About us


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 and is run by three generations of our family who live on the property in our extended family home  - Bess and Gordon, our daughter Emily and her husband Johnny and our grandchildren Coco and Eli.

Bess is Canadian born and Gordon hails from the north of England. We met and married in Canada and set off in 1980, with babe in arms, to live in New Zealand, sight unseen. Our first two years were spent in the Bay of Plenty on the North Island where Gordon was teaching science, computing, and maths at a high school. It was here that we heard of a job being offered in Nelson - he applied and was accepted and that set in motion where we are today.

After searching unsuccessfully for land for two years in the Nelson area, we discovered this 10 acre block of undeveloped beachfront property in Golden Bay in the spring of 1984, and "knew" that we had "arrived home". 


Beachfront property in 1984 Golden Bay, New Zealand Tukurua 1984 Beachfront Villas Golden Bay New Zealand


Our initial dream and project was market gardening and selling our produce to tourists and the local community. During this time Gordon was also teaching part time, building our first home and helping to raise the then three of our four children. In 1991, he was made redundant from his teaching job and we were now in need of a new source of income. The most unlikely answer to our prayer for provision of work was the inspiration to "grow lilies". So after researching something we knew nothing about, "Lilies in Bloom" was birthed and grew into a successful business, seeing our bulbs sent throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world over the following fifteen years.  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, we built an addition to our home as a guest wing for Bess' father for when he would come to visit from Canada, but sadly he passed away before he saw it fully completed. We now had a "room with a view" that needed someone to appreciate it. So on Boxing Day of 2002 we opened our Beachfront B&B and launched ourselves into the wonderful world of hospitality.

When our daughter Emily and her husband John and baby Coco arrived to live and work in 2003, it soon became apparent that we would need more than the lily business and the B&B to sustain us all. So after receiving very encouraging feedback and realizing the popularity of our accommodation, we decided to sell the lily business and over the next two years proceeded to build five self-contained, luxury cottages.

2014 brought big changes and development to the property during the winter while we were closed for 6 months. Up to this point Emily and Johnny and their family had been living off-site and we wanted them to be closer, so we built an extension onto our home in order to provide them with a managers residence. This in turn precipitated the need for some major landscaping renovations. Our son Jordan had just graduated in Landscape Architecture so this was the perfect opportunity to give him his first big project! He came up with a stunning design and together with Emily and Johnny, worked hard over the winter months to implement it.

It has 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 and to make Adrift a 'home away from home' for our guests.

We have met so many amazing people over the years who have encouraged us and spurred us on. We feel very privileged to have been able to share what we've been blessed with and our hope is that you will come and enjoy it too!


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Read about our Environmental Initiatives here >