And whenever this happened, Kelly and Sheba would start barking at each other madly as if blaming each other for being left behind. It was hilarious.

On a sunny day, we would hang our washing out under the sun. The weather was rather cold and wet in west coast. Sometimes, before I could finish hanging the washing, it started drizzling. Then just as I finished hanging them inside by the fireplace, out came the sun again and this could happen over and over!

Putting up fence to keep the annoying black birds away from the flower bulbs Leitu had recently planted.
Lakei and Jessie went feeding the chooks. The chooks were to be fed twice a day, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Usually, we could collect 3-4 eggs each day. There was this old white granma hen which would eat the eggs if she wasn't being seperated from the others in the morning.

Lakei and Jessie giving Polly an apple treat.

Riding on Polly. It was actually my very first time on a horse back. Thanks Lakei!

shadow fighting again!

Little Wnaganui River behind the property. When the water wasn't as much, one could actually walked across.

Taking the dogs with us trekking up the hill

the trek up to the hill was covered in these thorny bushes. They sting real bad I named them 'thorny bastard'!

And I slipped and fell on my butt. Luckily I didn't land on any thorny bastard! And need I describe how the sadistic cameraman was laughing his ass off while taking this shot!
plucked some berries but Leitu adviced against eating them as they were found by the road side, hence they might have been sprayed with pesticides

we love cooking and the Jackson's were advanturous enough to try any cuisine. This was yd, the mad chef, cutting lamb flaps (because we were running out of prok) for the improvised Bak Kut Teh. Turned out it tasted better than pork BKT!!!

the very unique fire-bath in the bush, a must try! yd took hours starting the fire to heat the water. It got hotter and hotter we had to sit on thick towel in order not to burn our butts; but still yd burnt his back while climbing into the bath :D But it was indeed awesome. Imagine it, a nice hot bath out in the bush!

decorated the Backpackers for the guests with flowers from Leitu's garden. Does it remind you of Van Gogh's famous Sunflowers? well this is ye's not so famous what-it's-called flowers
dancing with Sheba

playing football or soccer as they called it, with Jessie. Once yd was so into the game and he almost dived into jessie trying to steal the ball from her, unbelievable!!! Lakei and I gave him the red card right away!
caught bullying the 2 yr old..alright, it wasn't how it looked like, i swear i didn't push her!

we went on horse trekking with Bill's neighbours, Gordon and Katie's horse trekking business. Bill helped us to get a really good deal from them. We each got to ride on a horse on our own, with Gordon and his son leading us in front. So guess what was the most frequently seen view on a guided horse trekking journey?
The answer is: Horse arse
Boy, can they shit! Throughout the journey I must have witnessed up close no less than 4 times of the entire horse shitting process! Horrifying experience! Mind you, next time you see the horse lifted it's tail, stay away from the rear!!!

Cooking with Bill's bloody hot chillie pepper. The first time I used it, I didn't realise it's power and the mee goreng turned out to be so spicy it almost burnt Leitu's tongue off! I felt so bad watching her gulping down water to cool off her smoking tongue. lol

Helping out Bill make his (in)famous Jackson's Bloody Hot Sauce. I'm proud of myself to come up with the name. yd and I helped pluck the peppers from the garden, cut open and removed the stems and the seeds. The task was 'dangerous' and we were careful to wear gloves to protect our fimgers from burning. But guess where did yd burnt himself after he went to the toilet? Ouch!

Leitu taught me to bake these delicious peanut brownies. I'm not bragging but they were really really goooood although each time I made the texture were a little different. :D

Riding in Bill's jeep sometimes when he drove Lakei to the town to pick up Jessie or to the beach where she would have bbq with a couple of gal friends

Sunset at Little Wanganui Beach. The girls were having bbq at the beach.

Incredible Southern Hemisphere skyscape on a clear night. The Milky Way was so bright and so obvious! It was a cold night but we were so fascinated by the millions dazzling stars we couldn't take our eyes off and almost turned ourselves into human popsicles!

There wasn't a day, an hour, a minute, or a second of our stay at Atawhai farm that was boring. I had enjoyed every moment, sometimes even the 'work' was as much fun and enjoyable!


  1. Stop it! Stop seducing me with all the photos!!!

  2. wat if i tell u that the real scenes were 10x more spectcular, beautiful and breath taking than the pics? really, i'm serious. we were a bit disappointed with most of the pics, blame it on our poor skills :(


Post a Comment

Popular Posts