Well then, Welcome to Wanaka!

As many of you will know from my Instagram and previous blog post, we arrived in Wanaka, Central Otago in late June on what was supposed to be a relatively short trip to book the kids into school and find a rental home, before we headed back to Australia to pack up the rest of our things and then permanently move over in late August/early September. Well, things haven’t exactly gone to plan! The covid situation back in Australia has certainly upended many peoples lives, and I particularly want to acknowledge so many of you stuck in lockdown in Sydney. It’s a really terrible time and my heart has been really heavy thinking about our families, friends and all of you guys in lockdown. I don’t think any of us predicted things would go the way they have the last 6 weeks.

To cut a long story short, we’ve made the decision to stay in Wanaka and begin life here since going back to Australia to pack up our things wasn’t a viable option anymore. Unfortunately all our possessions are back there (we came here with just a suitcase each), our car still at the airport, and our 3rd child (Bailey the Ridgeback – who we are missing desperately) still with friends back in the Southern Highlands. It’s less than ideal circumstances, but with the travel bubble suspended indefinitely, the Delta strain spreading throughout Sydney, and an unsettling few weeks moving around every few days not knowing what to do, we had to make A decision. And hey, we are safe and well, and have a lot to be grateful for.

And turns out, it really was the right decision as we managed to secure a short term rental for 7 weeks, but the most positive news is…… we’ve bought a home here! It happened fairly quickly and is exactly what we were looking for. It’s pretty yuck right now and needs an immediate renovation so we can move in (it will be a 2-stage renovation process), but we are so unbelievably grateful to have found a decent home. One that we can make our own, and get settled in as we start our new life here in Wanaka.

So yep, another renovation!! I’m really excited about it as the house has decent bones and although it’s not very big, and there are some things I’d love to change but won’t have the budget for, I know we can make it a lovely family home.

I’ll be sharing the design process here, and on instagram, but as always my email subscribers will get the inside scoop, supplier details, and product selections early on. The first design email will be coming early next week as I’m just finalising some initial selections for things we need to order ASAP (carpet, timber flooring, bathroom tiles and fixtures etc), but until then here’s a bit of the first few weeks here in Central Otago, New Zealand!

Terrace Downs
After leaving Christchurch to head down to Otago, we stopped along the way for a night at the amazing Terrace Downs. This place literally felt like being in a ranch in Idaho or Montana! So so cool and the most amazing scenery. Really want to go back and stay here again so I can take more photos but I’ll share some videos on my Instagram from here.
Terrace Downs - Welcome to Wanaka
Magnificent Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. These incredible willow trees (in shades of yellow, orange and red) are everywhere around here and add so much colour despite it being winter. I’d love to know the exact species are they are simply stunning!
The light here in winter is so low it makes for some truly spectacular photos. Also the sun doesn’t come up until about 8am at the moment which feels a little strange.

Will share our stay at Gibbston Valley and Queenstown in another post, as I’ve got too many images to share in this one. Stay tuned for the next design post to kick off the renovation at our new home.

And to those in lockdown in Sydney and Queensland, please stay safe and take care.

N xo

Join the Conversation

  1. Stunning photographs and I am so happy you’ve bought somewhere to renovate- cannot wait to see it all unfold.

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah. I can’t wait to see it unfold as haven’t had much time to put it all together, just had to get things ordered at this point so we can move in! Hope you’re having a beautiful summer over there? Just ordered some gorgeous wall lights from the UK actually xo

  2. katherine l Gillett says:

    today on the 8/10 blog there is a beautiful light with brass accents hanging in your kitchen, can you share the source please?

    1. Hi Katherine, I think you’re referring to the light in the inspiration image which is Jean Stoffer’s design work. So I’m afraid I can’t help with that source. Sorry!

  3. Judy Bihary says:

    So excited for you and your family finding your new home. I can’t wait to see your photos of your new home and follow you on your renovation journey.
    Thank you for sharing with us the beautiful places you have visited over there. It all looks picturesque. I love New Zealand, it’s such a pretty place. Hope to go back there one day soon.
    Stay safe and well.

