Tui-ks (read: two weeks) in Paradise

The first week in New Zealand had ended and so we soon left Christchurch and got a ride to Nelson where we had agreed to pick up the campervan we bought. We spent two nights at a nice campsite in Ruby Bay where we met our new friends and camping neighbors Andrea and Paul from Nelson and got introduced to the art of net fishing by another camper family. After spending another night at Paul and Andrea’s house in Nelson and organizing some things in town we were ready to head to our first dream destination: our wwoofing (volunteering) place Tui, a community in Wainui Bay. We picked up our fellow wwoofers Sam and Charline in Nelson and made our way through the monsoon-like rains all the way to Wainui Bay. Driving into the bay, we soon realized we had landed in paradise. Joy came upon us. We met another fellow wwoofer, Naoko, as well as Tyson who is responsible for the wwoofers at Tui and Tiago from Brazil who is working at Tui for a while.

The next two weeks were filled with wonderful days between working in the garden and on the lands, going for daily swims at the magnificent Wainui beach, exploring the surroundings of the Abel Tasman National Park and sharing nice meals and evenings with our new friends. We also learned about soil microbiology, climbed trees, saw a fantastic cardboard boat race at a nearby beach, learned Japanese, collected mussels from the beach and plums from the trees.

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Tui magic

The garden work included collecting materials like leaves, cow poo, sea grass and others, making compost with these materials, weeding and other small tasks like mowing the lawn of the Tui soccer field.

The views from the houses of the Tui residents as well as from the hills of the national park nearby were absolutely stunning and made us completely fall in love with the place and the whole country. What a beautiful place to live. We are already making plans to move to New Zealand one day. 😉

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Tui beach and estuary

We also went on a small excursion to another community called Riverside who organized a nice little festival with music, art and lots of movement. This is where we met our new friend Michael, another movement lover and teacher who noticed us during our humble attempts of doing lizard walks on the grass. If you don’t know what lizards walks are, check out Ido Portal on YouTube. We became good friends with Michael and his girlfriend Alex and will soon meet them again.

The end of our time at Tui was marked by an amazing visit to the nearby Wainui Falls, waterfalls with ice-cold water and stunning surroundings. Wainui, this must be Paradise for sure.

Bye bye, Paradise, for now and thanks a million times, Tui, for giving us this opportunity of being there for a while. We will be back!

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