• Man O’ War Vineyard on Waiheke Island

Walks for Wine

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Visions of dollars flying out of his wallet dulled my husband’s enthusiasm for the idea of a summer family weekend on Waiheke Island. And the prospect of long, leisurely afternoons of wine tasting did not excite him one little bit either. My hyperactive husband (HH) does not really do relaxation; he likes activity with a [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Lunch below the Blyth Hut – (L-R) Clare, Di, Marion, Rebecca, Sandy and Helen

Sett in Stone

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The old railroad town of Ohakune sits among rolling green farmland in the centre of the North Island. Today it is better known as a ski town for the Turoa Ski Area, or as the carrot-growing capital of New Zealand. Now a link to the past, the Old Coach Road, is creating a new fun [...]

  • The Davenport

The Grande Dames of Marton

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

“Go to Marton,” we were urged during a recent stop in Bulls, two hours north of Wellington. “It’s only 14km away and they’ve got the most amazing heritage buildings in the town centre. They’re all earthquake prone though and may need to be demolished at some stage, so see them while you can.” So off [...]

  • Manutuke Eco Retreat is enclosed within a horseshoe of lush, green hills on the shores of a little lake and wetland

A Wetland Reborn

April 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Richie Clark and his dad Dave stood at the top of the hill surveying the 80-hectare block of land they had just purchased. It was mid-winter and heavy rain had turned a low-lying paddock surrounded by a horseshoe of hills into a bit of a bog. Dave casually commented to Richie, “You know, a few [...]

  • Kericell owners John and Robyn Rowe

Founded in Fruit – Kerikeri – Northland’s Home of the Horticulture Industry

April 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Several years ago a radio jingle regularly promoted Kerikeri as the ‘sunshine centre of the Bay of Islands’. Irritating as that ear-worm was, its effectiveness helped to cement Kerikeri’s persona as a fruit-filled tropical paradise. It conveyed an image of blue skies, golden sun and the citrus for which the town is justly famous, an [...]

  • A view of historic Bridge Street Eltham

Eltham – A Small Town Love Affair

April 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

To be honest I really hadn’t given a lot of thought to Eltham, apart from stopping there to pick up cheese from the Eltham Cheese Shop, until at a photographers Christmas dinner some years ago when Mark Bellringer and his partner Barbara Valintine started talking excitedly about buying the Bank of New Zealand building in [...]

  • Rose ‘Harriet Shepherd’

Garden Discoveries Unearth Memories

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

I’ve always had an interest in history and recently decided to delve into my own background. All I knew was that my great-great-grandparents lived in the Whangaroa area and their graves were somewhere near the harbour. Missionary James Shepherd arrived in New Zealand in 1818 to be joined by his wife Harriet some years later. [...]

  • 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 [...]