• Neil Dawson’s Other People’s Houses finally in situ after a 35-year wait for a home

The Cool Cats of Connells Bay

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

While it’s true there was a time when I would have followed Billy Connolly anywhere, I can safely say that in this instance I was way ahead of him; for a large part of the journey, at least. You see, when Billy Connolly did his epic televised road trip of New Zealand in 2004, he [...]

  • Picnic at Rere Falls. Photo Ray Sheldrake

The Freedom of Rere

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you enjoy the energy and flow of tumbling water, put Rere Falls Trail on your plans. Meanings of ‘rere’ include: waterfall, to escape, and, to fly. All seem apt descriptors for this journey deep into the magnificence of Eastland. Under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail, Rere Falls Trail is a Heartland Ride. [...]

A Great Ride – 
Teasing Out The Past

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Karangahake Gorge is a gateway to memories of my childhood holidays, opening the door to the seemingly endless days spent on Coromandel’s white sand beaches. The long trips from the Waikato with my parents were shared with my sister who continuously teased me in the back of the family Datsun. As always on these trips [...]

  • Derelict fishing and shipping wharves can be seen early on in the trail

Kawatiri River Trail – Variety All In One

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Kawatiri River Trail was the brainchild of the Buller Cycling Club who mustered together up to 100 local volunteers to transform river and seaside swamps and gorse-ridden land into 8km of stunning (and easy) cycling and walking trails beside the lower Buller River. Taking six years to complete, the last of the board walks [...]

The Waikato Land Wars

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I have to confess that I have driven past the Rewi Maniapoto Memorial in Kihikihi thousands of times and never stopped to take a closer look. Thanks to the Waipa District Council I was taken on a tour of the significant land-war sites around Te Awamutu. Its not difficult to see why Pakeha wanted this [...]

The Mount!

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

In the early 1980s it was, according to long-time businessman and resident Charlie Robertson, just “a little seaside village” that, for people on the other side of the harbour in Tauranga, took nearly half an hour to drive to. He should know. He came north from Taihape in 1978 after being given a chance to [...]

Pave Paradise, Put up a Parking Lot

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Many of us enjoy nostalgic memories of a time when the land close to our homes was a productive market garden, but not many of us appreciate how creeping urban development is swallowing up prime land, creating a dire situation for our food production. Left unchecked, New Zealand faces a food shortage. Since 1975 almost 10 [...]

  • Freedom Village’s Papamoa Sands complex provides a social hub for the village, and was designed to complement the nearby beach and the houses in the complex

Retirement Village Living – Some Options, Some Issues

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

For many people approaching retirement age, the move to a retirement/lifestyle village comes down to two things – security and economics. John Collyns, executive director of the Retirement Villages Association (RVA) – a nationwide voluntary industry association that represents the interests of registered retirement village owners, developers and managers – says between 40 and 50 [...]

  • The view down across the Ahukawakawa wetlands to Mt Taranaki

Pouakai Treasures

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The foothills of Mt Taranaki are formed by the Pouakai and Kaitake ranges, remnants of a large volcano. They lie to the north of the symmetrically shaped volcano that is Mt Taranaki. Both ranges were the source of kai (food) for local Māori a factor reflected in their names. Pouakai means the pillar or source [...]

  • View of Cape Maria Van Diemen from Cape Reinga

North of the Border

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Captain Cook saw the mighty sand dunes and thought he was looking at a desert. About a century and a half later, in the 1920s a Minister of the Crown – demonstrating remarkably little foresight and even less tact – declared that the long, narrow Aupouri Peninsula at the very tip of the North Island [...]