Walking up Queen Street in Auckland recently I passed a man sitting with his belongings outside the Louis Vuitton store. Framed in the window above the man’s head was a handbag with Vincent Van Gogh’s art work all over it. It struck me that Vincent Van Gogh would likely have more in common with the man sitting on the street than he would with someone who could afford to buy a designer handbag.
The homeless people on Queen Street are the visible homeless, there are many more, some sleep in cars and some live in overcrowded accommodation.
We should be … Read the rest
If you like cute cottages take a wander down historic South Street near Nelson’s town centre. South Street was originally known as Town Acre 456 and the first little cottages were built in the 1860’s.
Harriett’s Cottage, No. 13 South Street in Nelson (built in 1863)
Over time some of the cottages became run down and in 1981 a few could have been demolished to make way for a motel. However South Street residents campaigned to keep the street intact and today it is recognised and protected as a Heritage Precinct.
No. 14 South Street in Nelson
To help enhance … Read the rest
Le Petit Cafe is run by a friendly bunch of women and is well known for its crepes. If you’re lucky there may also be pumpkin pie to go with your coconut cream latte.
Coconut cream latte, pumpkin pie and iced Koko Samoa at Le Petit Cafe, Apia
Waffles, omelettes and homemade granola are on the breakfast menu, and there are eleven types of crepes to choose from. If you like Kit Kats you could try the Isabella crepe ($20) – Kit Kat, vanilla ice cream and more Kit Kat. For local flavour try Iris ($13) – siamu popo (coconut … Read the rest
PangeaSeed Foundation is an international organisation that takes oceans into the streets to raise awareness of marine environment issues like pollution, plastic use and over fishing. They use what they call ARTivism – a combination of art and activism to educate and inspire people around the world to think more about their environmental impact, and it is done in a creative and thought provoking way …….
Frank And Mimi
‘Responsible Consumption’ by Frank & Mimi. “Plastic – The Modern Miracle That Never Breaks Down” (Napier Sailing Club in Ahuriri)
House of Meggs
Mike’s keen to learn to fly a plane, but lessons are expensive, so instead I bought him a voucher to go gliding with the fine folks at Taupo Gliding Club. It costs $205 for an instructional flight that lasts 20 – 40 minutes depending on the weather. You get to take control of the glider, in Mike’s case for about 5 minutes.
Seat belt on and under instruction at Taupo Gliding Club
The glider was a GTG, Mike sat at the front and the qualified pilot behind. Mike found it easy to understand the instrument panel and flying … Read the rest
Northland is a region at the top of the North Island starting just north of Wellsford and continuing to the top of the Northland Peninsula.
There are many reasons to visit Northland, one is to see the mighty kauri tree Tane Mahuta and to learn about the kauri industry. The kauri industry played a key role in Northland’s history and development and kauri trees continue to draw visitors to the area today.
Kauri boats and furniture at Matakohe Kauri Museum
Below is a list of kauri related places to visit, website links and books for those interested in a kauri … Read the rest
If you want to fire up your creativity visiting Artists Open Studios in Whanganui is one way to do it. It was my second trip to Open Studios (2015 blog post) and this year I allowed two days instead of one, a good move as there was lots to see including …..
Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, 83 Maria Place Ext.
Inspiration started here – what do you think you can do with plastic milk bottle tops and peanut butter lids? Make this brilliant mural. (The Maori words translate to “The river flows, From the mountains to the sea, I … Read the rest
Fancy Meow Cat Cafe is home to five fancy cat breeds including Ragdolls, a British Blue and a Bengal. On 13 May some little kittens moved in too. The fancy felines have two rooms full of cat gyms, hidey-holes, and furniture to climb.
Fancy Meow Cat Cafe, Rotorua
Most of the cats at Fancy Meow are Ragdolls as they are an especially people friendly breed, they also have the most beautiful blue eyes.
Dennis the Ragdoll at Fancy Meow Cat Cafe
It’s a rule at Fancy Meow, and a good one I think, to let sleeping cats lie so timing … Read the rest
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.
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
The Grand Mercure has a mix of hotel rooms, one bedroom studios and one and two bedroom cottages.
We’re members of the Accor Plus programme and last year I wrote about some of the advantages to … Read the rest
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.
Forest Cafe, Apia, Samoa
The temperature drops slightly the higher you go in Apia so it feels a few degrees cooler at the cafe, we … Read the rest