Big Bay

Big Bay is a small township on the Awhitu paninsula & Manukau Harbour. It is a summer holiday beach destination with a caravan park, camping site and holiday baches. A short 90 minute drive gets you to this wonderful, and relatively untouched, part of New Zealand, makes this the perfect weekend getaway from the city….

Awhitu

Awhitu is a small town which also gives its name to the Awhitu peninsula, which is south west of Auckland. A short 90 minute drive gets you to this wonderful, and relatively untouched, part of New Zealand. The landscape is dominated by rolling green hills upon which cattle & sheep graze. The main attraction of…

Waipara

There is really only one reason to visit the Waipara region, and that’s wine. The region is famous for Pinot Noir and Riesling – hence the Dulux colour. A couple of my personal favorites are Pegasus Bay and Waipara Hills wines. At just 45 minutes north of Christchurch, on the South Island, it’s also a…

Pukaki

Pukaki is a small town on the southern banks of Lake Pukaki. The main reason to visit the region is for the lake itself and for Mount Cook. Peter Jackson chose this part of the Southern Alps – the main divide stretching north-south the length of New Zealand’s South Island – as the setting for…

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach is on the western side of the north island and runs from Kaitaia and runs almost to Cape Reigna. The beach is actually just 88 kilometers (55 miles) long, slightly falling short of it’s name. Throughout history beach is also the graveyard of many shipwrecks. The beach and its northern dunes are a…

Hanmer Springs

Interestingly, Hanmer Springs is more often than not miss pronounced by most as “Hamner Springs”. It is a beautiful part of the south island, about 2 hours north of Christchurch. We visited the spa town and stayed with friends who own a holiday bach in the town. Hanmer Springs is famous for hot springs. And they…

Kerikeri

Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region’s largest city, Whangarei. It is often called the Cradle of the Nation, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most…

Mangonui

According to some Maori legends, the great Polynesian explorer and navigator, Kupe, sailed from Hawaiiki in his canoe, named Matahourua and landed at Taipa Bay. Others believe that he landed in the Hokianga Harbour around AD 900. I much prefer the first theory here, mainly because Mangonui is situated on such a beautiful spot that I believe it…

Mercury Bay

When Captain Cook was exploring New Zealand on his expedition in the south Pacific, the Endeavour anchored in a bay to observe the transit of Mercury. Once this was completed he named the bay Mercury after the planet. The Moari already had a name for it – Te Whanganui A Hei. Interestingly the memorial of…

Whangamata

Whangamata is a small town on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The name of Whangamatā comes from the Maori words ‘whanga’, which means bay, and ‘matā’, which means a hard stone, in reference to the obsidian which washes up on the beach. The beach is beatiful, and offers views out to several islands in…

Opoutere

Opoutere is a small beach side community of the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula. I did not know this when I took the photo above but Opoutere means “place of floating posts”. The region has traditionally been occupied and settled. This was until the early 19th century during the Musket Wars, when the area was…

Whiritoa

Whiritoa is a small beach-side town on the Coromandel Peninsula. It has a small population of only a few hundred, however this swells into the thousands in the summer months as people from nearby Auckland & Hamilton seek beach holidays. I traveled through Whiritoa in winter on my way to Whitianga, stopping for some respite from…