• Local art makes the Taipa Bridge unique

Points North

September 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

What a contrast! Some months after one of our more severe droughts, Northland was hit by torrential rain – up to 200ml in some places and reputed to be a once-in-500-year event. Our thoughts are with those who have experienced damage to property, stock and vehicles, and with the emergency and clean-up crews who demonstrated [...]

Restoring the Soul

September 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

When you lose your home, it’s incredibly traumatic.” These are the words of Evan Smith, Christchurch resident and spokesperson for the Avon-Ōtākaro Network (AvON), who along with over 5000 other homeowners was forced to abandon his home in the residential ‘red zone’ following the 2010/11 earthquakes. This 11km stretch of vacant land ribbons its way [...]

Trout Centre teaches Youngsters the Art of Fly Fishing

September 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

The rapidly growing mid-North Island towns of Taupō and Turangi are well known for many things, including their stunning mountain scenery, beautiful rivers and lakes, and the wide variety of action attractions they offer, but topping the list for many – visitors and locals alike – is their world-renowned freshwater trout fishing. And for everyone [...]

  • Back and front — VW Beetles in a row

Kombis, Pies and More

September 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Joc O’Donnell loves Volkswagens. And in particular she loves that icon of the Flower Power–hippy era, the Volkswagen Kombi, or Microbus if you are American. Joc (pronounced Joss as it is short for Jocelyn) and her husband Scott O’Donnell preside over the enormous, Invercargill-based conglomerate HWR, which has interests in the transport, petroleum, concrete, contracting, [...]

  • Kiwis are everywhere in Eketāhuna

Meeting Manukura

September 5th, 2020|Tags: , , |

You want the name of a place that’s as far in the middle of nowhere as you can get? In the rest of the world you say Timbuktu (in the lower reaches of the Sahara Desert); in New Zealand you say Eketāhuna – officially located in the lower reaches of the Tararua District, but usually [...]

  • A peaceful morning at Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island. Photo: Stewart Island Tourism

Land of Glowing Skies

July 5th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Crossing Foveaux Strait for the first time can be intimidating. The stretch of water between Bluff (at the bottom of the South Island) and Stewart Island/Rakiura has a reputation of providing one of the wildest ferry rides in New Zealand. As the ocean depth is shallow – only 30-metres – it chops up quickly with [...]

  • Either walk or take the Skyline Gondola for a spectacular view of Queenstown

Queenstown, A Winter Playground

July 5th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

The brown Otago landscape is a welcome sight after the drenched green fields of Taranaki. The deep blue water of Lake Wakatipu is surrounded by mountains sweeping skyward, their rugged peaks draped with snow. The mountain air is brisk – my senses seem to sharpen with its chill. Downtown-Queenstown visitors are busy with their cameras [...]

  • Orton Bradley is home to many examples of machinery from yesteryear (Orton Bradley Park)

The Rough Diamond

July 5th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Take a look on Trip Advisor, and you will read that Diamond Harbour is described as “a gem awaiting a shake-up”. And I get what the critics are talking about. On arrival in this approximately 2000-inhabitant village on the other side of the Port Hills to Christchurch, your first impressions might lead you to believe [...]

Top of the Lake

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , |

Myth, Mystery and History In terms of distance it wasn’t far, but we seemed to drive for a mighty long time. Following the GPS instructions to Clements Mill Road led us along a narrow, winding road through a green tunnel of overhanging mature native trees complete with dripping ferns and mosses. Realising that there was [...]

  • Up close to one of the Pancake Rocks in Raglan Harbour

Raglan – More than just a Mecca for Surfers

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , |

Raglan has always been a magical, mystical place for me. For years I’d heard people talk about this cool little town on the edge of a magnificent harbour, where you could ride some of the best waves in New Zealand by just hopping off the rocky shoreline, or climb to the summit of Karioi, a [...]

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