• Roundabout sculptures based on fungus

Titirangi – Beyond the Bright Lights

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

Although media reports led us to believe that Titirangi was overrun by marauding gangs of rats, some as big as small cats, others the size of cocker spaniels and probably by now as large as your average German Shepherd, we didn’t see a single rat at all. Well that’s not quite true. At Titirangi’s monthly [...]

  • The celestial star compass sits right on the foreshore

Navigating Out East

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

Māori travelled in waka and navigated by the stars to reach the east coast. Later, Europeans steered tall ships and navigated with sextants, crossing the globe and making discoveries along this coast. Today, I begin to chart the Hawke’s Bay Trails by bicycle and my navigation tools of choice are three GPS units. While transport [...]

  • What’s that secret you’re keeping?

Timber Town – Waimiha Ruapehu District

November 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

When Allan Dick was here in 2009 (he’s been everywhere, man!), he called this mill a time capsule and “one of the most remarkable places in New Zealand”. It’s also our heritage. New Zealand was virtually built on timber, mutton and minerals, and the Endean/Ottaway sawmill near Waimiha typifies the way a mill town would [...]

  • The Hangatahua Stony River rushes by the Blue Rātā Reserve

Hangatahua Taranaki Travel – Sacred River

November 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

The Hangatahua (Stony) River has always been a special river to the people of Taranaki. The river is referred to in Māori mythology with the arrival of Mt Taranaki and is commonly regarded as the most sacred river in Taranaki. I remember summers in the seventies and eighties, returning from surf trips and stopping at [...]

  • Tram stop at the Aviation Collection

North Island RV Roadie – Year 2 Part I

November 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

It was just over a year ago that I decided to give the RV lifestyle a try, and contrary to the dire predictions of several mates, I found that I enjoyed every moment of it. Well, almost every moment. So sure were my friends that I would probably only tolerate it for little more than [...]

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 [...]