• 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Te Papa sits on the Wellington waterfront near the heart of the city

Cruising the Capital’s Cultural Classics

July 29th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Wellington is well suited for walking around its major cultural experiences. Several important museums and galleries are strung along the waterfront, adjacent to the downtown area, or are just a block or two back from there, while others are a kilometre or so further away. Start at Te Papa on the waterfront, not just because [...]

  • The flag pole on the Treaty Ground at Waitangi marks the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. The New Zealand flag is at the top, with the British flag and the Maori trading flag below.

Step Back into the Past and Marvel: a Journey into the Far North

July 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Touring around the north of Northland is a step back into our earliest history, both European and Māori. It is the story of how the races met and interacted, of colonial days, development, hardship, conflict and strife – all the factors that shape the north as we find it today. Our group travelled by road [...]

  • Malone outside improvised bivouac

Experiencing the Trench at Gallipoli

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

On the 25th of April 1915 at 4:30am, four thousand ANZAC troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, a mile north of their intended landing point and advanced quickly into the hills. The objective was to capture the high ground and ultimately to advance up the peninsula to capture Constantinople, the then capital of the Turkish Empire, [...]

  • A New Zealand observer silhouetted against the battle area at Monte Cassino, Italy, with the bursts of shells and bombs obscuring the town. Photograph taken on 15 March 1944 by George Frederick Kaye

WWII Battle Monte Cassino

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

My father, born in 1911, battered by the depression and by war service, didn’t say much about either when I was growing up. One of the few times I got him talking about his war experiences was after I came home from a Contiki tour of Europe which had included a visit to Monte Cassino, [...]