• Oakura Bay - I love being here

Woof Woof Here, 
and a Woof Woof There

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

Woof woof hi there friends. Well it has been a busy time again for me these last couple of months. Last time I woofed you, me and da mama and papa were in a place called Northland, I wrote my column from the beach table. Since then we did the drive in the motorhome back [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Tokaanu Thermal Walk is a pleasant 20-minute ramble

Central Plateau – Tokaanu’s Happy Hot Spot

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

It’s surprising how satisfying a close-up view of pulsating mud, punctuated by gurgling and plopping sounds, can be. A rain shower had just passed over and rising mist from a dozen fizzing, simmering hot pools created an atmospheric, ethereal scene that seemed to swallow me up. The walk I’m on is short but stunning, with [...]

  • What a welcome – Whitianga’s entrance signage

Whitianga – A Great Escape

June 26th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

Three days after the hugely successful Whitianga Summer Concert in which Bonnie Tyler, Alan Parsons and Icehouse played to a sell-out crowd of some 15,000 on Anniversary weekend, the town billboards had already been changed to promote the Queen’s Birthday weekend Mercury Music Festival. So, when the town entrance sign says “Whitianga – enjoy”, that’s [...]

  • This leafy tunnel leads travellers towards Otaki Gorge

How Green is my Valley

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

It’s not a huge distance, but it’s a world away from Otaki village famed for its retail outlets, nor is it far away from the recently completed Paraparaumu motorway where vehicles zip past day and night, but once again, it’s a world away The Otaki Gorge, tucked away in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • The truck chase scene from Hunt for the Wilderpeople saw the truck slide into this Olds

The Pair behind The Palace

May 11th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Colin and Barbara attend impounds, rescues, crashes, AA breakdowns, police salvage and are first assist to the local ambulance service. If called out they go – 24/7, whatever the weather – north and south of Mount Ruapehu from Whanganui to Owhango, and as far-east as Waiouru. That’s in addition to repairing vehicles and issuing warrants [...]

  • Dining on the lakeside terrace is a pleasant experience

The Paradise Collection

May 11th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

Whenever I visit the beautiful city of Hamilton, I’ve found to my delight that I can get to experience a little taste of China, Japan, India, Italy, England and America all in one day. How is this possible? Not by dining at six ethnic restaurants in one long gourmand excess, although I’m sure this has [...]

  • Peacefulness of the Nikau Loop bush track

Morere Magic

May 9th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

A visit to Morere Hot Springs will rejuvenate and replenish your body, mind and soul. It’s magical place where you can take in vivid lush rainforest, soak in the ancient and unique salt-water hot pools and breathe in divine pure air – a place to sink into restfulness, to take a moment and simply be. [...]

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... [...]