Hosts Lyndsay and Helen have been part of the Women Travel NZ network since its beginning 10 years ago. This network of women owned accommodation and tours have always offered a special welcome to women travellers, but more than that they also exemplify the unique ‘kiwi hospitality’ which is often remarked on by international travellers.
Here is an example of that unique kiwi hospitality:
Bruce and Janet from Nova Scotia in Canada have been staying at Parituhu, and decide to do a day trip to Waipu (where I live) to explore the Nova Scotian story of that village.
Lyndsay and Helen think “Let’s ring Rosemary and ask her to look out for them”. I am not home, but get the message too late to ring back before Bruce and Janet leave.
Next day I am in the village at Waipu, and I see someone taking photos, and I stop to say hello, as I do to any visitor to the town. The nice woman is not undone by this, and replies that she is taking photos to take back to Canada. I ask her if she is staying in Devonport, and she looks at me as if I am a clairvoyant.
Yes its Janet, and just down the road waiting for the bus back to Auckland is Bruce. They have just over 30 mins to wait, so I suggest that they can not go back without seeing the beach and the cemetery. Trusting souls they jump in the car, and I drive them to the Rubbish Tip. They express a little dismay until I tell them this is the way the locals go down to Uretiti Beach. Short for time, I put the car into 4 wheel drive and head up over the sand hills, I am sure they are holding their breath!
The view probably takes their breath away again – it does mine every time I go there. Bream Head and the off shore islands, a towering surf, seabirds fossicking on the shore, and an empty beach as far as the eye can see.
Photos taken, we hop back into the car to drive to Waipu Cemetery by the river. This cemetery is still being used, but it also has the graves of the Nova Scotian settlers who settled in Waipu. For more on the story of the Scottish highlanders and their journey to Nova Scotia and Waipu, follow this link to the Waipu Museum.
Its time to head back for Janet and Bruce to catch the bus back to Auckland. Two new friends made and an offer of hospitality back in Canada is made.
- Such is the nature of kiwi hospitality – generous meeting of visitors, a sharing of stories and gifts.
- Such is the Maori tradition of welcome – Manakitanga – generous hospitality.
- And it is the traditional gaelic tradition of welcome too – as the sign says in Waipu “ceud mille failte – a hundred thousand welcomes”.
Lyndsay and Helen receive their guests back in Devonport and email
“My goodness Bruce and Janet are full of excitement about their day in Waipu and meeting you was the icing on the cake..Thankyou Rosemary for being so wonderfully Kiwi and reaching out to folk. They loved it and we loved it too!!”