• 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 water wheel generates electricity for most of the Smiths’ needs

In Miners’ Footsteps

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

“These are our newest babies,” Robyn Smith gestures to two little goats and a Highland cow with her calf at foot. “We’re feeding her stock-food pellets to try and get her used to us,” she explained, unfortunately thwarted in this plan by the sudden arrival of a Belted Galloway heifer who knows only too well [...]

  • Up in the hills

Beneath the Big Sky

November 7th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

It takes less than four hours to drive from Geraldine to Alexandra on the conventional route. But having had two thoroughly enjoyable four-wheel-drive tours with Robbie and Connie Crickett of NZ Adventures Ltd last year, we booked early for the 2019 Big Sky trip, a mostly mountainous excursion through Otago, Canterbury and a little bit [...]

  • Jackson Bay wharf

Jackson Bay – End of the Road!

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

Tourists seem to fall broadly into three categories. Firstly there are domestic tourists, many of whom are of the older generation leisurely travelling the country in their own car or motorhome – although if you read on, you’ll notice that there is a sub-category to this genre called ‘men who don’t listen to their wives’. [...]

  • Welcome to Cheviot

Checking out Cheviot

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

Extensive road works north and south of Kaikōura meant that it took more than an hour longer than we’d expected to travel to Cheviot from Picton but seeing the extent of the earthquake devastation and the amount of reinstatement work required was a real eye-opener, making the delay worthwhile. At Ohau Point, hundreds of seals [...]

  • AB699 built in Thames and once the largest engine on the NZ Rail system

Pleasant Point Canterbury

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

Pleasant Point’s a Canterbury town with a population of about 1300. While there’s no doubt about its pleasant aspect and its avenue of trees leading in from the south, no one seems quite sure of why ‘Point’ is part of its name. It’s referred to as simply ‘Point’ or ‘The Point’ by locals and has [...]

  • Representing Australia (white masks) and Kiwis (dark masks)

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

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

There was literally not a cloud in the clear blue sky and nothing to indicate that the Coast would be hit by a devastating weather bomb a few short weeks later. “The West Coast’s full,” we were told; as well as the wildfoods festival, the Wanaka A&P show was on, one of the very few [...]

  • Begun in 1916 the tunnel opened in August 1919

On Durie Hill

March 7th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

We’d read about an underground elevator near Whanganui and decided that on our way to New Plymouth from Raumati Beach we’d stop for a look. The tunnel entrance that leads to the elevator is on Anzac Parade not far along State Highway 4, but there were cars parked on both sides of the road for [...]

  • Waipu Caves

Waipu – Highland at Heart

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

Planning on visiting Waipu? What better way to begin a New Year than to experience the sights and sounds of the traditional Waipu Highland Games with clans, kilts and cabers, pipe bands and bagpipes, sports, stalls and Scottish dancing! Each New Year’s Day Waipu celebrates its Scottish and Nova Scotian heritage, as it has done [...]

  • Bronze statue of a mare and her foal outside the Town Hall in Cambridge was unveiled in March 2004

Cambridge Connections

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

Cambridge is way more than a one-horse town. As the centre of New Zealand’s equine industry, the Waikato town is surrounded by prosperous-looking stud farms, a number of training tracks and arenas, and the Cambridge raceway. There’s a life-size sculpture of a mare and foal outside the town hall, and the town’s pavements feature an [...]