• Distillery on Smith Street, Reefton with Model A

In Good Spirits

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , |

Little Biddy is a legend; a feisty four-foot female gold prospector whose hard-working, hard-living history is still remembered in the West Coast town of Reefton. Bridget Goodwin, also known as ‘Little Biddy’ or ‘Biddy of the Buller’, was born in Ireland in 1813 but followed the gold trail via Ballarat and Bendigo to the South [...]

  • Man O’ War Vineyard on Waiheke Island

Walks for Wine

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Visions of dollars flying out of his wallet dulled my husband’s enthusiasm for the idea of a summer family weekend on Waiheke Island. And the prospect of long, leisurely afternoons of wine tasting did not excite him one little bit either. My hyperactive husband (HH) does not really do relaxation; he likes activity with a [...]

  • One of the well-built bridges on the descent

Dun in a Day

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Dun in a day? Well, this is a welcome change from the multi-day mountain-bike rides I had undertaken to collect data for the Great Rides App. Not only is it a day trip; the Dun Mountain Trail is a glorious loop! Few of the 22 NZ Great Rides are single-day cycling trips and most of [...]

  • Participants dressed up as soldiers from the middle ages can be seen fighting mock battles on the waterfront during the summer

Napier

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

The region’s long been well known for its fruit, wine, sunshine and relaxed lifestyle, albeit with a rather staid provincial outward appearance of being something of a retirement haven for jaded Aucklanders and Wellingtonians. However, in recent times Napier and its environs have been shedding that image with the city becoming a thriving comm ercial [...]

  • Snares crested penguins test the water at The Snares

Beyond Fiordland to our Wildest Islands

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I didn’t know what a megaherb was two days ago; now I’m wading waist-deep through meadows of the super-sized alien blooms along the soaring clifftops of Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost subantarctic island. It feels like we’ve stepped onto the set of a ’70s sci-fi movie as we pass the nodding golden cylinders of Bulbinella [...]

  • You’re never far from the sea on the Chathams - which makes for very changeable weather

Time Travellers

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

A holiday usually starts not when you shut your front door, but when you first venture out from the airport at your destination. The flight is just the necessary evil you must negotiate to get there. But not when you fly to the Chathams. Our plane alone has an interesting history. Commissioned as a Convair [...]

  • The pilots – Lachie (left) and Joseph (right)

Biggles Flies South

June 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

At 3000 feet, cruising at 130 knots in calm conditions and with clear blue skies, you are in a different world to the one you left on the ground. You are away from all of the nasty things that happen at ground level, and down below everything is neat, ordered and in its place. The [...]

  • Vintage planes on display. They flew later in the day

Wings Wows the Crowd

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Thousands of children have quite a presence! I hadn’t expected our first impression of Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome to be one of moving, chattering, laughing hordes as the kids made their orderly, supervised way to the exit. But about 4500 children had been to a special education day that gave them the opportunity to learn about [...]

  • To the right of the wharf and looking along the Wentworth river and river channel to the open sea

Whangamata: A Feast of Beach Delights

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Whangamata is my favourite beach resort, mainly because during the summer months it combines reliable weather with good swimming and there are enough shops and other attractions to hold the interest of visitors and holidaymakers. The Māori name ‘Whangamatā’ comes from the words ‘whanga’, which means bay, and ‘matā’, that means a hard stone, referring [...]

  • Lunch below the Blyth Hut – (L-R) Clare, Di, Marion, Rebecca, Sandy and Helen

Sett in Stone

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The old railroad town of Ohakune sits among rolling green farmland in the centre of the North Island. Today it is better known as a ski town for the Turoa Ski Area, or as the carrot-growing capital of New Zealand. Now a link to the past, the Old Coach Road, is creating a new fun [...]