• Model ships trace the history of naval vessels

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

November 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Who knew that a string of mines once stretched across Auckland Harbour to protect the city from invasion? I certainly did not. This startling gem was just one of the facts imparted during the time it took to enjoy a cup of coffee with Jane Cotty, Communications Manager for the National Museum of the Royal [...]

  • Devonport Museum is housed in a re-sited church building adjacent to Mount Cambria reserve off Vauxhall Road

Behind the Scenes at the Museum(s)

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Behind every small museum across the country is an army of talented volunteers contributing to the national heritage through the protection and promotion of images, artefacts and taonga in their care. I was reminded of this when I visited two very different museums at Devonport recently: Devonport Historic Museum and Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. At [...]

Island Time

February 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Waiheke Island has been my home for more than 25 years. It’s a gem of a place and one that’s only just being discovered by RV travellers. The island has abundant attractions and is definitely one to add to the bucket list. However, the main reason few RVers visit this beautiful, accessible haven is because [...]

  • Lloyd and Joan play a duet on Ignacy Paderewski’s 1897 Bechstein brought to New Zealand in 1904

A Fine Romance

October 27th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

L loyd and Joan Whittaker met at the local photographer’s studio when Lloyd was just 16 and his bride-to-be was 19 years old. He recalls that Joan was wearing a tartan dress and that she alone was sufficient reason for him to begin working there. They were united by a love of photography but bound [...]

  • Picnic spots can easily be found on the picturesque peninsula

Sanctuary for the Soul

September 5th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

For many kiwi families life is a beach in the summertime. Camping at the beach is an institution, as beloved as pavlova, buzzy bees and gumboots, and most find the draw of sun, sea, surf and sand just too hard to resist. Among Auckland’s northern park beaches, one stands out for me as a place [...]

  • Goats once lived on Goat Island

A Sanctuary for Marine Life

June 25th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

One-and-a-half hours north of Auckland on the East Coast near Leigh is an area rich with snapper swimming among seaweed forests, anemones and sponges. The thriving underwater world at Goat Island has been protected since the creation of New Zealand’s first marine reserve in 1975. The idea of protecting unique areas of coastline with marine [...]

Rangitoto Hauraki Gulf

December 18th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , |

The hardened cores of Auckland’s urban volcanoe are covered with grass, carefully planted trees and pretty picnic spots but Rangitoto’s double cone outline, which lies like a discarded stopper across the entrance to Waitemata Harbour a few kilometres from downtown Auckland, is wild, stark and un-peopled. Its hard and sharp purple... [...]