• Following the waterways was a magical time

A Great Ride – Wheeling Through The Wilderness

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

My wilderness trail experience started at the northern trailhead, with a brisk introduction to the local ‘barber’. He’s a particularly fearsome character and Greymouth residents tell me he cuts right to the bone! However, this is no barber with a pair of scissors in hand but is in fact a local wind; a unique phenomenon [...]

  • The basis of the museum project is the former Mayor’s residence and headquarters of the Gendarmerie in Le Quesnoy, the largest piece of land under one title within the original town ramparts. Studies by the New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust indicate that it is entirely suitable for the purpose of establishing a New Zealand presence in France, centred in Le Quesnoy

The Great War – Commemorating the Armistice

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It’s difficult for us today to absorb the extent of the misery and heartache that was being experienced throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand 100 years ago, as “the guns fell silent” in Europe’s Great War with the signing of the Armistice in the Forest of Compiègne in the Picardy region of France, [...]

  • Memorials large and small, many of them featuring poppies. The war memorial building is in Kaeo and the obelisk is at Mangonui (above)

The Eleventh Hour – Commemorating the Armistice

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

By the time an armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany was signed on November 11, 1918, more than 18,000 New Zealanders had died. During the four years leading up to that day, WWI – the ‘Great War’, the ‘war to end all wars’ – claimed lives and injured many thousands, physically, psychologically and in some [...]

  • Although this is not specifically a story about the Lindis Pass, it is central to part of the story. So let’s take a look at this spectacular drive through spectacular country

A Land Unseen by the White Man

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

A glorious early spring morning and I’ve got the nose of the Blue Streak (my Nissan Pathfinder) heading up the Waitaki Valley and into the Lindis Pass. This is one of my favourite drives. The Waitaki Valley with its three interlocking lakes, burgeoning vineyards, dairy and sheep farms all hemmed in with snow-capped mountains, is [...]

  • View from the top of Knuckle Hill (506m), looking south

Whanganui Inlet – Remote, Untouched and Natural

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

As a destination, Golden Bay has some very well-known attractions like the Abel Tasman National Park, Pupu Springs and Wharariki Beach; Whanganui Inlet is less well known but is well worth a visit nevertheless. The drive from Takaka to Wharariki is pretty spectacular in itself, so perhaps people can be forgiven for not seeing, let [...]

Poignant reminders of WWI sacrifices

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Two dramatic and poignant symbols that testify to the human tragedy that was the First World War are on display at the New Zealand Army Museum in Waiouru. One is a sandstone grave marker from Gallipoli that in 1915 marked the resting place of a 34-year-old trooper of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and the second [...]

Railway Springs to Life

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Every time I go to Dargaville, I hear a whisper about some hidden discovery that would blow the collective mind if anyone got wind of it. Recently someone did. Unusual conditions on the coast revealed another shipwreck buried deep under the sand at Pouto, on the northern head of the Kaipara Harbour. Pouto is the [...]

Tsunami at 44 South – Chatham Islands Then and Now

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Unsurprisingly, one of the major threats to a small group of islands east of New Zealand is that of a tsunami. At 1am on August 15, 1868, tsunami waves generated the previous day by an earthquake offshore from Arica, Peru – some as high as six metres, nearly the height of a two-storey house – smashed [...]

  • Sculptor Susan Bahary and Nigel Allsopp (far right) (photo National Army Museum)

They Had No Say But Also Served – Commemorating the Armistice

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was the donkey that did it. When I saw the image (provided by the National Army Museum) of that patient beast in its Red Cross headdress, exemplifying the way that a myriad animals joined military personnel in hell on earth for up to four long years, I wanted to pay a small tribute to [...]

River Deep, Mountain High

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Robbie Crickett, who with his wife Connie runs NZ Adventures tours, tells it how it is. If he says the road is steep, then it’s steep. If he calls it rough, women soon find out why; in the pre-tour information provided, it was suggested that we bring along support underwear. But the fact that people [...]