Splendid Isolation – 51

Graveyard headstone with iron railings. Watercolour sketch
Graveyard headstone with iron railings. Watercolour sketch
Clifton cemetery

Clifton cemetery sits on a small isthmus where the Motupipi river meets the sea. The peaceful place is ringed by giant trees and the lagoon beyond them reflects the sky before it empties at low tide leaving sandy mudflats that can be walked on. Clifton was once destined to be a town but those plans never materialised. (See HERE for the history). This tomb with its attractive railings may be one of the Maori burials. (I sketched the gate to the cemetery HERE)

We had a 10km walk along Pohara beach this week, rounding the headland opposite Rototai before returning by the beach. Lunch at Totally Roasted before Herself returned while I went on to Pohara to take some photographs. It is a real pleasure to walk on the wide beach here, especially at low tide, empty except for one or two walkers and groups of Oyster Catchers standing on the edges of rivulets that reflect the clouds.

Edit, January 2023: I have researched this memorial HERE. My sketch is of the back of the memorial stone which belongs to Rawiri Wateno Hira, died 12 June 1874.


    1. Peter Clarke

      You would like this one! Mimosa blossoming everywhere now. You would make slow progress here, there are so many unusual flower species to examine!

  1. Ashley

    A lovely painting; you have even included the bent railing which adds so much to the image. From what you have written the area around Clifton sounds like how I imagine paradise to be! PS. I see they’ve sold Horse Island, off Cork (during the pandemic) for £5 million!

    1. Peter Clarke

      It’s certainly a beautiful place and the names of early settlers resonate along with the spirituality recognised by the Maori even earlier.

  2. lorrainehg

    We never got to this cemetery, but spent some time at the Historic Collingwood Cemetery (worth a visit). Your painting is beautiful

    1. Peter Clarke

      Thanks. We did visit the Collingwood site and went up to the viewing point over another town that never was!

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