What to pack, how long to stay and what to do - plus photos.
So you’re thinking about applying for an artist residency at the New Zealand Pacific Studio? Here are my tips - and pics - from my stay.
What should I pack?
I stayed at the coldest time of the year, when frost blanketed the grass well into the morning and snow covered the nearby mountain ranges. Regardless of the time of year you’re staying, it would be prudent to bring warm clothes - after all, you will be staying in an historic villa. I’d recommend slippers, sneakers, fingerless gloves, a warm jacket, merino layers and a light raincoat. Don’t forget your sunnies - and some shoes that you don’t mind getting wet (hiking boots would be ideal). You’ll also need your usual creative gear (laptop, art materials, printing paper)… and your camera! Don’t worry if you forget to bring something to read - there are bookshelves in almost every room.
What technology is available?
There is wifi, and printers / scanners.
How long should I stay?
It took me a few days to get into the rhythm of being in a new place. Between that and the number of fun things to do in the region, I would recommend staying for at least two weeks - preferably longer!
What is there to do?
There are some lovely walks nearby. For pastoral pleasure you can walk up and down Kaiparoro Road, which is almost opposite the New Zealand Pacific Studio. Alternatively you can turn right down the highway to check out the pretty ANZAC Bridge and a lovely short bush walk through Miller’s Reserve, or left towards the Pukaha Bird Sanctuary, where you can take a two-hour walk to the lookout and back.
There are also plenty of towns to explore. Eketahuna is just a few minutes up the road by car (there’s a great cafe and some lovely gift stores), the larger town of Masterton is half an hour away, and Carterton and Featherston are nearby too. A day trip to Wellington by train is also highly recommended.
What else should I expect?
You can also expect to have a fantastic time! Check out my blog post - Why Do A Self-Funded Residency - for more details about what made my stay at the New Zealand Pacific Studio so special.
Check out the photo gallery below.
A graduate of Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters, I am the winner of the Mindfood Short Story Competition and the Headland Short Story Prize. My short stories have appeared in The Sunday Star-Times, takahē, Fresh Ink and Bonsai. My debut short story collection, Pet, will be available from August, and is being released as a podcast. I have also written and illustrated two children's books about my rescue cat, Bruce.