• 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 [...]

  • Tunnel entry

Driving on at Driving Creek

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It’s been a little more than two years since Barry Brickell passed away. A legend in his own time, Barry was a pioneer potter and railway enthusiast; a generous, hardworking, passionate, eccentric man whose strong environmental ethos and love for his Driving Creek property included his wish to be buried partway up the mountain with [...]

  • New arrival at the Thames Butterfly Garden, Honey the lorikeet. Other exotic finches there include Red Faced Parrotfinches, Firefinches, Orange-breasted Waxbills and Gouldians

A Butterfly Treasure

October 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

The Butterfly Garden in Thames was the first in New Zealand, started in 2000 by a Swiss couple, Roger and Sabina Gass. Now owned by Colin Anderson, it is a ‘must-see’ for visitors, who can wander amongst a stunning variety of winged colour darting, fluttering, exploring and landing in a humid exotic-planted garden house. Colin, [...]

  • Captain James Cook visited the Ngāti Hei pā at Wharekaho Beach

One of Those Special Places

August 3rd, 2017|Tags: , , , |

I have been visiting Simpson’s Beach at Wharekaho since I was a kid. In the sixties, windy gravel roads and clouds of dust were synonymous with a trip to Whitianga. We pulled up at Simpson’s Beach with our blue Holden station wagon overloaded with camping/fishing gear and set up camp in the paddock at the [...]