Milford Track Day 2

Glade House to Pompolona Lodge: 16km (10 miles). Mt Sentinel is still snoozing behind cloud as we walk away from Glade House. It’s 8.30am and the air is chilly and damp. Some of our party are wrapped in multiple layers and waterproofs, but I know once I get walking it won’t take me long to […]

Milford Track Day One

The Milford Track begins with a bus ride. Well, ours does anyway. I’ve written before about my feelings towards carrying a heavy pack and sharing sleeping space with strangers, so it should come as no surprise that we chose to walk its 54km guided and supported. This means we carry only our clothing and toiletries […]

The Road South

Travelling from Wellington to Queenstown by car takes two days. If you want to get there faster, you have to get on a plane. An added complication is that you have to cross a body of water, Cook Strait, apparently one of the most challenging in the world, where a lot of water tries to […]

Tama Lakes

By NZ standards, the Tama Lakes walk, around the Whakapapa side of Mt Ruapehu, isn’t difficult. Until the first, or lower, lake the track is mostly wide and hard-packed gravel, some rocky parts and a couple of wet areas where water has adopted the path as its own (a common occurrence anywhere water runs down […]


Driving along a highway a couple of years ago we were forced to stop whilst a few trees* beside the road were felled. We turned off the engine and settled in for a long wait. I was fascinated. A bloke with a chainsaw – which he wielded like it weighed a kg or so – […]

Dodging Politicians

I wrote this a few weeks ago, for no reason other than it popped into my head. I thought I might post it on here someday but it’s a bit random so wasn’t sure. In the light of recent events in (supposedly) the largest democracy in the world it seems strangely prescient. This is not […]


An oak tree stands above us, its leaves rustling in the breeze. It’s the leaves that give it away – in September in New Zealand a deciduous tree wouldn’t be in full leaf, and the rustle has too much of a rattle about it; this tree is a fake. It’s not the only fake thing […]

Meri Kirihimete!

I’m not really a big fan of Christmas. As a child I loved it – the sparkling lights, the colourful baubles, huge tins of Roses and Quality Street in a house that rarely had chocolate; watching the Queen’s speech and then the Christmas movie (unless it was The Wizard of Oz – Mum hated that […]


Wellington has turned into an orange city. Nothing to do with fake tan, rather a plethora of hi-vis and road cones, the occasional yellow thrown in for variety. There are street works, sewage works (ongoing in Wellington due to the crumbling infrastructure), and building works, generally the construction of an apartment block. There’s one next […]

Eyes & Ears

Neil and I have both had health shocks recently. Don’t reach for the condolence cards yet – even in the normal scheme of things they aren’t serious; in the face of a global pandemic they’re positively trivial. But both are a reminder that we’re not getting any younger. I’m more used to it than Neil; […]