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 [...]

  • Memorials large and small, many of them featuring poppies. The war memorial building is in Kaeo and the obelisk is at Mangonui (above)

The Eleventh Hour – Commemorating the Armistice

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

By the time an armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany was signed on November 11, 1918, more than 18,000 New Zealanders had died. During the four years leading up to that day, WWI – the ‘Great War’, the ‘war to end all wars’ – claimed lives and injured many thousands, physically, psychologically and in some [...]

Tsunami at 44 South – Chatham Islands Then and Now

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Unsurprisingly, one of the major threats to a small group of islands east of New Zealand is that of a tsunami. At 1am on August 15, 1868, tsunami waves generated the previous day by an earthquake offshore from Arica, Peru – some as high as six metres, nearly the height of a two-storey house – smashed [...]

  • Sculptor Susan Bahary and Nigel Allsopp (far right) (photo National Army Museum)

They Had No Say But Also Served – Commemorating the Armistice

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was the donkey that did it. When I saw the image (provided by the National Army Museum) of that patient beast in its Red Cross headdress, exemplifying the way that a myriad animals joined military personnel in hell on earth for up to four long years, I wanted to pay a small tribute to [...]

River Deep, Mountain High

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Robbie Crickett, who with his wife Connie runs NZ Adventures tours, tells it how it is. If he says the road is steep, then it’s steep. If he calls it rough, women soon find out why; in the pre-tour information provided, it was suggested that we bring along support underwear. But the fact that people [...]

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 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, [...]

  • On the road again after a tea break

Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream

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

If we were aeroplanes, we’d be heading towards the end of the runway, so we decided it was time to start taking off. Since buying a Ford Ranger, my husband has been very keen to do a 4WD safari, and NZ Adventures seemed to have just what he wanted – a tour on the West [...]

  • At the upper end of the Nevis Pass

The Great 
Tractor Trek 2018 – Bluff to Cape Reinga

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

“We did it!” With arm pumps and a huge, beaming smile, trek organiser Phil Aish delightedly congratulates his team of tractor drivers and support crew on reaching Cape Reinga after 2600km and 26 ‘bum-numbing’ days behind the wheel. It’s the end of the second trek from one end of the country to the other, both [...]

  • 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 [...]