Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

La Nina Continues to Impact

My posts of December 2 and December 11 about our dry summer are still relevant. The 24 mm of rain I mentioned in my second post was the last significant rainfall we’ve had. Since then just “dribbles”.

And just before Christmas we decided that if we wanted vegetables and a lawn that wasn’t pretending to be the Sahara desert we needed to do something about it. So we bought a sump pump and a 1000 liter cube tank, and I’ve been carting water from a local stream and spraying on our lawns and garden. Around 16000 liters to date. The vegie garden is looking fine, and the lawn is slowly recovering.

Looking at the weather maps for the coming week there doesn’t seem to be any rain forecast until next Tuesday. And that looks pretty insignificant as well.  The forecast rain we’ve been promised since mid December has mostly been a complete non event.

But we and our guests are enjoying the lovely fine and mostly calm warm (hot ??) summer.



Sails Ashore Water Cart
The Water Cart. The pump is in the creek,
and is powered by a 5kw gen set we have for emergency use

Sails Ashore Water Cart
The Vegie Garden is looking good, but dries out very quickly.
Iris always waters new plants in when planting, but this is the first time we ever actually watered the whole garden

Sails Ashore Lodge, Stewart Island

For folks from Central Otago our lawn probably looks quite lush,
but for us it’s really dry

La Nina

This year the Met Office tells us New Zealand is experiencing a “weak” La Nina. Generally this weather pattern will see High pressure systems pushed to the south of New Zealand, with Lows above us, and for Stewart Island that can mean easterly weather conditions… not always very pleasant.

The weak pattern this year is bringing the Highs across the top of Stewart Island, and consequentially clear calm conditions. The lows are thus much further North, and impacting quite severely on the North Island and Northern South Island. The odd frontal disturbance that is forecast …. maybe one a week or so generally seem to end up being a total non-event.

I for one, am not complaining, as domestically we have lots of water …. over 160,000 litres between Kowhai Lane Lodge & Sails Ashore, and carting a couple of loads a day for garden is not a real chore.

And we have some guests who have just completed the North West Circuit …… normally a mud bath ….. and they told me it was actually pretty good, with minimal mud. So they were best pleased.