• Mangarewa suspension bridge – a gem of a span over the creek far below

A Great Ride 
Heart of the Waikato

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I grew up in Hamilton at a time when the city (like myself as a teenager) was struggling with its identity. Most locals would say the most appealing feature of the locality was that it was ‘close to everything’. It was close to Auckland, the coastal beaches and the mountains for skiing. Sadly the city [...]

On Track to Opua

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

There’s jubilation in the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust (BOIVRT) camp. After almost two years, construction repairs on Long Bridge at Taumarere, the longest curved railway bridge in the southern hemisphere, is finally finished! The last pair of piles were replaced in late October. Now, once the bridge is signed off as being structurally [...]

What Lies Beneath

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Devonport is a 12-minute ferry ride across the harbour from bustling downtown Auckland and yet it retains the ambience of a quaint seaside village where much remains the same. Certainly, on the surface, it seems that little has changed since I lived there 25 years ago. The flagstaff stands tall, and heritage buildings still line [...]

A Walk in the Forest

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I walk carefully along the swing bridges from tree to tree, high up in the redwood forest among the birds. It is another world up here. My vision of coming back as a bird in my next life has taken wings. It is all here before me in this forest setting. I could be a [...]

Motu’s Memento of a Mighty Rail Vision

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Moutohora bridge is a truss design, with the supporting framework forming two giant crosses on each side. It’s the most striking remnant of a distant vision to link Gisborne and Auckland by railway line. This November, it’s 100 years since a Poverty Bay Herald journalist wrote about the opening of a new section of [...]

Aria Celebrates its 114th Sports Day

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Aria is located 13km south of Piopio in the heart of the King Country. The region was closed to Pākeha during the New Zealand Wars of the 1800s and European settlement in the area came late, following the defining of its boundary, or aukati, in the 1880s. Aria, as such, would not come about until [...]

  • Neil Dawson’s Other People’s Houses finally in situ after a 35-year wait for a home

The Cool Cats of Connells Bay

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

While it’s true there was a time when I would have followed Billy Connolly anywhere, I can safely say that in this instance I was way ahead of him; for a large part of the journey, at least. You see, when Billy Connolly did his epic televised road trip of New Zealand in 2004, he [...]

A Great Ride – 
Teasing Out The Past

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

Karangahake Gorge is a gateway to memories of my childhood holidays, opening the door to the seemingly endless days spent on Coromandel’s white sand beaches. The long trips from the Waikato with my parents were shared with my sister who continuously teased me in the back of the family Datsun. As always on these trips [...]

  • View of Cape Maria Van Diemen from Cape Reinga

North of the Border

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

Captain Cook saw the mighty sand dunes and thought he was looking at a desert. About a century and a half later, in the 1920s a Minister of the Crown – demonstrating remarkably little foresight and even less tact – declared that the long, narrow Aupouri Peninsula at the very tip of the North Island [...]

  • 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 [...]