• Expansive views of Wellington Harbour from the cable car are truly memorable

Wellington on a Good Day

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

There’s an indescribable pleasure in revisiting one’s old hometown and bringing to mind youthful memories triggered by familiar landmarks and scenes. Our capital city at the centre of Middle Earth still manages to surprise me. I love the fact that when the weather is ‘trying’ in the sense of rain, hail or gales, the locals [...]

  • Cape Foulwind – named by Captain Cook – is where the Tasman Sea first hits New Zealand. Photo by Peter Coburn

Eels and Banana Plants

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

Unless you’ve been there, you probably think of Westport as being wet and cold, and the victim of 10 rounds with that heavyweight champion of misery, Economic Downturn. Not a lot of good things have happened to Westport in the past quarter of a century: a forced stop to native logging hit the place hard [...]

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

As the trail enters the sixth season of business, it’s timely to take a moment and consider two of the issues that come up when you are planning to ride this trail. How long do you have available to ride the trail? The Alps2Ocean trail has eight sections – with a ninth section offered as [...]

  • Featherston side of the Remutaka [Rimutaka] Hill, from the cutting at Cave’s Bridge. Two men are standing at the bend on a road which passes through fenced farmland on either side. Bragge’s photography cart is parked behind the men at the side of the road

Gateway to the Wairarapa

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In 2017, figures from QV show the South Wairarapa district has had a 51 per cent increase in average house values since 2013, and Featherston has become a sought-after town for new home buyers and families relocating from Wellington and elsewhere. Demand has been outstripping the housing supply for well over a year now. While [...]

Memories of Southland

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

In August I took a solo roadie, a one-day odyssey from a brief holiday in Wanaka, down to Invercargill. Ostensibly it was to be reacquainted with the golf courses there – and the results of that part of the day’s outing are elsewhere in this issue – but while in the vicinity, I was drawn [...]

From Tragedy to Triumph

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s 25 years since Jassy Dean’s life was tragically cut short when she died from meningococcal disease just as her teenage years debuted. Jassy was, by all accounts, a sunny, intelligent girl who made an impression on all who met her. Living as she did in a close-knit community for most of her young life, [...]

  • Lynda Keene, Destination Kaikoura, south island, KaikouraNZTourism, Walks, Hikes, Attractions, whale watching, dolphins, earthquake,

Kia Ora from Kaikoura

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Kaikoura residents are excited to report that Friday December 15, 2017 is the day that SH1 will be reopened for travel between Blenheim and Kaikoura and onward to Christchurch. Brilliant! The route has been closed since the earthquake of November 14, 2016. The actual measure of last year’s earthquake in the Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough regions was [...]

Carving Up Matakana’s Sculpture Trail

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Little Barrier Island appears to loom over the landscape, even though its formidable dark silhouette is 22km across a shimmering sea. Like an ethereal Bali Hai island this unique predator-free sanctuary is clearly visible from every corner of the region. It’s an especially riveting view from the spacious lounge of Takatu Lodge & Vineyard, an [...]

  • Riders on the stony riverbed at the track end. Photo: Steve Knowles

Pakihi Adventure

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Over a sinuous 20km, the Pakihi Track twists from high on the Motu Road to a road-end south of Opotiki, in the eastern Bay of Plenty. The track was reopened after a mammoth effort in 2012. It’s part of the Motu Trails, one of 23 Great Rides on the New Zealand Cycle Trail. While the [...]

Retirement Villages Not Just For The Retired

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , |

Statistically, the average age at which New Zealanders move into a retirement village is somewhere in the mid-to-late 70s. But of course, averages being what they are, that means that there are some who make the move in their 60s, while others are in their 80s. Today, there’s a tendency for younger people – in [...]