I was raised on a dairy farm in Virginia, USA and first visited New Zealand in 1963 as a Young Farmer Exchangee. After spending time working in Europe, teaching school in Virginia, and working in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer I returned to graduate school, first in Michigan and then in Texas. I intended to work in Latin America but marriage to a Kiwi man played havoc with those plans. Instead we moved to Edmonton, Canada for a few years before returning to New Zealand (Wellington area) to raise our family. Our three children have lived and worked over the world and one has settled in the United States.
I started my working life in New Zealand in the voluntary sector and then moved to the private sector and independent crown entities before finishing my career in the core public service.
I love the land and feel grounded on it. In 1999 I bought five hectares of land and planted an olive grove and have slowly developed the property over time. The most recent project was building my architecturally designed home, trying to do it in a sustainable and energy efficient way, using as many local materials and craftsmen as possible. It is a beautiful place which I enjoy sharing with family and friends.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of assisting my guests design their visit to the beautiful Wairarapa. I can offer a tour focusing on rural New Zealand, the Wairarapa wineries, the many outdoor activities and beauty spots or point you in the direction of some excellent shopping. My aim is to help you have a wonderful visit at my lovely home and community.
I also cater for young children who enjoy the safe, open spaces.
581 Matarawa rd
Take State Highway (SH) 2 north out of Wellington. Drive over the Rimutaka Hill (a challenging drive for international visitors) through Greytown, still on SH2. About 3 kilometers north of Greytown, you will cross the Waiohine River. Turn left on to Matarawa Road (at the Waiohine Gorge sign) and drive 5.8 kilometers and Matarawa Grove is on the left (two letter boxes). I have the only olive grove on that road and if you cross the railway tracks, you have gone too far. The trip from the outskirts of Wellington, less than 100 kilometers, takes a little over one hour by car.