The Three Wise Sisters

“I’m smiling because we’re sisters. I’m laughing because there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Set loose somewhere in the South Island, three sisters do Hanmer.

At Saints, a sister who shall remain nameless had the audacity to order a cheesecake cocktail
The aftermath of creamed mussels
Autumn’s art
On the first day of our three day stay, we took a trip west from Hanmer to Springs Junction (a significant road that links the West Coast with Canterbury.) That day, the trip meant leaving the relative sunshine of Hanmer Springs and after an up-and-down-dale journey, arriving to misty drizzle. A cuppa at the local cafe restored spirits. Note random Buddhist monk in the background.
Sis susses things out
Dry as a bone Hope River valley somewhere between Hanmer and Springs Junction


The next day we explored Hanmer’s boutique shops, its cafes and its forest walks.

Walking wounded, sis solidarity
Some forest bathing
Three sisters on a bridge. This time it didn’t collapse under us (a 55-year old memory of a footbridge at Southland’s Lake Hauroko, when we were kids.)
The warning. Only one sister at a time allowed
and being obedient sisters on the whole, we didn’t argue.


Information about the forest parks around Hanmer indicate that hills and valleys once covered in tussock, are now host to forests of mature exotic trees planted in the early 20th century – cypress, firs, larches, beeches, birches and cedars. In places the air was filled with bird song – mainly korimako / bellbird sounding out as loud as church bells.

If three sisters have the time and opportunity, no cemetery is safe from being checked out. This headstone was particularly interesting.

The autumn tones certainly upped the attraction factor of a walk along one of the many forest walking / cycling tracks available for a Hanmer Springs stroll or ride.

Situated as it is on the Hanmer fault, thin-skinned Hanmer Springs resort’s claim to fame is its hot springs: ‘When the springs were first discovered, the hot water rose to the surface under artesian pressure. Today, the natural up flow of heated water has diminished and the water is pumped from a bore that was drilled into greywacke rock in 1975 (original drilling was 1911).’

However, these three sisters opted not to test said waters; you could say that for us, the attraction of water is somewhat diminished when it comes without the addition of whisky or gin.

Not really – truer to say we were more taken by the cyprus trees than the springs and were happy to wave any notion of a tepid soak. Ending the day under the friendly fire of sisterly banter, entered into over a beverage in front of the quaint intricacies of Midsomer Murders (courtesy of a sister’s downloads) was far more to our liking.


Whenever we three sisters get together, always at the back of our minds is our other sister who lives in Australia. While in Hanmer she was following our ventures via internet and sent us a photo to say she was thinking of us … which included the message: ‘Bugger Hanmer Springs. I’m having too much fun at home cooking and cleaning.’ (We didn’t believe her. But we love the costume and the yellow, rubber-gloved Perth salute!)

Here’s lookin’ at ya sis



Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

One thought on “The Three Wise Sisters

  1. The sign at the bridge made me chuckle. Not so the gravestone: what were the chances of travelling safely to the other side of the planet, only to be struck by lightning when you arrived? But then I saw the picture of the Perth salute, and was chuckling again.

    Liked by 1 person

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