Bulwer Anniversary

February 5th, 2017 marked one year since Jessica and I got together and started something special. On February 5th, one year prior, Jessica moved to the Marlborough Sounds after leaving her (career-related) job to come work in hospitality with me, after only knowing each other for a short while. That same day, we started dating officially, and that same day, we began living together.

Exactly one year later, we are still going strong, and all the gambles we took have paid off. To mark this special occasion, we rented a cottage for two nights in Bulwer, where the population before we arrived was two… yep, just two people. I had the privlige of coincidentally going out there before on a random boat trip. Due to it’s remoteness, I never thought I would return…


Raetihi Lodge, where we live, is pretty tough to get to. Bulwer is much deeper into the Sounds than Raetihi Lodge is. If I could, I would recommend Bulwer to some of our guests. The sad fact is, not many people would go that far out of their way to go somewhere without a wifi connection or a corner store.

The scenery on the way there  was well worth the trip all by itself. There was a nice combination of rolling hills,


the sea on our right,


and the sunset on our left.


We arrived pretty late in the evening, so we just had a few bikkies and a cuppa while we got to know the folks that govern the place. Sandra and Phil were great hosts – accommodating and hospitable to every extent.

They had some lovely animals to get acquainted with as well. In the mornings, we were awakened by the strange and deranged Lucky the sheep. Sandra swears he’s crazy, and we believed it too. He’d chase you all over the grounds if you didn’t give him whatever food was in your hand. On rare occasions, Lucky was known to head-butt people.


None of the other sheep would go near him…


Never have we ever seen sheep on a beach before.

Another cool and not-so-good-looking animal was Bruno the pig. He was pretty gnarly all around. Good guy though.


The main things the residents of Bulwer do are fishing, and fishing. After that, they do cooking so they can do eating. The next day, the begin with fishing again. They also take care of the cottages that they rent out to couples, families, and groups of old men who want to go… FISHING! They mentioned that not many young people would travel out there because of the isolation; these days young people don’t seem to appreciate natural beauty and serenity like older folks do.


I don’t like fishing, but I do think older boats look pretty majestic. Jess and I have pondered going fishing without hooks sometime this season. We don’t really like the idea of killing things, that’s for murderers… unless the victims are sandflies. All sandflies should die, die, die.

The first thing you feel like doing when you get to Bulwer is snoop around. This place seems like its straight out of a movie. It’s a perfect set just waiting to be turned into a story – I’m thinking a mind-bending drama between a man and himself versus his ego and  his subconsciousness. Friggin’ Steven Spielberg right there.

It’s pretty easy to figure out where to go once you’re there. There’s about eight buildings, and one pathway in and out.



Jetties always make for good pictures, even with all that bird shit on top.

We found a little activities room with lotsa old junk in it beside our cottage. It was pretty spooky. There was a lot of old stuff all over the place in Bulwer. Phil told us his family had lived there since the 1800’s. It makes me wonder how old everything really was!


Pretty intense highchair eh?


Where ping pong legends and pool table snipers used to train.


That’s where we slept.


This is where we made our food.


We realized that we never tried moving with or against our panorama photos. Here’s the experiment:



Trippy as brew

We wandered into the forest, found a teepee,


and a hollowed-out tree,


so I went in it!



One footed Wekas are quite common. Dogs and possum traps are the culprits.


Doesn’t it look like the tree is falling from the sky, with its hair flying upwards?


Waking up to lammies in our front yard was quite the delight!

I would definitely classify Bulwer as a hidden gem. The vibe we got when we arrived was very unique – it was nice being somewhere where there was nobody around, and it truly seemed like we were nowhere at all.

We didn’t do much at all in Bulwer. I have become perfectly content with doing absolutely nothing with the person I love. Sometimes the warmth of a person’s presence is all you need to make you happy. Jess recently told me that I’ve been more affectionate lately. I didn’t realize I was doing anything different, but I think it’s because after a year, I’m still falling more and more in love with her.


There was no shortage of epic photos to be taken, but that’s not why we went there.


We went there to get away from our day-to-day lifestyle,


and visit somewhere new. We went to explore and witness the beauty of the Sounds.

Most importantly, we went away for us.


I planned this little trip because I wanted Jessica to see more of her country. She’s already shown me so much, so I wanted to show her something too. I always thought that anniversaries had to be about luxe – diamonds and roses and fanciness. Jessica appreciated every little bit of our cheap cottage getaway. I was confident that I made the right choice in planning this because Jess has never cared so much about where we are, as she has about being with me – just me. 


The trip was perfect, and although I did buy her diamonds, the most beautiful thing we brought with us was the love we reciprocate to each other.


  1. Kieran Charnock · May 20, 2017

    Woah. Amazing place you’ve found there, shame that girl ‘Jesslyn was it?’ was there too. haha
    No, no, what an amazing anniversary experience. Love the idea for that film haha – you should send this blog page to steven spielberg as your pitch.
    It took me a full minute to work out you were joking about sleeping on that shitty mattress. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it and had to scroll back up to check you’d said you slept in a cottage ‘beside’ the games room.
    Of course, when I saw where you cooked I knew that sleeping in a ‘cottage beside the games room’ had just been the writings of a madman and you had in fact lived like a couple of hobos out there in absolutely nowhere at all.
    I reckon Bulwer is wherever you go in your mind when you actually black-out and go on one of your murder sprees around Queenstown. And Jess is all in your head.


  2. kuszd · May 20, 2017

    Haha dude you make me sound like a madman! Yeah it was a pretty cool experience dude!


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