• A picturesque ‘post card’ morning at Sunny Bight

Idyllic Lake Kaniere

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Lake Kaniere has been described as one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. Situated only a short 19km inland from Hokitika, the lake is surrounded on three sides by mountains that are capped in snow during winter, and provides a variety of activities including water sports, fishing, bird watching, tramping, waterfalls and beautiful [...]

  • Mangarewa suspension bridge – a gem of a span over the creek far below

A Great Ride 
Heart of the Waikato

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I grew up in Hamilton at a time when the city (like myself as a teenager) was struggling with its identity. Most locals would say the most appealing feature of the locality was that it was ‘close to everything’. It was close to Auckland, the coastal beaches and the mountains for skiing. Sadly the city [...]

  • A New Zealand observer silhouetted against the battle area at Monte Cassino, Italy, with the bursts of shells and bombs obscuring the town. Photograph taken on 15 March 1944 by George Frederick Kaye

WWII Battle Monte Cassino

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , |

My father, born in 1911, battered by the depression and by war service, didn’t say much about either when I was growing up. One of the few times I got him talking about his war experiences was after I came home from a Contiki tour of Europe which had included a visit to Monte Cassino, [...]

  • David was also the inspiration for lighting the bridges over the Avon

A Place to Remember

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Driving around the ever-changing one-way system of Christchurch’s inner city you pass empty building sites full of rubble, bounded by link fences, and littered with signs: Keep Out. Building Site. Wrong Way. Dead End. It’s confusing and – yes – it is confronting. Knowing this, I’d set out early for my afternoon interview with David [...]

  • Makarora River and northern reaches of Lake Wanaka

The Siberia Valley

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

You don’t have to fly through Moscow or Vladivostok to get there. There are definitely no salt mines. But it is Siberia and it’s part of our own wilderness. The Siberia Valley is in Mt Aspiring National Park, part of Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site at the southern end of the Southern Alps. It [...]

EPIC

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I was, I suppose, the token Sheila. A woman among men. Many men, as it happened. We assembled at Christchurch’s Sudima Hotel for the early morning briefing. When I say early morning, I mean somewhere between breakfast and morning tea. Along with the proffered indemnity sheet to sign and information about the defibrillator and other [...]

On Track to Opua

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

There’s jubilation in the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust (BOIVRT) camp. After almost two years, construction repairs on Long Bridge at Taumarere, the longest curved railway bridge in the southern hemisphere, is finally finished! The last pair of piles were replaced in late October. Now, once the bridge is signed off as being structurally [...]

What Lies Beneath

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Devonport is a 12-minute ferry ride across the harbour from bustling downtown Auckland and yet it retains the ambience of a quaint seaside village where much remains the same. Certainly, on the surface, it seems that little has changed since I lived there 25 years ago. The flagstaff stands tall, and heritage buildings still line [...]

A Walk in the Forest

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I walk carefully along the swing bridges from tree to tree, high up in the redwood forest among the birds. It is another world up here. My vision of coming back as a bird in my next life has taken wings. It is all here before me in this forest setting. I could be a [...]

Motu’s Memento of a Mighty Rail Vision

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Moutohora bridge is a truss design, with the supporting framework forming two giant crosses on each side. It’s the most striking remnant of a distant vision to link Gisborne and Auckland by railway line. This November, it’s 100 years since a Poverty Bay Herald journalist wrote about the opening of a new section of [...]