Biking the Bay

By |February 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Thoughts of Paihia and the Bay of Islands evoke images of golden sands, swimming in and sailing on pristine blue waters, and hey, perhaps a place to party under summer night skies. And you won’t run out of things to do – most months, sometimes most weeks, and occasionally in summer most days, there’s [...]

Art Deco Daze

By |February 1st, 2017|Tags: , , |

I've had a long love affair with Napier’s Art Deco scene. Whenever I stroll along Tennyson Street, I find myself constantly gazing upwards with my wandering eye drawn to weird geometrical designs that leap out from ice-cream coloured building facades of a bygone era. In February each year, I dress up in my sauciest [...]

Our Summer Surf Heroes – Lifeguards

By |February 1st, 2017|Tags: |

They would rather be on the beach than on their cell phones, they’re volunteers but they must pay to belong to a club, and most balance family, work, school or study in between practising their first aid skills, keeping fit, undertaking comprehensive training and doing beach duty. Lifeguards! They certainly are our summer surf [...]

How Great Thou Art

By |January 31st, 2017|Tags: , |

Our first visit to Puketi Forest, west of Kerikeri and south of Kaeo, was marred by steady rain that arrived just as we did. A group of about 30 sodden mountain bikers arriving at the same time from a misty 12km ride along one of the forest ridges, joined us in concluding that home [...]

Allan Dick’s Dunedin – Part 2

By |January 31st, 2017|Tags: , |

Apart from meeting Mayor Dave Cull, staying at The Chapel and discovering Mazagran and its excellent coffee and customers, what else did I do in Dunedin? Because I had written about the Peninsula six months earlier, I largely kept away this time, although I did go down the other side of the harbour to [...]

Moutohora – Whale’s Song

By |December 21st, 2016|Tags: , , , , |

We don’t have long to wait before seeing something special on Whale Island (Moutohora). Within a couple of minutes of disembarking from our boat, the Moutohora Cat, our lead guide Jenny kneels down on the sand and points out kiwi footprints meandering through the tussock. “You’ll never find a kiwi walking in a straight [...]

Opotiki – Shalfoon’s Timeless Treasure Trove

By |December 21st, 2016|Tags: , , |

A cloud of choking dust flies up as the 120-year-old wooden doors crash open, revealing a crumbling brick dynamite store. The dingy interior is empty except for dust-shrouded, decaying empty boxes marked ‘Blasting Powder’. This wasn’t George Shalfoon’s secret arsenal, nor was it a risky business venture fraught with danger. George was an astute [...]

Waiuta – Preserving the Past

By |December 21st, 2016|Tags: , , |

In its time, Waiuta was regarded by its residents as a good place to live and, although long deserted, it affords a variety of interesting sights and activities for visitors. Numerous goldmine heritage sites and buildings remain backed by mountain scenery, providing plenty of scope for visitors with an interest in history and photography, [...]

North Southland

By |December 21st, 2016|Tags: , |

From Kingston at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu, to Lumsden in the south, lie thousands of hectares of peaceful farmland with few urban settlements. Lumsden is northern Southland’s biggest town, population around 480, and home to the region’s only secondary school. To assume, however, that not much goes on here would be very [...]

Rebirth and revival in Otago

By |December 21st, 2016|Tags: , , |

Before I get started, let me make a disclosure about Dunedin. I love the place. Dunedin is the best city in New Zealand. It has natural beauty and wildlife in abundance, it has a sensational location, it has an overwhelming sense of occasion and history, the finest historic architecture in New Zealand and a [...]