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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]