• Chemicals produce a vivid emerald sludge in the thermal stream

A Thermal Extravaganza

May 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I’m standing on the café terrace at Waimangu Volcanic Valley looking over a steaming, seething, geothermal landscape under the menacing bulk of Mt Tarawera and might well be on an alien planet. Remarkably, before that fateful day of June 10, 1886 when Tarawera erupted, this entire scene comprised rolling hills softened by a gentle cloak of [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]