Hooker Hut

After our adventure on the Able Tasman track we drove south to spend time with family in Timaru. We also fit in 2 nights camping in Hooker Valley beneath Aoraki/Mount Cook, mainly because my sister Bridget was celebrating her 40th birthday. There were plenty of nervous checks of the weather forecast leading up to the […]

Abel Tasman

Between Christmas and New Years 2023 we walked the Abel Tasman track. We’d booked campsites earlier in 2023 when bookings opened on the DOC website and joined the mad rush to secure our places. Initially we’d thought that we’d get beds in the huts on the track but these spaces disappeared in seconds, and as […]

Stormy Weather

While the Wellington region is known for its often very windy conditions its less known for thunderstorms. Further, most of the lightening and thunder that does occur seems to be above the Hutt Valley and over in the Wairarapa. I like a good thunderstorm, and perhaps have a naive view that these events are exciting […]

Michael Doran 1934 – 2022

Early in the morning on Saturday 19th November Dad passed away. He’d been at Margaret Wilson Care Home in Timaru for a number of years following a stroke and was well cared for by the staff. I’d got an early ferry and driven down to Timaru on the Friday, there were plenty of tears as […]

Piwakawaka Hut

It was February 2021 when I booked Piwakawaka Hut for Anzac weekend in 2022, its been very popular since becoming available in late 2020. Created by Taranaki Regional Council as an added attraction to the already impressive Pukeiti Gardens, Piwakawaka Hut is easy to reach accommodation for those wanting an overnight hut experience, and it […]

Kapiti Island – Rangatira Point

After our December visit to Kapiti Island we still had a couple of daytrip vouchers to visit the more southern Rangatira Point. Keryn’s parents were staying and Phil had a significant birthday to celebrate, so we decided to all take the trip before Alayna started school. Leave from work was organised and we drove north to […]

Summer Holidays

We spent a lot of time at or near home over the Christmas/New Years break. This was mostly due to uncertainty created by the ongoing Covid-19 situation and staying home just seemed easiest. We had a short 4 night trip to Timaru to see my family but otherwise we’ve been staying in the Greater Wellington […]

Kapiti Island

Late last year (2020) I entered a Wellington region photo competition and won a prize of an overnight glamping trip to Kapiti Island. We finally took the trip last weekend, though it almost got delayed due to the weather the previous week. The south end of the North Island has had a prodigious amount of […]

Atiwhakatu Hut

After our overnight stay at Raukawa Hut early last year we’d been looking for another hut to visit, so many months ago now we booked a night at Atiwhakatu Hut in the Tararua Forest Park. While we were able to book Raukawa Hut for just our party Atiwhakatu Hut is a bigger hut that sleeps […]

Success and otherwise

Over the past few months I’ve had some success in photo competitions. Once again I entered the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet photo competition (previous success in 2013 & 2018) and managed to win the Nature category, and also have a number of other photos placed and highly commended. The photos can be seen below with […]

Back of the Bus

We’re now heading into Autumn but Wellington gave us a reminder of the best of summer with a warm and sunny afternoon on the waterfront. A week ago we’d been scheduled to see a performance called Back of the Bus performed by Java Dance Theatre as part of the What if the City was a […]

Visiting Gibbs Farm

For years now I’ve had a monthly reminder in my calendar to check for availability to visit Gibbs Farm, a sculpture park featuring a large number of mammoth commissioned artworks situated north of Auckland on hilly farmland adjacent to the Kaipara Harbour. Earlier this year I was surprised to find some dates available in November […]

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