Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park & Farmstay, Inglewood

We arrived at Stoney Oaks Wildlife Park & Farmstay after a long drive down the Forgotten World Highway. We were ready to lay our heads almost anywhere but as it turned out hitting the hay in The Barn at Stoney Oaks was an excellent choice – rave review ahead.

Love at first sight - Kunekune piglet

Love at first sight – Kunekune piglet

The Barn’s interior is built of macrocarpa and corrugated iron and has heaps of interesting features. Deer antler has been turned into light fittings, door handles and towel rails. Some of the fixtures are ingenius in their simplicity – two hunks of wood … Read the rest

Back to the 50’s in New Plymouth

New Plymouth hosts Americarna, an all American car event, and also has its own American style Deluxe Diner. We pulled in to Deluxe Diner for breakfast and were impressed with the mint green and red decor, comfy booths, and big menu.

Deluxe Diner, New Plymouth

Deluxe Diner, New Plymouth

I’m a shocker for taking too long to choose my food but buttermilk pancakes always make it easy for me, Mike settled on the breakfast hot dog, both good choices. The drinks menu is almost as big as the food menu and stretches from cherry cola floats to Spirulina, VIP malted shakes to alcoholic … Read the rest

Follow up to Artists Open Studios in Whanganui 2015

In January I wrote about three Whanganui artists participating in the Artists Open Studios event on 21-22 and 28-29 March. On Saturday 21 March I spent the day in Whanganui visiting 13 studios. I was impressed by the quality of the art work and friendliness of everyone involved and should have allowed two days for the event. Below is a small selection of the studios I visited.

Driftwood horse by Jack Marsden-Mayer on Castlecliff Beach

Driftwood horse by Jack Marsden-Mayer on Castlecliff Beach

Studio 111, 111 Great North Road, St Johns Hill (No. 43 in the Trail Guide)
Seven artists had work on display at Studio 111 overlooking … Read the rest

WOMAD Festival 2015

More than 300 artists from 22 countries performed at the World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival (WOMAD) in New Plymouth from 13-15 March. The sprawling Brooklands Park near the city centre is an ideal festival venue, four stages are set up in the big garden and festival goers can roam between them with stops for food and drink. Detours can also be made to the Village of Wellness for a meditation or yoga session, or to see what’s cooking at Taste the World.

WOMAD 2015

WOMAD 2015

WOMAD is a 3 night / 2 day event, I went on Sunday – … Read the rest

Clay caravans, driftwood sculptures, and pottery at Artists Open Studios in Whanganui

In December last year Sharla from Wanganui-NZ introduced me to three Wanganui based artists – Lizzette Britton who works with clay, Jack Marsden-Mayer who works with driftwood, and Ivan Vostinar, painter, sculptor, and potter. You can visit the studios of all three artists plus over 60 more at Artists Open Studios in Whanganui in March.

If you’re a follower of the blog you may have picked up on my slight obsession with caravans. I was thrilled when Sharla arranged for us to meet what turned out to be the very lovely and bubbly Lizzette Britton. Lizzette works from her Glue Read the rest

Suite As – Rutland Arms Inn, Whanganui

I picked up a ‘Made in Wanganui’ flyer from the Rutland Arms Inn and read that helmets used by the New York Fire Department are made in Whanganui, as well as leather seats for Air New Zealand and Jetstar planes. If your cat eats Whiskas chances are it comes from the Mars petfood factory in Whanganui too.

I stayed at Rutland Arms for the night, although it’s at the less unusual end of the unusual accommodation continuum it’s definitely a good option if you’re in the city on business.

Taylor Suite at Rutland Arms Inn

Taylor Suite at Rutland Arms Inn

I stayed in the spacious … Read the rest

Driving the Whanganui River Road

The Whanganui River was first settled by Maori, this map shows the numerous marae and former pa sites (fortified villages). One of the most striking features of the *79km Whanganui River Road is the number of meeting houses you see along the river. There is protocol surrounding a marae visit so it’s respectful not to enter without an invitation.

Looking down over Whanganui River Road from Aramoana Summit (17km from Wanganui)

Looking down over Whanganui River Road from Aramoana Summit (17km from Wanganui)

Maranganui meeting house, one of the first meeting houses you will see at the Wanganui end of the road

Maranganui meeting house, one of the first meeting houses you will see at the Wanganui end of the road

We travelled from Wanganui to Pipiriki in the rain which … Read the rest

Bed, Breakfast & Beer at Wassail Brauhaus, Egmont Village

The words ‘park in front of the brewery’ were just what we wanted to hear after a long day on the road. Many a beer drinker would like a brewery that opens into their lounge and that’s the set up at Wassail Brauhaus B&B in Egmont Village. The brewery is attached to a two storey self contained chalet – folding doors in the lounge hide the brewery away when the bar’s not in use.

Brewery behind closed doors

Brewery behind closed doors

George manning the pumps

George manning the pumps

Included in the $165 tariff for two are a selection of Busby brews and an antipasto platter. The … Read the rest

Unusual fences

Some of the unusual fence decor we’ve seen around New Zealand ……

Coffee cup fence at Krafty Cups in Rahotu (Taranaki)

Coffee cup fence in Rahotu (Taranaki)

Coffee cup fence in Rahotu (Taranaki)

Children’s Toy Wall in Eltham (Taranaki)  ….. the toy wall on Bridger Lane is said to have started when Fay Young found a toy car outside her property. She put the car on her garden wall so it might be found by its owner, it was never claimed.

Fay embedded the car into the wall and it started a toy story in cement that grew as children donated toys for the collection. Fay … Read the rest

Cheese rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

*Eltham Cheese Day is now a biennial event – cheese will be rolling again in 2017*

Limp Bizkit sing it slightly differently but cheese will again be rollin’ at the Eltham Downhill Cheese Race on Saturday, April 6 2013.

Ready, set, chase cheese

Ready, set, chase cheese

Watch surefooted souls chase a cheese wheel down Cheese Hill. Those who make it can buy an “I Survived” t-shirt, and those with fast feet will take home a cheese wedge trophy.

"I Survived ...."

“I Survived ….”

Cheese wedge trophy

Cheese wedge trophy

In 2012 boys in blue raced against a Santa who forgot the spirit of Christmas and ran off with … Read the rest