• 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 [...]

  • Mission station house

Waimate North, Bay of Islands – Placed by an Enchanter’s Wand

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

While returning to England from a trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1835, naturalist Charles Darwin – who had broken his journey at Paihia in the Bay of Islands – was invited to visit the Waimate North mission station by missionary William Williams. The property’s English-style rural landscape, laid out in the nature of a [...]

  • Narrow entrance to Constant Bay

Tales of Long Ago and a Hidden Valley on the West Coast

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Plenty of people have drowned here.” Mickey Ryan of Outwest Tours was showing us Constant Bay, a small rocky bay where a huge sea crashes on the rocks beyond its extremely narrow entrance. Constant Bay, west of Charleston near Westport, is named after the first ship to enter its small confines. Charleston, where gold was [...]

  • Cornish pumphouse – a well-photographed building

Windows into Waihi

July 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

It takes about 2.5 hours to hike the steep mountain track to the summit of Mount Karangahake from the carpark. It took me a little more than that, sweating and grumbling, but the view from the peak was worth it, and at least I can now look up from the road and say I’ve been [...]