Taieri Gorge Railway

Posted Mar 30 2014

Sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the driving. We sat back on velour seats and enjoyed a half-day train trip from Dunedin through the rugged Taieri River Gorge. When is the last time you traveled by train? Clicking, clattering, swaying and clanging we chugged through 12 tunnels and two or three towering viaducts.

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‘Give Way’ to the train………….ya think?

Posted Mar 29 2014

There are a gazillion one lane bridges in New Zealand and they don’t leave margin for error. The best bridge, however, is the one lane train/car/bike bridge found near Greymouth on the west coast. There are so many signs as you approach that you don’t know what the heck is going on. It’s actually pretty, […]

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Pancake rocks and magic beach

Posted Mar 25 2014

The northern section of the west coast of the South Island (unglaze those eyes) is remote and rarely visited except for one popular destination: the Pancake Rocks. The pounding Tasman sea has sculpted these limestone rocks into ‘pancake stacks’. During high seas there are blow holes and plumes of spray. A little further along the […]

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Forgotten World Highway

Posted Mar 18 2014

With a name like that, who could resist? While on the North Island Forrest and I traveled the 155 km Forgotten World Highway. Twelve kilometers of the road are ‘unsealed’. Move over. Sheep and shepherd have not forgotten this ‘highway’: The road follows ancient Maori trade routes and looks positively Jurassic Park at times. Twists, […]

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Pukekura Park’s hidden treasures

Posted Mar 16 2014

Forrest and I enjoyed a morning in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park (named for the stream running through it). We thought the park was one of the prettiest we’d ever seen. We were told not to miss the fernery. Entry was through a cool mossy tunnel and the rooms of the ferny were joined by tunnels […]

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“Hades” in New Zealand

Posted Mar 11 2014

Playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote after visiting Rotorua in 1934, “I was pleased to get so close to Hades and be able to return.” Strange geothermal bloops and burps awaited us. We spent a couple hours at Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland and I saw my first geyser, the reliable ‘Lady Knox’. She looked like a middle-schooler’s […]

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Rafting the Kaituna

Posted Mar 9 2014

The Kaituna River is a beautiful green blue tumble through a fern-lined gorge in the North Island’s Rotorua area. During our 2014 visit there, Forrest talked me into river rafting, even though the course included the largest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. (I did not know that just one day earlier a rafting tourist […]

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Art Deco in Napier

Posted Mar 5 2014

The picturesque seaside town of Napier was leveled by a catastrophic earthquake on 3 February 1931 (7.9 on Richter scale). Fatalities numbered 258. Reconstruction of the city occurred over the next couple years during the depression and during global art-deco mania. Jobs! Art deco was cheap to build, made of safe materials (falling columns and […]

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Tractor Pull to a Gannet Colony

Posted Mar 4 2014

Cape Kidnappers- what an enticing name- plus 1949 Minneapolis-Moline tractors, a ‘Gannetry’ and geology lessons. Sign us up! Here come the tractors! What’s not to love about a tractor pull? (Our guide said these 1949 tractors are most likely the only working ones left. In The World. The rest are found in museums.) The tractor’s […]

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South Island to North Island via ferry

Posted Mar 2 2014

New Zealand is a country divided into two islands, North and South. (We live on the South Island.) People fly or take the ferry to travel from one to the other. The ferry cost us NZ $240 for car and two people, one-way. Not cheap! The three hour route from Picton to Wellington: We drove […]

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