• Lovely Onemana Bay

North Island Beauty Spot Wins Over Biased South Islander – Coromandel Roadie Part II

May 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Shakespeare Cliff Scenic and Historic Reserve, a promontory above Lonely Bay, offers a breathtaking panorama of the vast Pacific Ocean studded with islands, and the Coromandel Peninsula stretching for miles to the north. The information boards at the summit were so absorbing, I lost track of time. I was fascinated by the story of Kupe’s [...]

  • Te Hoho Rock framed by Cathedral Arch at Cathedral Cove. Photo by The Coromandel – thecoromandel.com

Confessions of a One-Eyed, Biased South Islander

March 5th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I’m the first to admit I’m a one-eyed, blinkered, biased South Islander whose magnetic centre is Central Otago, where I holidayed as a child, but a recent road trip around the Coromandel Peninsula forced me to concede that certain parts of the North Island actually do stack up against ‘my’ peaks, lakes and rivers. In [...]

  • Gisborne from a lookout on Titirangi-Kaiti Hill. Photo by Damon Meade

What to See and Do in Gisborne

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Gisborne, the most easterly city in the world, is the first city on the planet to see the light of each new day; it’s where Māori landed their voyaging waka (canoes) in the 14th century after navigating across the Pacific Ocean; it’s home to Millton Vineyards and Winery, the first producer in New Zealand to [...]

  • Tolaga Bay wharf under a full moon. Photo by Damon Meade

Gisborne Road Trip

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

When I first arrived as an import from the South Island, ‘hybrid vigour’ my husband used to say about me. The east coast of the North Island is now my backyard, but as is so often the way, I’ve travelled the rest of New Zealand and the world before exploring my own neighbourhood. For this [...]

Perfection on the TranzAlpine

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

The conversation behind me made my Kiwi heart swell with pride, especially when I detected the broad Aussie accents of the middle-aged couple. “I never expected the trip to be quite so spectacular,” the woman said. “Bloody bonzer,” was the reply from her husband. We were disembarking from the TranzAlpine train in Greymouth after a [...]

Ancient Camp-o-Matic ‘Born Again’

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

When we flipped the lid on the Camp-o-matic to initiate a pre-summer test run of our famous five-second tent-pitching routine, there was a sickening, tearing sound. The ancient, faded blue canvas finally decided it had been stretched and abused enough, and it parted company from the fibreglass base on the trailer. We sat on the [...]

  • Cyclists riding alongside Lake Pukaki on a perfect day. Photo by Miles Holden

E-bike and Hiking – The Lake Tekapo-Pukaki-Ohau-Hooker Valley Trails

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

I’ve never understood the obsession with fly fishing – fruitless hours flailing the water with a feathery thing on the end of a piece of flimsy nylon – but seeing the look of sheer exultation on my husband’s face when he landed a rainbow trout helped me grasp what a thrill it is to hook [...]

Big Sky Country

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

In our early 60s, in that heady zone between children and grandchildren, we’ve lately developed irresponsible nomadic tendencies that worry our adult daughters. It’s a classic case of role reversal – we get texts from Sophie and Bridget urging us to be careful and report in at the end of the day. They are working [...]

Ultimate Compatibility Test

March 6th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

On our way down the West Coast, we stopped off at Franz Josef Glacier Guides’ base in Franz Josef in the hope the weather would allow us to fly up onto the glacier by chopper. The impressive complex was alive with hearty-looking guides in red shirts and shorts with climbing ropes, pitons and two-way radios [...]

First Rental Roadie

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

... ...When I was a child, I would hide on the last day of the holidays, trying to prolong the summer magic and avoid the long car trip back to Dunedin. My long-suffering parents would be standing on the lawn in Arrowtown with the little crib all locked up [...]