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  • Elizabeth Marie

New Beginnings in Hokitika

A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of joining in with a group of ladies to travel to Hokitika, a special town on the West Coast of New Zealand. Hokitika means the place of return. To me, it is a beautiful little town next to the rugged coastline of the Tasman sea. 

The weekend was one of fun and fellowship, getting to know some precious sisters better. We had been offered a house to stay in, in Greymouth, in a lush garden, a reminder of the higher rainfall on the West Coast. 

The local shops were fearful of a red warning storm, which I was not sure if God had performed a miracle or just that the weather forecast and the media got it totally wrong, but the Saturday of the Living Springs festival was a stunning sun-filled day.

  The line up included the well known Julia Grace, who sang some of her own beautiful songs, as well as speaking in the afternoon with practical tips on managing mental health after suffering from her own challenging journey. She spoke with humour and was engaging and enjoyed by the crowd. She was awarded the NZ educator of the year in 2022/23. Other artists were Paul Foulds who was a talented guitarist who performed some covers; Karen and Brendon Hall who sang beautifully together with original songs that unfortunately I missed. I hope to see more of them in the future. You can see them on Youtube

 I was stunned by the beautiful vocals of the Olivia Harawira  in a female duo. As well as other musicians and church groups.  

There was also beautiful real fruit ice creams, coffee, smoothies, crepes and a range of other food to eat. 

 I’m looking forward to attending again next year and I look forward to seeing many more artists up on the stage there.

And for the general area, there is much of God’s beautiful creation to explore in outdoor pursuits, the rugged West Coast sea to enjoy and Lake Brunner nearby, with some quirky shops and a fabulous cafe to have breakfast at on the Greymouth waterfront. I hope many more people will make a trip to this new Christian festival next January.

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