• The historic gold-mining ghost town of Macetown, 15km from Arrowtown, Otago, New Zealand. Autumn turns the poplar trees to gold. Picture by Mike Langford

Walking to Macetown

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

The walk up the Arrow River to the gold-mining ghost town of Macetown was a much-loved summer pilgrimage in my youth when we had a holiday cottage in Arrowtown. Macetown was first settled in the early 1860s as a result of the discovery of gold in the Arrow River. At first the rush was for [...]

  • It’s no wonder Tour Aotearoa riders found the Von a real highlight

A Great Ride – Coming Around the Mountains

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

Can there be a better start to a trail than farewelling the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and plying across a pristine lake on a 100-year-old steamship, with a backdrop of the most remarkable mountains? Well if there is, I want to find it! Leaving Queenstown (or should that be ‘Queenopolis’ given the recent population [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • The Royal Albatross Centre also offers tours of Pilots Beach, home to a colony of Little Blue Penguins. During the tour, visitors have the ability to get up close with the world’s smallest penguins via a state-of-the-art viewing platform.

Royal Colony: The War Between Conservation and Climate Change

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

DUNEDIN – Tourists from all over the world jostle for position along the windows of the observatory, eager to glimpse the nesting royal albatross chicks just a few dozen metres away. Four chicks, plump and fluffy, sit oblivious to the sensation they have caused. For many of those visiting the Royal Albatross Centre, this is [...]

  • The beauty of the landscape is a real highlight of the trail (OCRTM and Tim Hawkins)

The Granddaddy of Greatness

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

Ask any kiwi cyclist what they know about the Great Rides and they will inevitably refer to the Otago Central Rail Trail. It’s already legendary. As I prepared to travel to Central Otago I pondered the notion of whether this trail had earned its status simply due to being the first of the cycle trails, [...]

  • The famous Bluff signpost

Race track RV Roadie

July 8th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Howden Ganley is a Kiwi, an ex-Formula One and Formula 5000 motor racing driver of some repute, and is also a regular contributor to NZ Classic Driver magazine. Howden joined the RV movement when on holiday in New Zealand recently, travelling from Auckland to Invercargill on his first RV tour of New Zealand, weaving between [...]

  • Entrance to the Labyrinth Rocks Park

A Cave, a Waterfall and a Labyrinth

July 8th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

There is a neat story behind how the Labyrinth Rocks Park became what it is today. Many years ago the late Dave Whittaker, a former geologist and mining engineer, realised the uniqueness of the area and leased the land off the local council. With a lot of hard work and dedication, he opened up the [...]

  • A waka shed next to the marae houses two canoes

Looking Back To See The Way Forward

May 4th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It’s fitting that I sit down on Waitangi Day to write about a recent visit to Okains Bay. The only thing that would be more fitting is if I were actually there for this day, as each year I intend to be, but somehow life gets in the way. The celebrations at the tiny village [...]

  • For those who venture up in an RV, buckle in for the ride – it is not for the faint hearted, and not recommended for caravans or larger vehicles 
Ben Ohau across the lake

The Outer Fringes of the Kingdom of Waitaki

May 4th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

With the temperature hovering in the mid-20s, the Navigator and I decided to head up-country for a night under the stars. Six months ago, we had camped on the shores of Lake Ohau in the Ruataniwha Conservation Park in company with a reasonably senior DOC field worker. Naturally, the issue of ‘Freedom Camping’ came into [...]

  • Weir built to divert some of the Six Mile Creek water down the tail race

Geological and Human History in Murchison

February 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

At 10.17am on the June 17, 1929, Murchison was rocked by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Damage to houses, buildings, bridges and roads was severe, and the road from Westport to Reefton was closed for 18 months. However, the most drastic consequences of the big shake were to the landscape. Being midwinter, the countryside was sodden [...]