Join us at Adrift and experience the beauty and history of our little "slice of paradise"...
From Lettuce to Lilies, to Luxury
Our beachfront accommodation is a family-owned and operated holiday resort that was created and is run by two generations of our family - Bess and Gordon Hampson, Emily, Johnny and Jordan.
Bess is Canadian born and Gordon hails from the north of England. They met and married in Canada and lived in a log cabin in central British Columbia where the temperature would often plummet to –40 C in the winter. They had a good friend who had visited New Zealand and came back singing its praises, which piqued Gordon’s thirst for adventure and he began to research both the physical and social climate of this amazing country.
The more he read the better it sounded, so he applied for work as a teacher and they set off in 1980 with their first babe in arms to live in New Zealand, sight unseen. The first two years were spent in Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty on the North Island, where Gordon taught science, computing, and maths at the local high school. It was here that he heard of a job being offered in Nelson and he felt strongly that they were meant to move there so he applied, was accepted and that set in motion where they are today...
Their dream was to own their own home and after searching unsuccessfully for land for two years in the Nelson area, in the spring of 1984, they discovered a ten-acre block of undeveloped, beachside farmland in Golden Bay and "knew" they'd found their home.
Their initial dream and following project was to establish a market garden, selling produce to the local community and visitors from a roadside honesty stall. During this time Gordon was also teaching part-time, building their first home and helping to raise the (then) three of their four children. In 1991, he was made redundant from his teaching job, putting them in desperate need of a new source of income. The answer to their prayer for the provision of work came as a very unexpected inspiration to "grow lilies". So, after researching something they knew nothing about, "Lilies in Bloom" was created and grew into a successful international business. For the next fifteen years, they sold the flowering potted plants in the summer and in the winter, harvested the bulbs and sent them throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world. It was an amazing experience to see and smell thousands of flowering lilies growing beside the beach, but there were better things to come...
In 2001, they built an addition to their home as a guest wing for Bess' father for when he would come to visit from Canada. Unfortunately, he passed away before it was finished and they now had a "room with a view" that needed someone to appreciate it. So, on Boxing Day of 2002, they opened their "Beachfront B&B" and launched themselves into the wonderful world of hospitality.
After running the B&B alongside the lily business for two months, in early 2003, daughter Emily and husband Johnny; both with backgrounds in hospitality, moved to Golden Bay to work on the property and it soon became apparent that expanding the hospitality side of the business would provide the most sustainable way forward. They had received such encouraging feedback about the accommodation and its popularity was growing, so the decision was made to sell the lily business and over the next two years the five beach villas were built.
It's been an ongoing adventure as we continue to dream and develop the property and business. We're always looking for ways to enhance the natural beauty that surrounds us, to take care of the land and its wildlife and to make Adrift something truly special, memorable and a 'home away from home' for our guests.
We've met so many amazing people over the years who have encouraged us and spurred us on. We feel extremely privileged to be able to share our piece of ‘heaven on earth’ that we've been blessed with and our hope is that you will come and enjoy it too!