Peace and Quiet

The cafe in Tuatara Lodge, Invercargill is my go-to place to sit down with good food, a hot drink and just chill out and forget about everything else. Yesterday (Saturday) I sat down to enjoy one of my favourite comfort foods – savoury mince on toast – which they do really well. Later I had coffee and a peppermint slice. I’d come prepared with a book and thoroughly enjoyed doing nothing for ages. Nigel was with me apart from when he went to the nearby public library.

You may recognise the mannequin as I’ve shared photos from this cafe before. This time she’s wearing really cool shades…


My idea of happily chilling out.. and to cap it off I’m Number One!!

The book of poems I’ve bought along to read is “feeding the dogs” by Kay McKenzie Cooke. Kay is a truly local poet having grown up in Southland, now living in Dunedin, Otago.


Here’s one of the smaller poems from Kay’s book along with a photo taken by Nigel on a recent trip to Central Otago, 30 April, when there was snow already on the mountains (we’re now in late autumn in New Zealand). This was taken as we were on our way to Alexandra.


mountain feet

— by Kay McKenzie Cooke

because they don’t speak
receive my undivided attention.
I regard

highly the way they
shoulder snow, shrug
off the weight
of cloud, stand

legs astride, feet
planted like the farmers stand
when they discuss
the weather, but bigger —

as massive
as the sky
they breathe in
and never breathe out.

— Kay McKenzie Cooke has a WP blog at  CUTTINGS

Autumn leaves litter the cafe entry, both sides of the door


and a sheep peers over a plywood divider by one of the tables.


Another photo of the mannequin with more of the surrounds


Lastly, the Tuatara Lodge building seen from the outside – I really like it!


Previous post I did about the same cafe:  Tuatara Backpackers

Text by Liz, photos by Liz except for the one by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2019)

26 thoughts on “Peace and Quiet

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    1. Essential.. at least one and preferably more! I have a favourite place in each town or city that we spend the most time in. Here in Tapanui, in Gore and Invercargill, and in Dunedin. And some favs scattered around in rural areas 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It was perhaps a little more than a year ago when you featured a post about the Tuatara that captivated Benjamin. I remember it well because he became such a fan of this ancient creature and we enjoyed our researched findings about them. So much so, that I purchased a stuffed toy replica for him from a New Zealand store! It remains one of his favorites. “Tut” has been the star at several preschool show and tell events at two different schools. Benjamin is always so proud when sharing with others the, unknown to them, Tuatara…he even taught his teachers! This lovely cafe reminds me of a favorite spot of mine that, for many years prior to my retirement, was my refueling place every morning following the night shift. I was a regular, so much so that “my table” was left open for me. An hour or more was delightfully passed with some pleasant conversation, excellent food, the best coffee and whatever book I was currently reading. I do miss that place! I love the Kay McKenzie Cooke poem and appreciate another new blog to explore. Your photos, and Nigel’s, are always enjoyable and today especially the one showing the Tuatara Lodge. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how precious! I’m delighted to know that you bought a toy tuatara for Benjamin and that he values this special reptile so much, even when he’s such a long way from NZ! You’ll enjoy Kay’s blog, she has such a way with words and a very strong connection to the land having been “born and bred in Southland” as they say down here!


    1. I’ll like to share this and your kelp photo on my blog sometime soon if that’s ok with you Steve.. please let me know. Many thanks, Liz 🙂


    1. There’s plenty of seats so usually its ok to linger and Saturday was particularly quiet in Invercargill because the annual Oyster Festival was on in Bluff (port town not far away) and it draws thousands of visitors.

      Liked by 1 person

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