• 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 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 [...]

  • Sunset from Titirangi-Kaiti Hill. Picture by Damon Meade

First to See the Light

November 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

New arrivals to Gisborne are awestruck by the little beachfront city on the east coast of the North Island, encircled by a half moon of green hills. Travellers are also discovering the place. They are amazed and delighted to have discovered a place of such prosperity, peace and space, where there is a joie de [...]

Freedom to Coast

November 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Dunes Trail has made quite an impression since it was officially opened in mid-2012. It’s now journeyed by around 20,000 cyclists per year, plus many walkers and runners. Intrepid travellers, fitness enthusiasts, families, a Thursday-evening ‘bike, beer and BBQ’ group, youth groups, motorhomers, e-bikers, hand-bikers – they’re all out there enjoying it. Trail counters [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]