• The entrance to Waipukurau overlooking the town from the north

Let’s take the Scenic Route

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I ticked that off my list last summer, as my wife and I meandered back to Martinborough after spending a weekend in Napier. Months earlier I had taken a road map of New Zealand and had gone over it with a felt pen tracing out all the roads I had travelled. Of course, the major [...]

  • Brilliant! Red Cottage at Staveley under a starry sky

Mountain High in Staveley

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Up until the mid-1930s, travelling around New Zealand was still an adventure. In fact, as late as 1950 when the Dicks and the Dickettes moved from Auckland to Dunedin, I can remember my father poring over his book of Shell Road Maps of New Zealand to try and plot a safe route for the huge [...]

  • Cycling in Martinborough - Martinborough Hotel

Wine on Wheels – Martinborough

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

With its big skies, majestic mountains and rugged coast, the Wairarapa region is rich with natural beauty, and to top it all off, the local wines aren’t bad either. Located at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine trail, Wairarapa is home to some of the world’s best pinot noir, and the number of [...]

  • Whakatāne Kiwi Trust volunteer does a health check on a kiwi check. The kiwi was known as ‘te manu huna a Tāne’, the hidden bird of Tāne (god of the forest), because it came out mostly at night and was seldom seen

Trail of Kiwi

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

On a hot January afternoon, I took a stroll alongside Whakatāne’s river – and saw 10 kiwi. Small, dark brown, beautifully expressive birds, they were standing on rocks, by buildings, under seats. Tracking them down made for an entertaining hour. Before you start Google searching the changing habits of wild kiwi, these Whakatāne birds aren’t [...]

  • Sure to awaken the inner hobo

Forgotten Highway – Taking a Drive on the Wild Side

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

Foolhardy preparations for a journey ranked by police to be among New Zealand’s top-ten most perilous, The Forgotten World Highway redeems itself by also being one of the most spectacular and scenic road trips anywhere in the world. Linking Taumarunui and Stratford and officially designated State Highway 43, the Forgotten World Highway is New Zealand’s [...]

  • The Sounds are a relaxing place to unwind. Photo: Queen Charlotte Track Inc.

Queen Charlotte Track – Marlborough

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s nearly Christmas as I motor my way around the tight bends of Queen Charlotte Drive to the pretty port of Picton where my next adventure begins. The road straightens. I get a glimpse of Queen Charlotte Sound glistening in the sun, its long channel named by explorer Captain James Cook after the wife of [...]

  • The road up the Waitaki Valley – a journey of two halves. Lake Aviemore and the dam just visible in this late afternoon shot. Derek Smith

A Village in the Valley

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

The Waitaki Valley that links Oamaru to Omarama and the junction of the super-busy inland route SH8, is one of the last great ‘unknown’ drives and destinations in New Zealand. It’s puffed and panted along by a growing number of cyclists on the A2O cycle trail, their eyes fixed firmly on the spot two metres [...]

  • The Hokianga boardwalk section is one of the longest in the country

A Great Ride – Northland’s Coast to Coast

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Some people are drawn to books in order to cultivate their imagination; others seek the arts for inspiration; in my case, it’s physical geography that moves me. The act of unfolding maps that unfold landscapes in my mind, building the spatial memories I seek. Like reading a new book filled with interesting characters, I look [...]

Tangiwai Railway Disaster

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Christmas 1953. A less-commercial time than it is today. Retailers, including general stores, closed their doors for four days. Simplicity in Christmas decoration styles, nativity scenes, church services, family togetherness and a traditional large lunch were the order of the day, and it was a time when most of the nation looked forward to an [...]

  • A place to rest at the water’s edge

Quail Island – A Hidden Treasure

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Nestled in Lyttelton Harbour and surrounded by the Port Hills, Quail Island is certainly a one of a kind location. Canterbury’s largest island, it occupies 81 hectares within the harbour and is a haven for a variety of flora and fauna. Treasured by conservationists and gentle trampers alike, its beauty is of a peaceful, solid, [...]