Tree Trunk Gorge

About an hour’s drive northeast of Ohakune, deep in the Kaimanawa Forest, the Tree Trunk Gorge track leads off a narrow road and into the bush. It follows the line of an old road associated with the Tongariro Power Scheme and is mostly wide and straightforward, albeit shared use with mountain bikes. Neil rode it […]


Many years ago (far too many, over two decades) Neil and I visited Italy. It was our second visit, the first being enough to make us fall in love with the country: small villages perched on top of rolling hills, the food, the wine, the weather. I could go on and I struggle to find […]

Woman with a Plan

It could be said that I’m a woman who likes a plan. I pause here to describe the image that has entered my head: the face of my friend, Julie, eyes wide in disbelief, mouth twisted with scepticism. ‘Like a plan? Like? As in: would hardly get out of bed without one, let alone leave […]

To Joe’s Hut

Having talked about Joe Blyth’s track, it would be remiss of me not to mention the other local place named after him, Blyth Hut*, especially as it’s one of my favourite places on the mountain. I suspect that at one time the Old Blyth track was the main route to the hut but it’s now […]


It’s hard for me to fathom what is happening across New Zealand right now. Here in Ohakune we’ve had rain, yes, but it was nowhere near as heavy as we had in January, or November. Yes, it’s been windy, but no more than an average strong wind; I wouldn’t say it’s been anywhere near gale […]

Hiking With Joe

Hiking boots on, poles in hand, I wonder why one of my favourite walks on Mt Ruapehu is so named. Finally, a couple of weeks ago I remembered to look it up when I got home. Turns out Joe Blyth was one of the inaugural members of the Tongariro National Park Board, skied the mountain […]

A Tui in a Pohutukawa…

It’s that time of the year again, the time when it’s obvious where HG Wells got his inspiration from. Yes, the pohutukawas are in flower or, more to the point, are losing their flowers and turning the ground beneath them red, much like the Martians’ weed does in The War of the Worlds. To northern […]