• 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 [...]

  • A spectacular glass ceiling shows the Coat of Arms of all British Dominions and Colonies during WWI

Auckland Museum 166 Years On

November 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

It’s an overcast Sunday, the beginning of the school holidays, when we meet on the steps of Auckland War Memorial Museum, and any thoughts that the blustery weather might serve to deter the crowds are quickly diminished. There’s a real buzz around the building as tourists and families throng the forecourt. Waiting there on the [...]

Style Never Sleeps

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

September/October 2018 marks 30 years since local sculptor Suzie (now Dame Suzie) Moncrieff first came up with the concept of wearable art in a marquee at Wakefield, just south of Nelson. Torrential rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of that inaugural show’s audience, many of whom came along in gumboots. In fact, the punters [...]

  • 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 [...]

Opotiki – Shalfoon’s Timeless Treasure Trove

December 21st, 2016|Tags: , , , , |

A cloud of choking dust flies up as the 120-year-old wooden doors crash open, revealing a crumbling brick dynamite store. The dingy interior is empty except for dust-shrouded, decaying empty boxes marked ‘Blasting Powder’. This wasn’t George Shalfoon’s secret arsenal, nor was it a risky business venture fraught with danger. George was an astute [...]