Saturday, December 15, 2012

Burke's Pass

We left Geraldine a bit later than we should have, but Geraldine was so beautiful it was hard to leave.  We arrived up at Burke's Pass just before midday, which wasn't really even an hour out of Geraldine.  But there we saw our first Lupins, which was the whole point of the trip.  

We parked outside Alma Cottage which was built by Bridget and James Keeffe soon after arriving in New Zealand from London in 1876. It was built from a mixture of clay, chopped tussock, and manure - inexpensive and readily available materials that provided a well-insulated and solid home - using the pise technique of ramming the mixture between moveable shutters, building up layers as in a giant coil pot. Alma Cottage, the original farm buildings, and trees are protected by a heritage covenant and the cottage is registered with the Historic Places Trust and in the Mackenzie Council heritage schedule.

We let ourselves through the gate and knocked on the door, but no one was there.  So we just wandered around the garden and took photos.  This is the front view of the cottage...

Side view of the cottage..  Very pretty garden around it.

Closer view of the outside material and window.  You can see it's clearly clay...

The fence was rather rustic, and the Lupins growig wild.  All giving the look of a lovely country cottage garden that needed a bit of work...

Further down the road was the Anniss Cottage.  I walked to it from the car and found a stile to step over, then a mown patch of paddock that led to the cottage gate.  It was in stunning surroundings...

John and Margaret worked at a number of jobs in the Burkes Pass district including shepherding, working on the Rollesby Road, and at the Burkes Pass and Tekapo Hotel. When they successfully won a balloted farm, Curraghmore Station in 1911 the small cottage close to the Opihi River just north east of Alma Cottage, was no longer needed and the roofing iron was removed for reuse at the farm. The Heritage Trust has given it a roof that stands on poles. The cob work is now slowly being repaired. Evidence of repair work could be seen behind the cottage, and I did take a photo, but it didn't really turn out compositionally wise.  Swallows were nesting inside the cottage and flew away as I walked around it.

 Here are a couple of my first Lupin shots taken outside the cottages. The ones here were mainly pink...

With the odd blue one thrown in...

We climbed back into the van and headed toward Lake Tekapo, but 2 minutes later we found this quaint old church, so another photo stop.  At this stage we may not get to Hawea until midnight!!

This is St Patricks Church which is the oldest Union Church in New Zealand and built in 1872.

In 1871 the settlers recognised the need for public worship and at a meeting on August 26 decided to build a church for all denominations. Built by Timaru firm Ogilvie and Jones, the church was one of the earliest union churches in New Zealand and now is the oldest one remaining on its original site.
St Patricks is a category one Historic place registered with the NZ Historic Places Trust. It was opened in August 1872 on a bitterly cold day. Snow lay thick on the ground. Parishioners drove up to 25km in drays and spring carts to attend church services.
They were devoted, as were the clergymen who rode in all weathers, often across flooded rivers, from Temuka or Geraldine to deliver their sermons. The land was donated by John Burgess the proprietor of the hotel.

It is quite a pretty church, but very tiny.

Next stop:  Lake Tekapo.

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