• Brilliant! Red Cottage at Staveley under a starry sky

Mountain High in Staveley

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

Up until the mid-1930s, travelling around New Zealand was still an adventure. In fact, as late as 1950 when the Dicks and the Dickettes moved from Auckland to Dunedin, I can remember my father poring over his book of Shell Road Maps of New Zealand to try and plot a safe route for the huge [...]

  • The road up the Waitaki Valley – a journey of two halves. Lake Aviemore and the dam just visible in this late afternoon shot. Derek Smith

A Village in the Valley

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

The Waitaki Valley that links Oamaru to Omarama and the junction of the super-busy inland route SH8, is one of the last great ‘unknown’ drives and destinations in New Zealand. It’s puffed and panted along by a growing number of cyclists on the A2O cycle trail, their eyes fixed firmly on the spot two metres [...]

  • A place to rest at the water’s edge

Quail Island – A Hidden Treasure

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Nestled in Lyttelton Harbour and surrounded by the Port Hills, Quail Island is certainly a one of a kind location. Canterbury’s largest island, it occupies 81 hectares within the harbour and is a haven for a variety of flora and fauna. Treasured by conservationists and gentle trampers alike, its beauty is of a peaceful, solid, [...]

  • River riding at its best!

Southern Lake Linking

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Fiordland, a paradise packed with dramatic landscapes, and blessed with plentiful huts and hiking tracks including three Great Walks; yet surprisingly barren of cycle trails. Wheels of change are in motion though. As a result of the incredible efforts of the Fiordland Trails Trust, the tread of my tyres can now easily explore the fringes [...]

Kaikōura Museum

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , |

Earthquakes, whales and crayfish have a long history in this small east coast settlement. With two mountain ranges behind it and a canyon of epic proportions offshore, it is a marine wonderland. I have been to Kaikōura many times since the 1970s, though the majority of my trips have been in the last 20 years; [...]

Kaikoura Rebuild Earns Awards

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Recently, New Zealanders marked the second anniversary of the Kaikōura earthquake that hit at two minutes past midnight on November 14, 2016. The 7.8 magnitude quake ripped through the earth from Culverden, 70km south of Kaikōura, to Seddon, 90km north of Kaikōura, and out to sea. GeoNet described the 160km rupture as the earth ‘unzipping’ [...]

  • Following the waterways was a magical time

A Great Ride – Wheeling Through The Wilderness

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

My wilderness trail experience started at the northern trailhead, with a brisk introduction to the local ‘barber’. He’s a particularly fearsome character and Greymouth residents tell me he cuts right to the bone! However, this is no barber with a pair of scissors in hand but is in fact a local wind; a unique phenomenon [...]

  • View from the top of Knuckle Hill (506m), looking south

Whanganui Inlet – Remote, Untouched and Natural

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

As a destination, Golden Bay has some very well-known attractions like the Abel Tasman National Park, Pupu Springs and Wharariki Beach; Whanganui Inlet is less well known but is well worth a visit nevertheless. The drive from Takaka to Wharariki is pretty spectacular in itself, so perhaps people can be forgiven for not seeing, let [...]

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 [...]