• Gisborne from a lookout on Titirangi-Kaiti Hill. Photo by Damon Meade

What to See and Do in Gisborne

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Gisborne, the most easterly city in the world, is the first city on the planet to see the light of each new day; it’s where Māori landed their voyaging waka (canoes) in the 14th century after navigating across the Pacific Ocean; it’s home to Millton Vineyards and Winery, the first producer in New Zealand to [...]

Whakatane to Opotiki

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ride the Dunes Trail section of Motu Trails Six years after it was opened, the Motu Trails (motutrails.co.nz) has become one of the highlight visitor attractions of the eastern Bay of Plenty/Tairāwhiti regions. There is a range of levels to choose from, with Ōpōtiki’s Dunes Trail at the easy end. Even so, the popular 9km [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Clare embraces the morning at Lake Rotorua

In Hot Water

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

When I dived into the lake I passed through a patch of hot water. “Ouch.” Seconds later the water cooled, and my head was relieved to feel the cooling sensation it craved after a hot 16-kilometre walk around the shore of Lake Tarawera. Hot Water Beach, true to its name, producing scalding hot water in [...]

Kia Ora from Kaikōura

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Just over two years ago, on November 14, 2016, Kaikōura experienced a 7.8 (Mw) earthquake. The land rocked and rolled and creaked and groaned and the seabed was uplifted 1–5 metres along the Kaikōura coastline. The earthquake had a significant impact on the community its landscape and the local economy. The devastating quake forced the closure [...]

  • Tolaga Bay wharf under a full moon. Photo by Damon Meade

Gisborne Road Trip

December 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

When I first arrived as an import from the South Island, ‘hybrid vigour’ my husband used to say about me. The east coast of the North Island is now my backyard, but as is so often the way, I’ve travelled the rest of New Zealand and the world before exploring my own neighbourhood. For this [...]

Perfection on the TranzAlpine

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

The conversation behind me made my Kiwi heart swell with pride, especially when I detected the broad Aussie accents of the middle-aged couple. “I never expected the trip to be quite so spectacular,” the woman said. “Bloody bonzer,” was the reply from her husband. We were disembarking from the TranzAlpine train in Greymouth after a [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Misty sunrise at Kawakawa

‘On Yer Bike’ – Northland Rail Trail Holiday

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

We’re just recreational riders knocking on in years, using everyday bikes and no fancy equipment, so we plan our rides accordingly, with daily stage lengths of 40km or less, and a relaxed timeframe that allows rest and sightseeing time en route. We use our campervan as home base for each night. It’s a two-berth Toyota [...]