Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco is at the less unusual end of the unusual accommodation spectrum, but it’s a charming red brick complex built in the style of English terrace houses. The Grand Mercure isn’t in Nelson, but in the suburb of Monaco, it’s five minutes drive from the airport and about 15 minutes drive to Nelson city centre.
Forest Cafe, Philipp Road, Apia (look for the sign opposite Baha’i Temple on Cross Island Road)
Have a cup of coffee with the butterflies and birds at Forest Cafe. The cafe is on a sturdy wooden platform that sits over a ravine and looks into the forest. It’s all about the atmosphere at Forest Cafe, it’s a small and simple set up but that also makes it a peaceful and relaxing place to be.
The temperature drops slightly the higher you go in Apia so it feels a few degrees cooler at the cafe, we … Read the rest
Travelling State Highway 12 in Northland takes you through Waipoua Forest dotted with kauri, rimu and northern rata trees. Department of Conservation (DOC) list seven walking and tramping tracks in Waipoua Forest including Tane Mahuta.
Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree and he is an awesome sight to see. The tree stands over 50 metres tall and has a girth of more than 13 metres.
Some people may be tempted to wrap their arms around the majestic giant, but Tane Mahuta is fenced off from his thousands … Read the rest
If so, you’ve got until 15 June to get to Paradox Street Art Festival at Tauranga Art Gallery, it’s free. The Oi YOU! Collection is on display and includes 22 works by UK artist Banksy as well as works by FAILE, Paul Insect and Swoon.
Pacific Jewell Garden Cafe is a gem of a find in a small industrial park in Apia. There is plenty of seating and a lush garden full of tropical plants.
French toast, waffles and omelettes are on the breakfast menu, there are sandwiches and sweet treats in the cabinet, as well as a bagel menu with the option of designing your own.
I loved the coconut table accessories, the hand held fans on the tables, and insect repellent are thoughtful touches too.
We visited for an … Read the rest
There are some good cafes in Samoa in lovely locations. This blog post about Nourish Cafe is the first in a series of Apia cafes that will include Pacific Jewell Garden Cafe, Forest Cafe and Le Petit Cafe. (If you’re travelling to Samoa or are thinking about it, see our Samoa Travel Guide).
Nourish Cafe, Mulivai Street, Apia
Nourish Cafe serves good food in a modern and stylish setting. Produce is bought from local organic farmers so if you like to support local producers your money is well spent here.
The menu at Nourish … Read the rest
The Kauri Museum in Matakohe has 4500 square metres of exhibits, including a full size, and furnished kauri boarding house.
Thousands of pieces of kauri gum are displayed, kauri gum was initially used by Maori to light fires, to chew, and as a pigment for tattooing. By the mid 1840’s the gum was being collected and exported to England and America to be used to make high quality varnish. (See the blog post Gumdiggers Park for more information about kauri gum).
Kauri gum was also carved and the museum has a few gum carvings including a bust of a Maori … Read the rest
The man who runs Opononi Beach Holiday Park is a no nonsense kind of guy. He knows how he likes things done and he isn’t afraid to tell you. This can include giving specific instructions on how to park your caravan. Fortunately Mike was behind the wheel and he knows what he’s doing, if I was in the driver’s seat I’d be telling a different story.
Once the caravan was parked exactly where the owner wanted it to be, he rode off on his motorbike leaving a trail of awe behind him.
While the owner is … Read the rest
Classic cars and hot rods rolled into Waihi this morning for the start of Beach Hop 2017. Seddon Street was petrolhead HQ and it was bumper to bumper car candy …..
I’ve always been curious about gum digging and wondered what the gum was used for. I could have gone to Google but there is no better place to learn about the industry than the Gumdiggers Park near Awanui.
The park is set on an original gum field and preserves the history of the gum digging era. You’ll see the tools and equipment used in gum digging as well as what a typical gumdiggers village would have looked like – sack huts with chimneys that caught fire.
There are also big holes where the diggers … Read the rest