|Driftwood sign on the Hokitika shore|
|Schools visited on day 1|
Some schools had book displays, others had books for me to sign, all had children keen to learn about being an author. Here are some of the Greymouth schools...
|Schools visited on day 2|
Even in the towns, nature made itself heard and seen. From the bellbirds/korimako in the main street of Hokitika which seemed to sing constantly to delicate tree ferns and tiny scrambling plants.
|Schools visited on day 3 and some glimpses of Greymouth's greenery|
Some places on the coast are dotted with nikau palms and amazing rock formations. We stopped for a quick walk at Punakaiki to see the rocks.
|Author/illustrator Ruth Paul, me, Storylines rep Anne Dickson, author/illustrator Paul Beavis|
|Nikau palms at Punakaiki against a blue sky|
|Granity School - the children's skink garden and mural, and the local book exchange|
After visiting Westport's wonderful schools and early childhood centres, we headed inland to Reefton.
|Some of the schools and centres visited on days 4 and 5|
Massive rimu and rata tower above the forests of the coast and the rivers run strong thanks to the frequent rain.
|The Buller River|
After the tour I had a chance to encounter picturesque lakes, edged by swamps of kahikatea and flax.
With the older children, I talked about writing books and how Ned Barraud and I created In the Bush: explore and discover New Zealand's forests. They loved the book's opening, along with the 'bush at night' scene. The children know so much about their forests and what lives there.
|From "In the Bush" illustrated by Ned Barraud|
|Kahikatea walk at Lake Kaniere|
|Fungi seen on bush walks on the West Coast|
At Kaniere School, I bought a copy of The Adventures of Finneus Whitebait written by children from the school. It is a great story about the journey that whitebait make.
|Lake Kaniere, Kaniere School and their book|
More on Fungi
If you like blue mushrooms too, you could vote for them here "What's New Zealand's Favourite Fungus?"
About the Tour
I travelled with author/illustrators Ruth Paul and Paul Beavis, along with Storylines representative and librarian Anne Dickson. Many thanks to the Storylines Trust and their sponsors for inviting me to take part and for funding and organising the tour.