Te Mata Figs featured in Bayleys Country Magazine
From high flying city jobs in Australia to a fig orchard in laid-back rural Hawkes Bay – Helen Walker and Murray Douglas only wish they’d made the move sooner.
The New Zealand couple were happy enough with life in Haberfield, just eight kilometres from the heart of Sydney. Murray worked as chief executive of the City of Sydney and Helen managed the Workers Compensation Commission of New South Wales. They shared a great home and had wonderful neighbours. Most people would think they had it all. But Helen and Murray hankered for a better quality life; one with more open space and opportunity to grow, rather than simply doing things for other people.
The catalyst that sparked their return to New Zealand was a stop off in the Hawkes Bay on a trip along the East Coast. “We stayed in Napier, opposite the esplanade and we thought it was a fantastic place,” says Helen, who grew up in the South Island. “It was Guy Fawkes night and everybody came to the beach to let off fireworks. This was what I remembered about New Zealand; the friendly people. It felt so familiar culturally.”
Touched by the feel-good vibe, Helen and Murray realised that with its warm climate and easy access to Auckland, Hawkes Bay was somewhere they could easily come to live. So they began exploring work possibilities that would fit in with a change of lifestyle.
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