• 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Te Rewa Rewa bridge opens towards the sacred Taranaki Maunga

Cycle + Walk Trails New Plymouth Taranaki – a Coastal Embrace

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

The crackling sounds of breaking waves pierce the crisp winter morning air as I amble down to the start of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway near the Lee Breakwater. The clear blue sea stretches out to the horizon where it meets the soft powder-blue sky. The Power Station chimney towers over a container ship berthed [...]

  • All cities need an area of greenspace like Hagley Park (credit: ChristchurchNZ)

Christchurch Little River Rail Trail

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

Christ Church at Cathedral Square is where I park my bike on my first visit to the city since the devastating earthquakes some years before. I peer through the barrier fence at the toppled place of worship … it is clear there is still a lot to achieve. Once the entrance was a meeting place for [...]

  • Down into the Gouland Downs

Cycle + Walk Trails – Kahurangi National Park Heaphy Track

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

The Heaphy Track has been on my riding bucket list since its winter-only reopening for bikers a few years back – it’s the only Great Walk you can cycle! My plan to ride the track a week earlier had been quashed while camping up at the western trailhead, thanks to a localised weather bomb. During [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • View looking south across Grovetown lagoon and boardwalk

Grovetown Lagoon An Oxbow Lake With Abundant Bird Life

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

Provincial, small-town New Zealand folk are well known for ‘coming together’ to achieve common goals especially when those end objectives benefit the community as a whole. Natural habitat restoration projects are particularly good examples of this community spirit with the end result seeing improvements in the quality of natural environments and subsequently creating better habitats [...]

  • The rusted steel frame of the SS Gairloch

The Sea Question

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

There is something about a walk on the beach that soothes the soul. I find if my mind is busy and I need to clear my head, a walk along Oakura Beach seems to work wonders. By the time I’m a short distance down the beach, the expanse of ocean stretching to the horizon with [...]

  • Entering the Roxburgh Gorge is near-perfection

Gorging on Greatness

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

Which to choose: staring all day at a computer in order to keep the Great Rides App in shape, or steering my bike through a river gorge to keep myself in shape? Today I choose the latter, so leaving early morning from my home on the shores of moody Lake Wakatipu I head to the [...]