"Old Waihohonu Hut,
This is the Old Waihohonu Hut on the Mt Ruapehu side of the Waihohonu Stream, which descends from Tama Lakes between Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruahoe.
The open pumice country that lies
between the Hut and the Desert Road is a botanist's
dream of small alpine plants. Not only that - the
plant groups are landscaped into 'shrubberies' amid the
pumice sand, just as if some great gardener had laid them out.
At the hut there was a
small bench, and on the front flap of it someone had
carved a curved Maori kowhaiwhai design
- of the style derived from the curling tendrils of the gourd.
To me, that gave this bench a special significance - emphasized here by bringing it forward and placing it in a patch of light. The mug of tea adds the final 'domestic' touch that speaks of someone at home in the outdoors and at peace in the place.
Every hut seems like a 'home from
home' when you are staying there
- a haven from the wilderness outside. A place of peace and simplicity, at one with nature. It's items like this bench that tell so many stories of the past - if only we could read them.
This sketch is Acrylic on board. Size 18.5in x 14.75in. Artist's Collection.