• Captain James Cook visited the Ngāti Hei pā at Wharekaho Beach

One of Those Special Places

August 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , , |

I have been visiting Simpson’s Beach at Wharekaho since I was a kid. In the sixties, windy gravel roads and clouds of dust were synonymous with a trip to Whitianga. We pulled up at Simpson’s Beach with our blue Holden station wagon overloaded with camping/fishing gear and set up camp in the paddock at the [...]

  • Moody, cloudy day in the Lindis Pass

A Week of It

August 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

My refusal to use satnav is well known. My friends think I’m crazy, but I think they are the ones missing out. A traveller flies into Christchurch, picks up a campervan or rental car, dials ‘Queenstown’ into the satnav and sets off, ignoring road signs, the view, the towns and villages along the way – [...]

  • Wild juvenile black stilt resting in the sun, Tasman valley

Black Stilt (Kaki) Breeding Programme – Twizel

August 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

Back in the early 1980s the kakī population totalled just 23 birds. In 1981 the Department of Conservation initiated a captive-breeding programme in the MacKenzie country town of Twizel which has seen the wild population of adult birds soar to 106 in 2017. This fantastic result includes an increase from four productive kakī pairs in [...]

Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

The Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau and is an easy 15-minute walk from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. What makes the sanctuary quite special is that during the daily feeding time (9.30am in summer and 10.30am during winter) you have the chance to step inside the [...]

  • Cape Turnagain

First Foray

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , |

February found us, like many others, on our way to the Wings Over Wairarapa show which, as it happened, was cancelled due to bad weather. About then, the Art Deco festival was taking place in Napier, so the small towns along State Highway 2 (SH2) were beneficiaries of the travelling public seeking coffee, food, fuel [...]

  • Another trail successfully completed - Whats Next?

Back to the Start

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

The Otago Central Rail Trail (OCRT) is the cycle trail model that the Government sought to build on as an ideal example of job and business creation. In 2009, PM and Minister of Tourism John Key, called a job summit in order to seek new areas of growth as New Zealand sank into the mire [...]

Home sweet home

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

It’s probably true to say today that Martinborough’s identity revolves around its vineyards and award-winning wines, but in the town’s 138-year history its economy has had many ups and downs – survival was a struggle right from its inception. The planting of vines in 1979 was also the planting of the village’s future, helping it [...]

  • Part of the idyllic picnic lawns behind the Mansion House

Walking in the Governor’s Garden of Eden

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , |

‘Surely I’m not hallucinating,’… as a small brown phantom image flies across the track ahead, leaving me shaking my head in wonder. It can’t be an illusion. Visibility is good in this strangely quiet mature pine forest as I’m walking under a bright midday sun. The light filters through the upper canopy and dapples the [...]

The Big Picture

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

When we go away on holiday, we stress out about our cat George and who is going to feed him. It seems like such a huge responsibility owning an animal, a small furry life entirely dependent on a couple of humans. But an experience I had recently put our concerns about George into perspective. At [...]

  • There are always great exhibitions on at the Eastern Southland Art Gallery in Gore

Desperately Seeking Robert Redford

June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

The main street of Tapanui must be the smartest in the country. Maybe the world. The remake of its 1977 hit, Pete’s Dragon, was mostly shot in and around Tapanui. For its starring role as the fictitious town of Millhaven, Tapanui was given a make-over so it looked more, well, ‘American’. After filming was finished, [...]