• The historic Puhoi Hotel

Bohemian Legacy

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

“If our food, drinks and service aren’t up to your standards, please lower your standards,” and “Free Idiot Test $50” declare two of the many signs in the Puhoi Pub. The walls and ceiling inside the two-storey wooden building, established in 1879, are crammed with collections of artefacts that include bras and bikini tops, caps, [...]

  • The way it used to look. At 2ZE Blenheim in 1974

Radio Shack Flashback

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

It’s said that many things in life go in circles. That’s exactly how I felt in late June as I made my way into the Tauranga studio of Coast FM to broadcast a radio breakfast show for the first time in nearly forty years. Here’s a quick summary of how this came to be. Coast, [...]

  • 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 [...]

Going Green

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

After taking a wrong turn at the top of town, being redirected by helpful road workers and finally huffing up the last hill to Conical Studios in the company of its charming CEO, Alejandro Davila, there was no hiding my demographic. As it turned out, I’m the perfect age to trial new augmented reality and [...]

  • Flying in affords a clear view of the collapsed volcano crater that has become the landing site for both boats and helicopters; as well as the site of historical sulphur mine buildings and equipment

Te Puia o Whakaari – Whakatāne White Island

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

We had planned to take a helicopter trip to the active volcano in November last year, but life and work intervened so it never happened. However, with the opportunity of two spare days in which to get from Auckland to Martinborough in our motorhome RocknRobyn following the Covi Motorhome Caravan and Outdoor SuperShow, we took [...]

  • Seaview Marina has around 300 berths

Wellington’s Secret

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

As we drive down the Ngauranga Gorge into Wellington I offer sage advice to the driver: “Watch your speed, see that camera up there.” An encounter, a few years back, with a white NZ Transport Agency envelope containing an instant fine, brought my attention to the 80-kilometre speed sign. At the bottom of the hill, [...]

  • St Mary’s College Chapel built in 1865

St Mary’s Bay

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

This now expensive inner city Auckland suburb was named in honour of the Mother of God by New Zealand’s original Roman Catholic leader, Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier. The Catholic Bishop of Auckland still lives here. But strip away the neighbourhood’s deeply religious name and you find a suburb with a past often dominated by sly [...]

HOLI – The Hindu Festival of Colour

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

The Hare Krishna temple is ringing with the Hare Krishna chant; this is Holi, the Hindu festival of colour or light, a festival to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, or good over evil. It also marks the passing of winter and the arrival of spring, and like Easter in the Christian calendar, the [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Mangarewa suspension bridge – a gem of a span over the creek far below

A Great Ride – Heart of the Waikato

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

I grew up in Hamilton at a time when the city (like myself as a teenager) was struggling with its identity. Most locals would say the most appealing feature of the locality was that it was ‘close to everything’. It was close to Auckland, the coastal beaches and the mountains for skiing. Sadly the city [...]