Blogs from East Coast, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Gisborne April 19th 2015

The company car, a lamb and mint pie and a bottle of L&P (world famous in New Zealand). I was ready for a road trip. For a seasoned Kiwi sports writer in the city of Gisborne, my task would have been the short straw, the long shift. For an Irish rugby fanatic and junior reporter, it turned into something else... a journey into the mystic heart of Māori culture. A day that still floats into my wandering mind some four years later. The start of my love affair with Aotearoa. My task was to report on a rugby match between Ngāti Porou East Coast and Thames Valley. Today, Ngāti Porou rugby is one of the most preserved symbols of Māori mana (a supernatural force) in New Zealand. Whakarua Park is right in the middle of the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Napier March 24th 2015

Forgot to say about Cape Kidnappers, in Maori legend the Cape itself was the hook with which Maui pulled the North Island from the sea. So it got its name in 1769 from the famous explorer Captain James Cook, when local Maori attempted to kidnap a young Tahitian boy from his ship the Endeavour. Thought I would give you all some Maori legends !!... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Napier March 24th 2015

Evening everyone, well what a fab day we had today and all by accident, didn't plan anything, but got in the car and thought we would head further down the coast. We went to a place called Te Awanga where we saw a group of school children sat in a field, so we went in and I spoke to one of the parents who said they had just been shown sheep shearing. Well, whoopee, that was on my list, so I found the farmer or maybe the sheep shearer as there called and he said 'sure I'll shear a sheep for you' !!! How good was that. It was great, just me and Stu there, the little sheep didn't like it much to begin with, he'd never been sheared before, he was about 7 months old, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Gisborne December 22nd 2014

The ozone at Rere Falls helped dispel last night's grogginess due to overindulgence in wine. The falls are about 60 kilometres north of Gisborne and a popular place for local people to picnic. A family was there with their relative from the USA, a laid back man who was impressed with how clean and pretty the place was. "If this was the States, it'd be covered in trash," he told Matt (my husband who I was travelling with) and I. A wood pigeon perched in a large tree; the falls splashed into a brown river that ran into a grassy distance; the sun was warm and pleasant. Ahhhhh. We drove on to Napier where we would stay for two weeks with Matt's family, to celebrate Xmas and New Year. Sadly, his lovely mother, Anne, would not ... read more
wood pigeon
rere falls

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast December 21st 2014

I woke up to hear heavy rain hammering on the roof of our motel room. Peering through the window, we could see lowering skies and a thick blanket of mist obscuring the views. We waited until ten o'clock to leave but as the downpour was unrelenting, we set off. Driving round the exposed East Cape to the lighthouse, we saw storm-tossed seas and rocks when the mist permitted. Visibility was low and we drove carefully on the unsealed road. We decided against crossing damp grassland and climbing the 200 steps to the lighthouse, especially when a sign advised us against such a course of action during heavy rains. As we drove back, though, the weather changed, quite suddenly, and the fog cleared. I could get a photo of the lighthouse perched forlornly on a crag. On ... read more
white-fronted tern
east cape lighthouse
waterfall and pohutukawa

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast December 20th 2014

The sun shone for us again as we drove down State Highway 35, New Zealand's Great Ocean Road, towards Hicks Bay. Not far out of Whakatane, we took a side trail to some grasslands in which fern birds and other native birds nest. We did not see any but the grasslands were worth the walk - swathes of land all hues of russet, rich brown and olive. The coastal scenery was gorgeous: the turquoise sea, the red of pohutukawa blossoms, pale beige sands and slate silver rocks. We kept stopping in perilous places on the road to take photos, hoping no hoons were around to end our lives prematurely. At the end of the day we drove up to Hicks Motel, a brick structure with heaps of outside motel units, perched on the edge of a ... read more
hicks bay play
around the coast
coffee stop

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast October 17th 2014

De komende twee dagen zal ik bijzonder weinig te vertellen hebben, want we zullen vooral in de camper zitten op weg naar Wellington, dat toch wat langer rijden is dan de eigenlijke km-afstand doet vermoeden. Dekselse bergpassen en 100km/h limieten... Maar omdat we er zin in hebben, nemen we van eerste keer de East Cape Route mee. De route was aan te raden, al bleek ook deze wat langer te duren dan verwacht. (6u rijden om hem door te geraken). Het leverde wel weer leuke beelden op en een mooi zicht op de hedendaagse Maori cultuur. Eigenlijk komt de hedendaagse Maori cultuur vooral neer op een gezonde, goed functionerende commune. En dit zeg ik als enorme anti-communistische persoon zijnde. Maar het werkt hier, en het werkt voor de mensen zelf, dus ... weinig commentaar op te ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast August 7th 2013

En toen was er nog maar één deel van Nieuw-Zeeland over waar we nog niet waren geweest: de oostkust van het noordereiland. Onze laatste 1000 kilometer terug naar Auckland. Jammer, omdat het de laatste weken in Nieuw-Zeeland waren, maar wat een toffe afsluiting! We begonnen in de hoofdstad, Wellington dus. Oftewel, windy Wellington, want het waait er het meerendeel van de tijd heel hard. En Wellington deed haar naam eer aan toen wij er waren. Na 2,5 uur varen vanuit Picton, hadden we eindelijk eens een soort stadsgevoel én een verwaaid kapsel. Jammer genoeg waren veel hostels slecht aangeschreven en/of heel duur, maar dat bood wel de gelegenheid om eens te kijken naar AirBnB. Nogal een gedoe om je in te schrijven en bij elke stap in je boekingsproces komt er weer een bedrag bij (dachten ... read more
Hallo Wellington!
Op de interislander passen niet alleen vrachtwagen en auto's, maar ook treinen. En onze fietsjes natuurlijk.
Het huisje van Emma. Ons eerste Airbnb adres

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Opotiki March 29th 2013

I will let the photos tell the story, ish! We had Swpnil with us also, he is the brother of Rupak (the guy we live with)... read more
Maraeheko Bay 2
Maraeheko bay 3
East cape lighthouse 1

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast November 19th 2012

Nov 17th, Fine day today. Sunny and 60f. Went to the Eastwoodhill Gardens. About 160 acres. Lots of trails all color coded. Easy to get lost even with a map of it. It was nice but no Butchart Gardens!. I guess nothing compare to that at least to what I have seen. So 3 1/2 hours of walking through that was enough for us. This region of NZ is quite removed from the rest as it is more difficult to get to. A lot of citrus and grapes for wine here. Tomorrow we will go up the coast to where Captain James Cook first discovered NZ. We will tromp around that for most of the day and then on Wed leave for Napier, NZ south of here. Napier was flattened by an earthquake in 1931 and ... read more
nice tree
Naked trees
Fuzzy bench

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