• Flying in affords a clear view of the collapsed volcano crater that has become the landing site for both boats and helicopters; as well as the site of historical sulphur mine buildings and equipment

Te Puia o Whakaari – Whakatāne White Island

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

We had planned to take a helicopter trip to the active volcano in November last year, but life and work intervened so it never happened. However, with the opportunity of two spare days in which to get from Auckland to Martinborough in our motorhome RocknRobyn following the Covi Motorhome Caravan and Outdoor SuperShow, we took [...]

  • Seaview Marina has around 300 berths

Wellington’s Secret

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

As we drive down the Ngauranga Gorge into Wellington I offer sage advice to the driver: “Watch your speed, see that camera up there.” An encounter, a few years back, with a white NZ Transport Agency envelope containing an instant fine, brought my attention to the 80-kilometre speed sign. At the bottom of the hill, [...]

  • Malone outside improvised bivouac

Experiencing the Trench at Gallipoli

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

On the 25th of April 1915 at 4:30am, four thousand ANZAC troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, a mile north of their intended landing point and advanced quickly into the hills. The objective was to capture the high ground and ultimately to advance up the peninsula to capture Constantinople, the then capital of the Turkish Empire, [...]

  • At the upper end of the Nevis Pass

The Great 
Tractor Trek 2018 – Bluff to Cape Reinga

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

“We did it!” With arm pumps and a huge, beaming smile, trek organiser Phil Aish delightedly congratulates his team of tractor drivers and support crew on reaching Cape Reinga after 2600km and 26 ‘bum-numbing’ days behind the wheel. It’s the end of the second trek from one end of the country to the other, both [...]

  • Abbeyfield House in Sandringham, Auckland. Built in 2006 to replace four pensioner flats on the site, it differs from other Abbeyfield Houses in that it is on two levels. Each studio has an ensuite, and a patio or balcony if upstairs. It has 12 residents and is close to Sandringham shops, library and community facilities. Plans are underway to establish a second Auckland house in south Auckland, if funding can be raised.

New Zealand’s Looming Retirement Crisis

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , |

In the previous instalments of our retirement series, we looked at various kinds of retirement villages and the options available to those fortunate enough to have the capital resources to be able to afford them. However, we’ve had many comments from readers asking what options are available for those who don’t have the necessary capital [...]

My Brother Max

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , |

I first met Max Quinn in 1950. Well of course I did as that was the year Max was born. You see, Max is my younger brother. We were numbers three and four of five brothers in our family. We were all born in Te Kuiti and we lived in Benneydale where Dad was the [...]

  • St Mary’s College Chapel built in 1865

St Mary’s Bay

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This now expensive inner city Auckland suburb was named in honour of the Mother of God by New Zealand’s original Roman Catholic leader, Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier. The Catholic Bishop of Auckland still lives here. But strip away the neighbourhood’s deeply religious name and you find a suburb with a past often dominated by sly [...]

  • Mike King plays it up for the cameras

Comic Genius

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

As role models go, Mike King is right up there. The reluctant comedian, whose rise to fame was preceded by a bet with a barman and predicted by none other than Ben Elton, has now been in the public eye for more than two decades. King’s trajectory to the top has seen him appear in [...]

  • Seclusion and isolation – southern end of Bain Bay

Lake Brunner – A Secluded Piece of Paradise

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Lake Brunner has become a very popular summer destination for many Kiwis, many of whom own holiday homes on the shores of the lake. I recently discovered a secluded piece of paradise tucked away on the south-western side of the lake, away from the busy boat traffic, jet skis and water skiers. Requiring little more [...]

HOLI – The Hindu Festival of Colour

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Hare Krishna temple is ringing with the Hare Krishna chant; this is Holi, the Hindu festival of colour or light, a festival to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, or good over evil. It also marks the passing of winter and the arrival of spring, and like Easter in the Christian calendar, the [...]