Treasures in the North

We discovered two very different treasures during a few days in Northland this month- Te Mirumiru in Kawakawa, Earth House in Peria Valley -and enjoyed special friends in a lovely landscape.

Te Mirumiru…

Te Mirumiru 1

Te Mirumiru

Te Mirumiru is an award-winning childcare centre in Kawakawa. Ngaati Hine have built this eco-friendly and inclusive early childhood education centre, in which 80 children – Maori, Pakeha and others – are enrolled, and there’s a waiting list.   From the road you see an earth mound, from the side a beautiful curved north-facing glass façade, solar panels, and an extensive play area, and from the entrance a curving corridor with a carved wooden entry desk. The friendly groundsman (from Ngaati Porou) Harvey, who was busy weeding the grass roof, talked to us enthusiastically about how much the children (including his own) enjoy being there, and how great the staff are, as well as explaining the eco features.

See for yourself by googling Te Mirumiru Images, and read more at

Earth House…

Daj Sumner

Dhaj Sumner, now 83

EarthHouse3EarthHouse 4


Earth House (1307 Oruru Road, Peria) was created in 1993 by Dhaj Sumner , with sculptor Henere Mackesey and others, from local earth and recycled materials,  on the site of an old milking shed. It is a curving golden gracious building, with no straight lines, and decorated with tiles, mosaics, furniture and art works by many locals. Every weekend a group of Peria women and men bring produce from surrounding organic gardens and offer delicious vegetarian food and drinks – enchanting the eyes as well as the taste buds.

EarthHouse2EarthHouse lunchEarthHouse 1





Special friends…

Steph, Tanya, Annette, skyOur other treasure was not a new discovery but time with our old friends, Steph and Annette at Seahorse Farm,  surrounded by the stunning land and cloudscapes at Whangarei Heads


  1. It’s nice to read some good news. Te Mirumiru sounds very welcoming & the earth house nestles into the land beautifully.

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