• The former Mananui sawmill is full of rusty relics

West Coast Wilderness Trail – Fossicking in the Wilderness

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

I became officially designated a fool in a town called Ross. You see a few days earlier I had travelled up the coast with a riding mate on our way to the official opening of the Paparoa Track. Given the long journey from the Deep South, we decided to break up the road trip and [...]

  • Tony shapes the wood with traditional tools, passed down to him by his mentor (Photo: Lana Taylor)

The Trug Maker Takaka – Carrying on a Tradition

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Trug maker Tony Hitchcock is a survivor of a critically endangered species. According to the Heritage Crafts Association (of which The Prince of Wales is president), the Golden Bay artisan woodworker practises an ancient craft in danger of dying out in England, its country of origin. Trugs are traditional shallow baskets made from shaped slats [...]

  • Heading off into the wilderness, leaving civilisation behind

Cycle + walk trails – St James Cycle Trail

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

I had been looking forward to this trip for some time – a true ‘out of the way’ ride with stunning backcountry scenery – although I admit I had some apprehension. While the trail is near to Hanmer Springs, I would be cycling alone at altitude, away from roads, with no mobile coverage, rivers to [...]

  • The dining carriage has seating for those that want to sit there

Coastal Pacific – RV, Rail and Runways

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

When we organised our recent trip to Christchurch, our plan was to drive to Wellington via Napier and Martinborough, ferry to Picton, then drive to Blackball, visit Greymouth, and then head to Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass to deliver the Dethleffs Distinction Trend motorhome to UCC. For the return journey we had the option of either [...]

  • Getting the Kaikōura road reopened was a huge job — but there’s still a lot of work to do and stops are frequent. However, the essential character of the drive remains

Picton to Kaikōura

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

When I awoke to splendid sunshine after a sound night’s sleep at the Aussie Bay DOC camp in the Marlborough Sounds, I was feeling pretty excited by the prospects of my first drive down the Kaikōura Coast since the earthquake. My first experience of this revered stretch of our country was in late 1949 when [...]

  • Lunch stop at Fairlight Station - past railway glories

RV Roadie – Year 2 Part II

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , |

When I left off last issue we were just boarding the Interislander bound for Picton. Following a smooth voyage and an on-time arrival we disembarked with a mission to get as far south as possible by nightfall. We prefer not to arrive at new camping grounds after dark, so stopping during daylight hours with time [...]

  • Photo by Cicell Jenks: Built from locally-quarried stone, the Tokata Lighthouse at Nugget Point stands an impressive 9.5 metres high and is 76 metres above the sea

Do it while you still can – Catlins Part 2

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

I’m a great fan of information boards (I read every word, much to the extreme frustration of my travelling companions), and at Kākā Point on the south-east coast of the South Island, the boards told us we were standing where the Clutha River used to flow to sea until a massive flood in 1878 moved [...]

  • The Junction at Cromwell in springtime. Credit James Jubb, Tourism Central Otago

Silencing the voices in my head – Catlins Part 1

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

Eyebrows were raised to the ex-hairline and there was much tut-tutting among our friends as they inspected the double bed neatly made up in the back of the JUCY Cabana station wagon and the little kitchen tucked into the rear of the vehicle. “You’re a bit old for this sort of thing,” they guffawed, shaking [...]

  • Motupipi Hill in Takaka, where conservation coexists with recreation on a series of unique cycle trails (Alistair Hughes)

The Motupipi Hill Cycle Trail

November 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Golden Bay, in the Nelson Tasman region, is a remarkably beautiful part of New Zealand. The area has long offered rich opportunities for tramping, rock climbing, sailing, kayaking, caving – a vast range of outdoor activities to be enjoyed within a stunning natural setting. All were catered for bar one notable exception, one that has [...]

Stunning Mountain Vistas on the Ride to Welcome Rock.

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

I was welcomed to Welcome Rock long before the trail of the same name appeared on the high-country hills behind Garston. It just so happened several years ago that our neighbour was the sister of the station owner, and she invited me to their farm after I returned from overseas cycling adventures. I soon learnt [...]

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