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NZ Today

No.86 June - July 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
Back issues only
R 60,61

in this issue

4 min
letter to readers

With a chilly southern blast hitting the country this week, it looks like winter is signalling its arrival – maybe. Having moved from Martinborough to Pukekohe this year, we have noticed a significant difference in weather, humidity and temperature. At home in Martinborough we would have had the fire going for at least a month, with stunning frosts and equally stunning days being a feature of that particular wine region. Gloves and hats would be on for morning walks. Whereas up here in Pukekohe we still don’t have a duvet on the bed, we are still in summer shorts, and have only run the heater a few times. Our articles this issue have a strong southern twist starting with an adventure with Heritage Expeditions to New Zealand’s southernmost islands, a trip…

4 min
in good spirits

Reefton West Coast -42.119245, 171.864792 Little Biddy is a legend; a feisty four-foot female gold prospector whose hardworking, hard-living history is still remembered in the West Coast town of Reefton. Bridget Goodwin, also known as ‘Little Biddy’ or ‘Biddy of the Buller’, was born in Ireland in 1813 but followed the gold trail via Ballarat and Bendigo to the South Island’s West Coast. This diminutive pipe-smoking heavy drinker, who could work like a man and kept herself and her hut immaculately clean, arrived with two male companions to prospect for gold in the Buller region. She moved to Reefton towards the end of her long life, and her well-tended grave can be seen in the Reefton cemetery today. These days, Bridget Goodwin’s legend, lives on in a new guise, as the inspiration behind Reefton…

11 min
beyond fiordland to our wildest islands

New Zealand Subantarctic Islands I didn’t know what a megaherb was two days ago; now I’m wading waist-deep through meadows of the super-sized alien blooms along the soaring clifftops of Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost subantarctic island. It feels like we’ve stepped onto the set of a ’70s sci-fi movie as we pass the nodding golden cylinders of Bulbinella rossi and dusty pink cauliflowered spheres of Anisotome, as hirsute, vivid green leaves of the Macquarie Island cabbage (Stilbocarpa polaris) and golden tussocks brush our legs, and waves crash on rocks below. Offshore, the tempestuous Southern Ocean swirls around the snaggletoothed outline of Dent Island – the last refuge of the Campbell Island teal (the world’s rarest duck) before rats, predators, cattle and sheep were eradicated allowing the island to be reclaimed by nature. The…

10 min
time travellers

New Zealand Chatham Islands 44.0237° S, 175.9305° W A holiday usually starts not when you shut your front door, but when you first venture out from the airport at your destination. The flight is just the necessary evil you must negotiate to get there. But not when you fly to the Chathams. Our plane alone has an interesting history. Commissioned as a Convair 340-42A in 1953 by Philippines Airlines, it never made it out of the US, and on October 19, 1955 it was damaged by fire, dismantled at its Louisiana site, and transported back to the factory by road. It was rebuilt as a Convair 440 on the San Diego Convair line with a new fuselage, completed in May 1956 and sold to North American Airlines in 1966, when it was converted to…

10 min
boom times in the bay

Hawke’s Bay Napier -39.691225, 176.912594 The region’s long been well known for its fruit, wine, sunshine and relaxed lifestyle, albeit with a rather staid provincial outward appearance of being something of a retirement haven for jaded Aucklanders and Wellingtonians. However, in recent times Napier and its environs have been shedding that image with the city becoming a thriving comm ercial hub as well as a tourist destination with much to offer In its September Regional Economic Scorecard report, the ASB rated Hawke’s Bay as the nation’s third-best-performing economy – jumping 10 spots in the rankings to just below Otago and Bay of Plenty. ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny said that Hawke’s Bay, like other areas with a large horticulture sector, had been among the better-performing regions for the last few quarters. The ASB recently…

6 min
walks for wine

Auckalnd Waiheke Island -36.786495, 175.154426 Visions of dollars flying out of his wallet dulled my husband’s enthusiasm for the idea of a summer family weekend on Waiheke Island. And the prospect of long, leisurely afternoons of wine tasting did not excite him one little bit either. My hyperactive husband (HH) does not really do relaxation; he likes activity with a capital A. For him, the cons – it will cost several arms and legs for the six of us to eat, drink and sleep on Waiheke; I don’t like drinking wine in the daytime; and what’s wrong with a weekend at home in Gisborne anyway? – seemed to far outweigh the pros – a mere three-hour flight and a 35-minute ferry ride for our daughters and sons-in-law who live in Sydney; a place…