Queenstown is a well known destination for adrenalin activities – skydiving, base jumping and paragliding. But the truth is that Queenstown offers waaay more than that. It’s one of the most scenic airport landings in the world… and then there’s the Lupins.
Like all folklore, fact can be hard to distinguish from fiction. And there’s a very clear resemblance between this story and the the American folklore tale of Johnny Appleseed. But as one Queenstown resident tells the story, “a local farmer decided that the drab centre of New Zealand’s South Island could use some colour. So for years she secretly spread Lupin seeds along the roadways and riverbeds each spring”.
Toward the end of each year, over a period of 4-5 weeks, the centre of New Zealand’s South Island bursts into colour. Along the lakes and riverbeds in Mackenzie Country, purple, pink and blue wildflowers sprout in abundance. Their impact on the already stunning scenery is nothing short of amazing.
Google “wild lupins New Zealand” and you will find endless images of these stunning blooms growing along Lake Tekapo, halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown. Bearing a strong resemblance to Delphiniums, these tall purple and pink flowers frame the main road to Queenstown and crawl all the way up the shoreline and sit just below the mountains in the distance.
Two other features of Queenstown helped inform the design of our Queenstown collection. First, drawing inspiration from the white winter peak of The Remarkables, we’ve used white Canterbury Bells to further balance to the pink/purple hues and soften the colour palette. The white also reminds us that all things must come to pass. And so often with the seasons, they pass both “too soon” and “at last”.
Lastly we’ve incorporated specks of gold into the design as an ode to generations of gold panners in the region. In November 1862, William Rees had been running sheep in the area for just two years when suddenly he discovered gold on the Shotover River. Overnight a town sprang to life, and to this day the site of Rees’s old homestead, “the Camp”, is the centre of Queenstown.
The soft pinks and purples of the wild Queenstown Lupins served as a strong influence on the balance of colours in our very own Queenstown collection. And like the Lupins, our local Australian Canterbury Bell flowers have a delicate balloon-like body. This collection is available now and until the end of February 2018.