On the Edge of a Cliff at Shag Point

Pulling up at our new house on Shag Point there wasn’t much to see. A thick screen of trees and bushes separates the house from the road. Enter the gate and it all changes. The house overlooks the ocean, with lovely small gardens tucked in on either side. Bushes, potted plants and sculpture are combined with short paths and hidden table and chairs to create intriguing spaces for sitting and looking out across the waves. We face northeast with a view up the coast and out over the Pacific, called the Canterbury Bight. Looking over the edge of the cliff, we spotted a spherical boulder eroding out of the shore, part of the deposits extending over 15 km from here to the opposite side of the bay. There the Moeraki Boulders are one of the tourist sites of this region. We have a few in our yard, along with a limestone bathing beauty hiding in the bushes.

Inside, the house is open plan with glass surrounding all the living areas. It makes the most of the sun and doors slide open if it gets too warm. A tiny wood stove builds up enough heat to take the chill off when there’s a drizzle at night or early in the day.

The spectacular view and glass walls brings the outdoors inside. It’s a stunning location. Our only problem may be leaving home to go anywhere. I did find the somewhat hidden path to the shore below us yesterday. I was just getting comfortable walking around on the rocks when a big “Whuff!” scared the wind out of me. A sea lion was resting a few yards away, and wasn’t interested in my company. I gave him/her their space and decided to visit another day when my breathing returns to normal.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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