Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kawau Island

Yesterday we took our painting group to Kawau Island, just a 30 minute trip by launch from the mainland. Some of the group painted the landscape while others explored the hiking trails looking for wallabies and weka.  Mansion House on Kawau was the home of New Zealand's first Governor, Sir George Grey.  He also introduced some Australian species to the island, including the wallaby and kookaburra.  Kookaburras have self-introduced to the mainland near Kawau but fortunately the wallabies can't swim.  It's also common to see the Weka on Kawau - a native New Zealand flight bird that is also a pretty good swimmer. They're about the size of a chicken.

This summer has been unusually cold and wet but we've been lucky to have had warm, dry weather so far this week.  Today is a 50/50 chance of rain.  We're spending the morning painting at the retreat then will do a bush walk in the afternoon.  Later in the day we'll be visiting the home and studio of artists Robyn and Valerie Pendred - in the house where my sister  and I grew up!   Must be something in the water....

Kawau Island 

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