The new mosaic coach on Days Track has been a "labour of love" for Barb Spencer and Ellie Fijn. Photo: Kate Russell.

Couch a view in itself


Next time you’re walking up the freshly reinstated Days Track, be sure to stop and rest your legs on its new mosaic couch.

And it isn’t just any old couch.

Rivalling the stunning view out to the Western Ranges and Tasman Bay, it comes complete with the cathedral, Fifeshire Rock, quirky cottages and the Rocks Rd chains – a perfect tribute to Nelson.

The couch has been a labour of love, according to Ellie Fijn who is part of a dedicated neighbourhood group that has turned what was a very ordinary couch into a work of art.

She says they have spent hundreds of hours placing thousands of pieces of tiles together “like a patchwork quilt”.

The idea was born in February, with neighbours wanting to celebrate the reinstatement of Days Track.

The couch was designed by Rocks Rd artist Colleen Dallimore.

“We wanted to do something that would beautify the track,” says Ellie. “So we decided on a ‘city to sea’ theme, as Days Track is historically one of the ways into town.”

The couch is made from an actual couch, which has been covered in chicken-wire and then concreted. Then an eight-and-a-half ton digger very carefully moved it to its final resting place.

“It was a bit of a bumpy ride, but Fulton Hogan did an awesome job,” Ellie says.

Ellie says the last three weeks have been spent doing the physical work of tiling and grouting and they are now putting the final touches on the seat, before it is unveiled at the official opening of the track this Saturday.

All the work gone into the couch is voluntary and the only money they have received for it is a grant from Creative Communities.

Although, the contributions of cups of tea, biscuits and words of encouragement have been welcome, she says.

“One lovely man asked, ‘are you doing it voluntary?’, and when we said ‘yes’, he came back the next day and gave us $100, and said, ‘you can spend it on gin or muffins’.

“The people passing by have been so positive.”

And Ellie says the track is definitely being well utilized.

“We hope the couch will provide a welcome sit-down for people walking the track, and that they enjoy it.”