Every so often, on the footpaths of Albany, there’s a colourful mosaic tile set into the pavement. Crafted by local school children in a project for the millennium, the tiles are markers along the Amity Heritage Trail. They guide walkers on tour of the old city, past the replica Brig Amity, which brought the first settlers to the area, the old convict Gaol where the ghosts of past prisoners are said to wander, and churches and cottages built as the town began to flourish.
The Brig Amity replica
Wesley Church Manse, 1903
Patrick Taylor’s cottage, oldest home in WA, 1832
Women’s Rest Centre, 1908
St John’s Anglican Church, 1841
Not far from town, at the Albany Wind Farm on Frenchman’s Bay Road, there are more mosaics. The tiles along the Wind Farm Walk depict the seasonal calendar of the Noongar people, who first populated this land. Six annual seasons, based on the weather cycle, dictated the types of food which became available during the year.
From the earliest inhabitants and the first settlers to the residents of today, these tiles tell the story of Albany – small pieces jigsawed together to create a big picture.
Once upon a time in the land of New Zealand, a small child looked up at a beautiful house on a hill above the town of Akaroa. The child announced that the house was so large a giant must live there, and “Linton” became known as “The Giant’s House”.
Linton was built in 1880 for the town’s first bank manager. Its entrance hall features a mahogany staircase which was specially imported from France and in keeping with that the rest of the house was decorated in French style. The house is now a luxury B&B owned by renowned artist Josie Martin.
Josie’s presence is evident in the garden surrounding the house. Terraces of roses, perennials and summer annuals mingle randomly with vegetables and fruit trees. The garden beds overflow with colours which are mirrored in the amazing mosaic sculptures on every terrace. Staircases patterned with mosaicked creatures lead from one level to another and around every corner are more larger than life characters.
From the highest terrace the views of Akaroa harbour and the hills of Canterbury are as expansive as the house.
What more could a giant ask for?