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


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Gisborne March 2nd 2017

New Plymouth to Gisborne 24th February Up early and on the road at 7am Now Doris (our Sat Nav) wasn't quite awake and as we went down the east side of Mt Taranaki she wanted to take us back to Dawson Falls. Mind you Mt Taranaki looked beautiful with the sun rising on her. We'd chosen to go South towards Palmerston North before passing through the Manawatu Gorge and turning North for the run up to Gisborne. With Doris now awake we headed down to Hawera, now don't expect too much stopping on this route. For instance Hawera's listed highlights include an Elvis Presley museum which houses over 10,000 of the kings records and a mind boggling collection of memorabilia!!! Apparently a good pit stop to stretch your legs, onwards to Whanganui which we easily bypassed ... read more
View over port
Matawhero Wines
Matawhero wines2

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast March 30th 2016

As soon as the skies had gone dark we stepped outside and had a short lesson on the stars and planets. There was no light for 30 miles around, so the star gazing was great and Jupiter was a pale red light. Cas and I announced that we were going skinny dipping, but the kids were torn by the thrill and the prospect of the cold water. The cold water reaction won their vote. So, just the two of us went in and came out feeling completely invigorated. Ed and Hat thought we were slightly mad...... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Napier March 23rd 2016

R: Next we had some time to kill. We took a scenic drive to Napier on the east coast over some exciting mountain terrain that was better than it looked on the map. We took our first obligatory trip to Countdown - a Sainsburys like supermarket that we seem to have spent half our trip in. After a quick picnic by the sea, trying to find Cape Kidnappers (so called as some Maori once thought the British were kidnapping a young polynesian child, who actually was working in their ship as a cabin boy). The area is inaccessible due to a colony of ganets, so we moved on. But it did look very reminiscent of Dorset cliffs. The area, Hawkes Bay, is full of wineries. This area is famous for its Syrah and Chardonnay. We arrived ... read more
Art Deco in Napier
So real, it gets a sign
The RØGburger

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 » Napier January 8th 2015

Geo: -39.4917, 176.916Today was special! No shore excursions, as an old friend and associate who helped spearhead the establishment of Class Software down under lives with his wife and three kids in between Hastings and Napier, the Twin Cities or the Bay Cities.Scott and his lovely wife Emma agreed to meet us at the shuttle bus drop off and tour us around the area. allowing us to catch up at the same time.The total population of the area is 128,000 and it is located in Hawkes Bay, which is also the name of the region. Napier is smaller but is seen as major centre due to its proximity to the sea and airport. The City of Napier was razed due to a major earthquake in 1931 and the town had to be rebuilt, the result of ... read more
Port of Napier
Old Prison - Napier
Scott & Alex @ Napier Prisoner's Guarden

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

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