16 In nz/ travel

off the grid

{postcards from nydia bay, pelorous sounds}

hello friends,
a new year, the turn of a page, every new day that begins is a chance to start fresh. wash off the slough of the previous day and face the sun with clear intentions and a hopeful heart.

returning to a simple, uncomplicated life (even if only for the tiniest moment) was the way we chose to greet the new year. we were off grid – no cell-phone reception, no telephone, no tv, no internet – in a cabin with solar power, septic tank, wood-burning stove, water from a dam up the ridge. floating in the cool, still water of the morning in the silence of the bay, i didn’t wish for my life to be anything other than what it is. i sit. i breathe. i take it all in.


i have had time to contemplate a word-for-the-year and it seems likely to have chosen me. tapping me insistently on the shoulder, vying for attention amongst the rest of the clamour that goes on in my head. i find my self paradoxically rested and restless. feeling like i am gaining a deeper understanding of myself, all the while standing on shaky ground.

hoping you have peace in your heart and are excited about the year ahead
with love, always


our transportation – a float plane dropped us right in the bay

part of the marlborough sounds

works end

the living quarters

early morning swimming

i think this kettle has been around for as long as the shack!

no fishing

pet eels

a tribute to andy goldsworthy – one of my many sources of inspiration

red or white?

picnic spot around the bay

a dinghy rests amongst the ferns

pip, hamish & nic wading through the flooded river

  • Becky
    30/01/2011 at 23:04

    This place looks wonderful, the pictures look great, do you have any ideas for good cameras, as i’m to looking to buy a new camera but i am not sure what sort?

  • V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios
    22/01/2011 at 13:51

    Stunning photos and a strong sense of place. Great visual storytelling. Happy to have shared your experience here on the other side of the world.

  • jaime
    21/01/2011 at 06:37

    Oh my gosh Leonie…I can’t think of a more perfect way to bring in the new year. These images are incredible! Can I come to New Zealand? Wow. And double Wow.

  • flowing moments
    17/01/2011 at 12:30

    wishing you a magical new year 2011, as i see, it has started blissfully !!!
    nathalie :)

  • Di
    17/01/2011 at 08:42

    I could smell it … remember it.
    Ufff, beautiful!! as always.

  • Elizabeth
    14/01/2011 at 01:22

    It looks like absolute bliss – the perfect way to close out one year and begin another.

    (I confess to being slightly freaked out by eels, though now I wonder if you can pet them?)

  • Ruth
    13/01/2011 at 13:54

    Thanks for the comment, Leonie! Your photographs are stunning. I especially like your Andy Goldsworthy tribute. :)

  • Swirly
    11/01/2011 at 14:23

    Looks like absolute heaven. These photos are breathtaking.

  • rachel awes
    10/01/2011 at 16:49

    leonie, you are back, you are back! youyouyou, who i am too so glad you are just who/where you are! gorgeous photos! breath-taking/giving. yes to bliss. yes to you. looooooooooooove to you! xoxox

  • Alexia
    09/01/2011 at 16:19

    Beautiful, beautiful photos!
    Though the eels did freak me out a bit.

  • Emily
    08/01/2011 at 10:30

    Sounds so fantastic! Gosh. Your morning swimming photo almost had me packing to leave and go back to your country. I have been missing the quiet of nz so much so that I’ve entered a couple of competitions to win flights back there. In the interim, I’m catching up with the Attenborough Life dvds with our curtains closed ;)
    Happy new year to you! Looks like the weather treated you to some gorgeous blue skies ~

  • Ashley
    08/01/2011 at 05:07

    Wow! That place looks like paradise. Complete with pet eels! Can you pet them?

  • Amy
    07/01/2011 at 20:11

    Oh my, you lucky, lucky girl. What an incredible way to ring in the New Year. My eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw your photo of Marlborough Sounds, and everything else looks so wonderfully peaceful and perfect. I’m glad you were able to have such a fantastic experience, and glad that your inner and outer world both look so bright.

  • green ink
    07/01/2011 at 13:25

    What a perfect start to the year!! xx

  • Jo
    07/01/2011 at 09:45

    What a wonderful, wonderful place. Blisssful. x (and ditto on the AG)

  • Tor
    07/01/2011 at 09:39

    What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year. It looks wonderful. I know I’d love it there too. And Andy Goldsworthy has been a massive inspiration to me too. He rocks. xx