• Back and front — VW Beetles in a row

Kombis, Pies and More

September 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Joc O’Donnell loves Volkswagens. And in particular she loves that icon of the Flower Power–hippy era, the Volkswagen Kombi, or Microbus if you are American. Joc (pronounced Joss as it is short for Jocelyn) and her husband Scott O’Donnell preside over the enormous, Invercargill-based conglomerate HWR, which has interests in the transport, petroleum, concrete, contracting, [...]

  • Kiwis are everywhere in Eketāhuna

Meeting Manukura

September 5th, 2020|Tags: , , |

You want the name of a place that’s as far in the middle of nowhere as you can get? In the rest of the world you say Timbuktu (in the lower reaches of the Sahara Desert); in New Zealand you say Eketāhuna – officially located in the lower reaches of the Tararua District, but usually [...]

  • Unlike regular ‘fish’, eels are quite happy out of water, providing they are kept moist

NZ long fin Eel

September 5th, 2020|Tags: , |

Matt Paku is feeding his eels. Strictly speaking, they are not ‘his’ – they belong to the nation – but they live in a cool, clear stream that runs through his property. Matt’s wife Marilyn runs the family fish and chip shop and Matt feeds the eels scraps and left-overs from the shop. As Matt [...]

  • Getting the Kaikōura road reopened was a huge job — but there’s still a lot of work to do and stops are frequent. However, the essential character of the drive remains

Picton to Kaikōura

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

When I awoke to splendid sunshine after a sound night’s sleep at the Aussie Bay DOC camp in the Marlborough Sounds, I was feeling pretty excited by the prospects of my first drive down the Kaikōura Coast since the earthquake. My first experience of this revered stretch of our country was in late 1949 when [...]

  • Spectacular Maruia Falls were created by the 1929 Murchison earthquake

Christchurch to Motueka, a Road Less Travelled… but it Wasn’t Always that Way

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

The Kaikōura earthquake struck at two minutes past midnight on November 14, 2016. The damage was immense but there was no loss of life, because this region – apart from Kaikōura itself – is very sparsely populated. However, New Zealand’s transport infrastructure was thrown into chaos with both the railway line and SH1 damaged to such [...]

  • It’s only in reasonably recent years that Glenorchy has been accessible by road. Prior to that the Earnslaw – run by New Zealand Railways – was the only means of transport in and out

The Great South Island Road Trip

September 9th, 2019|Tags: , , |

A couple of years back a survey of international travellers asked what destination they would like to see before they died. Pretty grim way of putting the question, but the results were interesting. In order of preference they were, the Grand Canyon, Queensland’s Coral Reef and the South Island of New Zealand. That puts us [...]

  • The Britz eVolve almost back home. With the Remarkables as a backdrop we complete our nearly three days with the vehicle

Road Trip – Queenstown to Dunedin

June 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The offer of a test drive in a new EV motorhome recently added to the Britz rental range was a golden opportunity. This was the proverbial killing of two birds with the one stone. The first being I have never driven an EV on an extended run and I was curious to see how it [...]

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