Pohutakawa are generally considered the New Zealand Xmas tree because they flower around Xmas time. Ours usually flower a little later and today they are in full bloom. Their brilliant red / crimson flowers are a blaze of colour and Totara Avenue is alive with red. They are also a favourite of the bees, and this tree, which is situated to the north of the Lodge lawn, was surrounded by a cloud of honey bees.
The storm that caused so much damage down the west coast was a minor event here, blowing through in the night, and it has been followed by fine sunny days. We noted a temperature of 22 C on the front deck at 6 pm today. Our guests that are travelling down the west coast have our sympathy – it is not possible to get from Hokitika to the glaciers, due to a river changing course and cutting the road just north of Harihari. This means a very long drive via Arthur’s Pass, Wanaka, and the Haast pass to get there.
Summer is truly here, the water at the beach is warm and the sun is hot.