Close to the Wind

A few years ago Neil and I decided to learn to sail. Like our rugby players, NZ sailors are often described as the best in the world and, whilst I’m never going to run around a pitch carrying an odd-shaped ball, there’s something attractive about chilling on the sunny deck of a boat as the […]

On the Roads

There are two roads out of Wellington. Yes: two. Sheffield, a similar sized city, has more than half a dozen arterial routes leading away from it (the majority into stunning countryside I might point out), not to mention various smaller ones which, if you’re local, you can use to escape the traffic on the main […]

Pou Herenga Tai

Pou Herenga Tai, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, runs from Opua (Or-poo-a) to Horeke (Hoar-ay-kay) in the far north of New Zealand. It’s 80-odd km of mostly flat cycling along old railway routes and paper roads, a not too strenuous two-day ride across the narrowest east-west part of this country. You can start at either […]

I Walked Waiheke

In the country of my birth it’s easy to find a path into the outdoors. No matter what the terrain alongside the road, before long there will be a gate, or an opening in a wall, maybe a stile over a fence, an accompanying sign pointing away from tarmac and bearing the words Public Footpath. […]

Let It Snow!

Snow, like a lot in nature, can be a blessing and a curse. The curse, this morning in Ohakune, is that all roads out of the town are closed. The main road on one side is blocked by a couple of jack-knifed lorries and has been so since early morning; the other side we don’t […]

New Zealand’s Mountain Town

Ohakune: with a permanent population of 1100 it would be a village in most parts of the world; in NZ it’s a small town. It’s typical of most in this country, the main street on a state highway and smaller streets of homes running off it. There are a few shops, servicing the homes within […]

Covid: The Return

If that sounds like a sad sequel to a bad B movie be assured that that is what it feels like. After 24 days of no new cases, a week of no active cases and an end to restrictions, we were all silently hoping our covid story was over. The words elimination and eradication were […]