Perhaps more difficult for me than seeing all the summertime photos from 2015 (while we were experiencing winter, albeit a mild, Christchurch one) was missing autumn last year. Seeing all the photos and stories and recipes online was tough.
I’m not a big pumpkin spice fan, but I’ll take pretty much everything else to do with the season: hayrides, foliage, pumpkins, Halloween & Thanksgiving, harvest flavors, sweaters, scarves, hot tea/mulled wine/coffee, bonfires, chilly evenings, warm blankets, etc.
So I have really been anticipating New Zealand fall… and the colors and sights of Otago have not disappointed.
We even got to visit Roxburgh’s Pumpkin Festival, the inaugural one! All five of us competed in the pumpkin seed spitting contest–no one embarrassed themselves. We sampled baked goods entered in the baking competition. We oohed and ahhed over the carved pumpkins and whole pumpkins competing for prizes.
Toward the end of our time in Roxburgh, a writer for the Central Otago Times approached us and asked us our opinions of the festival. She seemed delighted to hear that we were Americans, all the way from Delaware, and she was curious about whether pumpkin/fall festivals are popular on our side of the world.
The article she wrote appears online here; I’m quoted. 🙂
On the road between Roxburgh and the bach where we’re staying on the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin we stopped and stocked up on fruit: apples, corn on the cob, a pumpkin for roasting, pears, and quince. Total: NZ$19. And the farmstand where we stopped had an unmanned EFTPOS (debit) machine that was on the honor system.
I felt such a deep love for the Otago autumn colors that I almost felt a loss as we left the region, heading east to the coast.