    1. Thanks so much, Judy. We are so lucky to be here and excited to move into our new home soon. Sorry I posted the wrong link in the first email but there is a new post with some renovation details if you’re looking for it. Hope you’re well and staying safe! xo

  4. Congratulations. I cannot wait to follow along as transform your piece of wonderful Wanaka.
    And what an amazingly brave family you are- huge decisions to make in this crazy time!! Thinking of all those in NSW.🤗

    1. Aww thanks Kelsey! I can honestly say we had a few weeks there (after we arrived here) that we questioned if we’d done the right thing. Never expected for things in Australia to happen the way they did, so it caught us off guard well and truly. But all settling now for us here, which we are very very thankful for. x

  5. What incredibly exciting news Nicki, Congratulations! The area is just stunning, I have loved all the photos and insta posts. Wishing and your family all the very best with this new life adventure I can’t wait to follow along with the whole renovation here and on instagram. Take Care. Regards Raeann x

    1. Oh Raeann, thanks so much, and for the kind words. Things definitely haven’t gone to plan but we are incredibly grateful we actually made it here. We are safe, and well, and slowly starting to settle in which is great. I hope you’re doing okay and not in any lockdowns? Stay safe and all the best. N xo

  6. Michelle & David Johnston says:

    Congratulations to you and your family! What an absolute stunning setting you’ll be living in.
    Your photos as always are stunning also. Best of luck!!

    1. Thanks so much, Michelle & David! Such kind words, thank you. Nicki x

  7. Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do! These are absolutely gorgeous photos.

    1. Life sometimes leads us on a different path that we sometimes overlook. I can’t wait to see the updates

  8. So pleased that you and your family have found a new home… house prices here down south have gone crazy! Can’t wait to follow your new reno, love your style!

    1. Awww thanks Michelle. Thats so kind. Yes I know, it’s been a bit nuts here price wise, and weren’t initially going to buy (just rent) but when we couldn’t find a rental we realised we’d had to buy so we could get into a home! Everything happens for a reason. xo

  9. Just love all your amazing photos and blogs.
    Well done, I hope you get your beautiful dog and processions soon.
    As for your great info on paint colours, Have a look at Resene paint colours, they are pretty amazing too.
    They are new zealand based, and are readily available in australia too.

    1. Oh thanks so much, Fiona! Yes Resene are terrific too. Haven’t used their paints in a while but highly likely to use them on our new home. Their big fan deck had every colour under the sun! x

  10. How exciting! I look forward to this next renovation story! What a big decision you had to make in a hurry. Congratulations!!

    1. Thanks Marg! Yes it felt a bit intense there for a while, but over the last week things have settled a lot and fallen into place, so we know it was the right decision. Excited to share the full renovation process on this too!

  11. Jeni scourfield says:

    What a gorgeous place I have always loved New Zealand good luck with everything I envy you

    1. Thanks Jeni. Counting our blessings we made it here when we did!

  12. Congratulations hon! So happy you’ve found a home and can’t wait to follow along on your next renovation 🥰 xx

    1. Oh thanks ho ! Such a relief to know we will have a home again soon. And excited to get this one renovated although won’t have much furniture for a while but! Haha. X

      1. Elizabeth Hoebergen says:

        Wishing you all the best for you and your family, so glad you have found a house that you can create into a home. My hubby is a kiwi so we love NZ, your pictures bring back lovely memories 😊

  13. Your photos are absolutely stunning! Welcome to Wanaka!

    1. Oh thanks, Sarah 😌 I feel like it’s easy taking photos here as everything is so breathtakingly beautiful! X

  14. Rae Livesey says:

    Hi and so happy for you all finding a home
    to settle into despite the problems that have
    happened with this covid with time hopefully
    it will all settle down again we are in Queensland
    Gold Coast lockdown. The photos you have shared
    are beautiful we are from Taupo North Island
    I’m enjoying following along with your posts
    stay safe over there x😀

    1. Oh Rae, didn’t realise you are from Taupo! That’s such a beautiful place as well. And sorry you’re stuck in lockdown but hopefully it can get under control in Qld and you don’t have to be in lockdown too long. X

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