Turangi

Turangi is a small town on the west bank of the Tongariro River, 50 kilometres south-west of Taupo. It was originally built to accommodate the workers associated with the Tongariro hydro-electric power project and their families. The town was designed to remain as a small servicing centre for the exotic forest plantations south of Lake Taupo and…

Cornwall Park

Cornwall Park is an expansive parkland in the suburb of Epsom near the heart of Auckland, New Zealand, surrounding the park containing Maungakiekie Pa and the hill of One Tree Hill. “A place of public resort for the recreation and enjoyment of the people of New Zealand” said its donor, John Logan Campbell who was an Auckland resident…

Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a small seaside town on the east coast of the south island about 180 kilometres north of Christchurch. It is a stunning area where snow capped mountains reach the beach. Kaikoura made world news in 2016 as the centre of a large earthquake that left it cut off from the rest of NZ…

Lakeside

Lakeside is the name of the road that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Wanaka on Roys Bay. Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s great lakes, it’s fourth largest in fact. Wanaka is a Moari name meaning “the place of Anaka”, a local tribe chief. I have been to Wanaka several times for both work…

Kaiteriteri

Kaiteriteri is a small seaside town and resort are in the Tasman region of the South Island and is the gateway to the Able Tasman National Park. The coastline is known for its beaches and is a popular summertime holiday spot for New Zealanders. Split Apple Rock is a short drive north of Kaiteriteri which…

Desert Road

The Desert Road feels like a bit on an anomaly in New Zealand. For a land that is known for stunning scenery, mountain ranges and the greenest rolling hills and plains imaginable to also have desert is almost unthinkable. But here it is. Follow the state highway 1 southwards from Taupo for about an hour…

Southern Alps – Kā Tiritiri-o-te-Moana

The Southern Alps (Kā Tiritiri-o-te-Moana) is the mountain range that extends along much of the length of New Zealand’s south island. Pretty much any trip to the south island you will be within a short drive to some part of the range. The highest peak in the Southern Alps, Aoraki or Mt Cook, which is near the centre of the…

Invercargill (Waihopai)

Invercargill, or Waihopai to the Maori, is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. It is the commercial centre of the Southland Region. It sits amid rich farmland of the Southland plains and is bordered by large areas of conservation land and marine reserves, including…

Oamaru

Oamaru is a small town, New Zealand’s 28th largest, in the east coast of the South Island. It has a wonderfully preserved Victorian precinct that attracts tourists from all over New Zealand. There are several art galleries and homewares stores in this precinct, taking advantage of the atmosphere that the old buildings offer. The name…

Te Anau

Te Anau is the largest lake in the South island and second largest in New Zealand, behind Taupo. The origins of the two lakes are very different with Te Anau having been formed over millions of years by glacial activity, where lake Taupo was formed from volcanic activity. I think Te Anau is what the bustling Queenstown…

Hokitika

Founded on gold mining in 1864, it was a centre of the West Coast Gold Rush. By late 1866, it was one of New Zealand’s most populous centres. Today however, Hokitika is best known for the Hokitika gorge and for greenstone – there are numerous green stone stores in the main street. When we arrived in town a…

Manapouri

According to Maori legend Lake Manapōuri was created by the tears of two sisters, Moturua and Koronae, who were daughters of an old chief in the region. Koronae journeyed deep into the forest one day only to become stranded after a fall. Her sister Moturua went looking for her and when she found Koronae she realised that her…