Lakeside resort town

Dawn over the lake, May 2016

Traditionally Tekapo has been a gas and comfort stop on the route between Christchurch and Queenstown. Fifty years ago the town would have had less than 100 permanent residents, but today like so many other small towns, it’s bursting at the seams and struggling to cater for the increasing number of tourists.

Back in the old days, working people from the East Coast cities and towns may have had a weekend holiday home at Tekapo where they could go boating and fishing or use the village as a base to explore further afield into the mountains. Today it has a permanent population of about 380 and is one of

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New Zealand - Pre Maori

Fact or Fiction?

While a few shipwrecks have been found predating Captain Cook, there is a general quietness and you could say even an official suppression of discussions and evidence of life in New Zealand before the arrival of the Maori.

Of the shipwrecks, there is one in the Dargaville museum, there was another thrown up by a storm of Hokitika in 2014 and the initial discussions throw out ideas of it being the Spanish Galleon, however all trace of this find seems to have vanished from the public record.

But Europeans before James Cook and Abel Tasman, we must assume are probable, but what about before the Maori?

DNA and other evidence traces some Maori back through Hawaii to

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Auckland Winter

The big grey

Auckland’s 328 metre high Sky Tower

A peculiarity of Auckland city is that it’s so often overcast, not particularly cold, just that the sky is dull and given to drizzle and light rain. Actually in wintertime the beaches and outdoor recreation areas are far less crowded so don’t be put off getting out for some fresh air.

The city itself is all about cars, shopping and eating. It’s about cars because you need a car to get anywhere and to know where you’re going, you need a good navigator or a GPS unit. Over the past 20 years, the city has evolved miles of confusing motorways and it’s very easy to go in the wrong

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Diamond harbour ferries

Time for recreation

The Diamond Harbour Ferry berthed in Lyttleton.

Diamond Harbour is a popular destination on Banks Peninsula, a leisurely forty minutes by car from down town Christchurch and many Christchurch locals head there for Sunday drives, a stroll and coffee.

But it’s also home to city workers and stay at home artists. It makes for a great for a day trip as there are interesting walks around the headland, a more vigorous day trip to Mt Herbert and an easy wander around to Purau bay for a swim in summer.

There are several café’s and plenty of parking, but it’s less than ten minutes from Lyttleton by the fast

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Humorous facts

Stewart Island

Geography: New Zealand is situated the same distance eastwards from Australia as London is to Moscow. So if anybody tells you it’s right next to Australia, tell them to piss off.

It is bigger than Connecticut, but smaller than Canada. There are two main islands – The North Island and The South Island. There is also about a zillion other islands dotted around and about, none of which need concern you. The South Island is slightly bigger than the North Island, and South Islanders that refer to themselves as “Mainlanders” are right.

The largest city in New Zealand is Auckland, which has a population of approximately

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Our Dark Future

The rise of insanity

Our corporate masters a tightening the screws despite public protest. Here in good old New Zealand, the government continues to sell the people out. They have been slowly but steadily making it easier for international corporations to do as they please and paying lip service to the real needs of the people.

The escalation in house prices is simply part of an international conspiracy by the world’s largest banks providing favours for the executives and return for perks and the surety of good jobs when they leave politics although in this country, politicians continue to receive a substantial salary even when they leave office which is way beyond that of any normal retiree.

Over the past

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Highway 6

Blenheim to Invercargill – 1021 km

Blenheim – Nelson, Nelson – West Coast, West Coast – Central Otago, Central Otago – Southland

Break time in the Marlborough Sounds

This is a long scenic drive that could be squeezed into two days, but as a holiday it can take a week or more. Typically anyone travelling this entire route will commence the journey at Picton after having crossed the Cook Strait on one of the ferries, or driven north from Christchurch to Blenheim on highway one.

If commencing this route from Picton, the more popular and very scenic route is Queen Charlotte Drive, It’s a shortcut across to Havelock. This road is very winding in places, but

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Highway 7

From Waipara and Highway 1 to Greymouth and HWY 6.

Upper Waiau River with spring/early summer broom flowers in bloom.

Highway 7 is one of the four routes to the West Coast and the primary route between Christchurch, Reefton and Westport, and a longer alternate route between Christchurch and Greymouth. The section from Waipara to Springs junction is a main route to Murchison, Nelson lakes National Park and Nelson.

Waipara is home to the Weka Pass Railway, it is a small agricultural town with a focus on sheep farming and wine and home to the Weka Pass Railway.

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Cook Straight Ferries

Crossing Cook Strait

The calm waters of Marlborough Sounds

New Zealand’s Cook Straight separates the North from the South Island. This stretch of water has strong currents, and often very strong winds make for some rough crossings.

But when the weather is too rough, crossings are cancelled. If you are concerned abut rough crossings, note that half the journey is made through the protected waters of Marlborough Sounds and Wellington Harbour.

The ferries have large & spacious ferries and when the weather is kind, passengers can travel in ocean comfort and stroll or sit out on the decks. There are many great photo opportunities.

In Picton the “Interislander” ferry terminal is beside the town centre and a short

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National Parks

Recreational paradise under pressure

Fiordland National Park

New Zealand’s National Parks, scenic reserves and wilderness areas have something for all from scenic drives, picnicking, treks, swimming, kayaking, mountaineering, rock or ice climbing, skiing, scenic flights, glacier landings, caving, orienteering and many other activities.

These are the last places that you may find some ‘New Zealand native fresh water species’ as the ‘Diagnosis and Cure’ report on managing New Zealand freshwater biodiversity and supporting ecosystems, titled The plight of New Zealand’s freshwater biodiversity?, says 74 per cent of our native freshwater fish, mussel and crayfish species are now listed as threatened with extinction.

Unless you are going with a guide or just picnicking along the

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