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Years ago when our children started school, I met one of my best friends. We were fortunate to have our kids gravitate toward each other in the new entrant class along with a group of about six others whose mums I also consider special. There was something about that first year at school. I look back now at those divine 1st year photos and thank God we timed it right meeting each other. Not only were our oldest children the same age but our youngest boys were too and maybe that’s why the connection was so strong.

This one special friend had bought some land with her husband on Kawau Island. We watched as they designed and built the most spectacular getaway in Hideaway Cove, Bon Accord Harbour. Looking back I remember the cardboard mockup they made, their funny camping stories while building and how we used to dream that one day we would sit on the cantilevered deck with cocktails and watch the sunset through the Kanuka.

Now it is a reality and we have shared many a coffee, bottle of wine and meal on that very deck. Once on the ferry, everything winds down. That smell of diesel and gritty salty seats signals we are nearly there. Long walks, swims, games, fun, loud kids and laziness.
Waking to the cackle of Kookaburra and falling asleep to the calling Weka. Sneaking around corners on walks in the hope of catching sight of the elusive Wallaby. We talk over magazines as we paint our nails and count Kereru, the 747’s of the avian world, as they sit heavy and high in the branches. And when the day is over and dishes done, we shine torches up into the trees as we listen to Morepork hoo-hooing each other in the dark. Tiny owls, swooping and hunting as we rest. Thanks Mel and Larry for treating us to Paradise.

Kereru painting Kirsty Nixon