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Travel & Outdoor
NZ Today

NZ Today No.85 April - May 2019

NZ TODAY is unique in New Zealand. It features real stories, captured off the beaten track, set in amazing locations, coupled with human elements stories, supported by incredible photographs that capture the real spirit & core elements of the writers’ experiences at the time.

New Zealand
RNR Publishing Ltd
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In this issue

3 min.
wild west coast

After a long hot sultry summer the West Coast and lower North Island were recently battered by the first autumn storm to roll through the area. Video footage of the bridge being washed away south of Franz Josef was certainly spectacular. Also to be admired is the two-week timeline on replacing the bridge and reconnecting the road south to Fox Glacier, Haast and on to Otago. Local business owners are actively putting the word out to all that they are still open; New Zealand’s wild west coast is known for the rugged beauty of its landscape, and they are keen to take visitors out to see and experience it all. In this issue of the magazine we take a look at two small rural North Island towns, Marton and Eltham, both share…

4 min.

Greetings Allan I have just read your story of the Inland Route as per Feb–March issue. Great read and thanks. Here is my wee story of a time on the road. Friends from Palmerston North were visiting us at Mandeville and I suggested we take a ride in the Jaguar out to Mt Somers for lunch. It was agreed that is what we would do. Mt Somers was suggested as we had visited the restaurant as part of a Jaguar car rally earlier. Driving south on the SH we saw the flapping sign of ‘Café Open’ so slowed down and swung around to the entrance and stepped out of the Jaguar, to be greeted by a little girl, we will say aged 6, who said in a clear voice, “The café is closed…

6 min.
the third man

In the late afternoon and evening of a lovely day in January 1928, the New Zealand public waited anxiously while two men staked their lives in the first attempt to fly the Tasman Sea. They failed, but their names live on in New Zealand aviation history. The story of that flight will soon be re-examined in a book being launched by Wairarapa Archive next February entitled The Nation Waited: the First Attempt to fly the Tasman Sea. In the early hours of January 10, 1928, John (Scotty) Moncrieff, who was flying the aircraft named Aotearoa, and George Hood, who was in the rear seat, took off from Richmond RAAF base near Sydney heading for Wellington where a crowd of about 12,000 people would gather at Trentham racecourse to greet the aviators. But…

7 min.
wings wows the crowd

Wairarapa Masterton -40.972895, 175.629841 Thousands of children have quite a presence! I hadn’t expected our first impression of Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome to be one of moving, chattering, laughing hordes as the kids made their orderly, supervised way to the exit. But about 4500 children had been to a special education day that gave them the opportunity to learn about flight science and engineering and to take part in interactive displays and workshops on rocketry, coding, circuitry and other aviation experiences. No wonder they were still excited. The STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning area was available during the weekend, but this new learning initiative by the organisers, aimed at involving the younger generation (always an excellent idea), saw large numbers of children turning up on Friday. Celebrating its 20th year, Wings over Wairarapa…

6 min.
the grande dames of marton

Rangitikei Marton -40.069014, 175.378483 “Go to Marton,” we were urged during a recent stop in Bulls, two hours north of Wellington. “It’s only 14km away and they’ve got the most amazing heritage buildings in the town centre. They’re all earthquake prone though and may need to be demolished at some stage, so see them while you can.” So off we went, and on seeing the concentration of buildings, dating mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we were aghast at the potential for these impressive structures and all this history to be lost for ever. Indeed, Heritage NZ’s list of lost heritage structures – lost to fire, to demolition for redevelopment, and to earthquake damage – is disturbingly long. In terms of density, Marton’s relatively small CBD, which supports a population of…

7 min.
a small town love affair

To be honest I really hadn’t given a lot of thought to Eltham, apart from stopping there to pick up cheese from the Eltham Cheese Shop, until at a photographers Christmas dinner some years ago when Mark Bellringer and his partner Barbara Valintine started talking excitedly about buying the Bank of New Zealand building in Eltham. They planned to sell their house in New Plymouth and move to Eltham in South Taranaki. I thought that all sounded a little ‘out there’ but I was keen to see the bank, as this was the selling point for the move. It was about five years later when I caught up with Barbara and stopped by to see her retro/vintage store set up in the Eltham bank. On entering the neoclassical building I was…