Top 20 Must-Visit Places in the Waikato Region

September 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Middle-earth Movie Magic When scouting around for settings for his epic movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Kiwi director Peter Jackson found just what he was looking for in the green rolling paddocks, rugged limestone outcrops and underground caverns of the Waikato region. Filming locations in the region include the [...]

  • Cruising the headland corners. photo: Destination Great Lake Taupō

The Great Lake’s Great Ride

September 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Using a superlative to name this trail is a no-brainer. While the ‘great lake’ is not on the scale of the Great Lakes of the USA, it is our country’s biggest lake and nearly twice the size of the next largest. I was expecting a lot from this trail when I visited the area, as [...]

  • New Zealand’s fastest eroding coastline

A Road Trip from Marokopa to Tongaporutu

September 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Ironic, sad, but true – despite having hitch-hiked (or more latterly driven) throughout New Zealand for 30-plus years, it seems I still receive my hot travel tips about go-to locations from foreign backpackers who’ve been here for five minutes. The bully for my latest sojourn came from a young Dutch couple who said one of [...]

  • Toatoa sheep muster, Jim Robinson

The Motu, No Ordinary Road – Cycle Trails

September 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

"Most Dangerous Journey in the Dominion," proclaimed an article in The Poverty Bay Herald in February 1914. The story reported on a nerve-wracking trip from Motu to Ōpōtiki, when “Mr Charles Buscke gained the distinction of driving the first motor car across this mountainous road. Telegraphic advice of the success of the journey only reached town [...]

  • The rusted steel frame of the SS Gairloch

The Sea Question

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

There is something about a walk on the beach that soothes the soul. I find if my mind is busy and I need to clear my head, a walk along Oakura Beach seems to work wonders. By the time I’m a short distance down the beach, the expanse of ocean stretching to the horizon with [...]

  • Geometrical design is a feature at Gravetye

Springtime in the Garden

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

After the cold and grey months of winter there is nothing like a little spring sunshine to entice us into the great outdoors. Plants start appearing in my garden that I had forgotten about – it’s like someone cast a wand around the garden conjuring up green foliage and flower buds. As a garden photographer [...]

  • 1960s Oxford Caspian built in Levin

40 Retro Caravans Converge on the Coromandel

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

Forty retro and vintage caravans converged on the Coromandel Peninsula in mid-May for the first big rally of the New Zealand Retro Car and Caravan Club. Considering the time of year and the iffy forecast it was an amazing turnout. The weather gods supplied plenty of sun over the Friday and Saturday and a few [...]

  • Oneroa Cycle and Walkway offers magnificent coastal views

A Taste of TairAwhiti on Bikes

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

“Our mission is for visitors to cycle up an appetite. Not just for Gisborne’s fine food and wine, but also to cycle more often,” enthuses Katrina Duncan, co-owner of Cycle Gisborne. On a sublime blue-sky-and-sea Tairāwhiti day she shared exactly that: cycle ride, cider-taste, cycle, beer-pizza – then cycle a bit more. Katrina and her [...]

Paradise Found – Anaura Bay

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

Nestled between Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay on the East Cape north of Gisborne, is the beautifully rugged Anaura Bay. It’s about 7km from the main highway, down a winding road that is often only wide enough for a single vehicle. Luckily there is not much traffic out this way, and the view that awaits [...]

  • 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 [...]