• 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 Hangatahua Stony River rushes by the Blue Rātā Reserve

Hangatahua Taranaki Travel – Sacred River

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

The Hangatahua (Stony) River has always been a special river to the people of Taranaki. The river is referred to in Māori mythology with the arrival of Mt Taranaki and is commonly regarded as the most sacred river in Taranaki. I remember summers in the seventies and eighties, returning from surf trips and stopping at [...]

  • 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’. [...]

  • The Arts Centre still takes centre stage towards the west of the CBD

Christchurch: A City Embracing Change

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

Ōtautahi Christchurch has had a bad run of luck these last 10 years – earthquakes, fires in the Port Hills and terror attacks. Christchurch has seen it all, and yet it has always risen to the challenge of rebuilding itself, physically and emotionally, from the inside out. As our Prime Minister so eloquently summarised, it’s [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • The Maruia River Sluice Box is a narrow canyon of outstanding beauty

Stand astride the Plates

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

If you happen to be in the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London, it’s possible to stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the western hemisphere. In the Indonesian city of Pontianak, you can stand with one foot in the southern hemisphere, and the other in the northern hemisphere. But at [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]