All the colours of the rainbow at Rainbow Springs

Some of the best dressed birds are at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua. There’s the Mandarin duck with its purple chest, layers of orange face feathers and bright red bill.

Mandarin duck

Mandarin duck

These smoochy masked lovebirds only have white ringed eyes for each other as they perch side by side in their yellow collars.

Masked lovebirds

Masked lovebirds

The plump New Zealand wood pigeon or kereru looks like it’s dressed in white painters overalls, its contrasting head, throat and wings the colour of iridescent mussel shells.



Fashionistas might say the kingfisher striking this pose looks a bit matchy matchy, but with a … Read the rest

Adrenalin Action at Skyline Rotorua

The adrenalin wasn’t ours, it belonged to the young girl who was saying “I can’t, I can’t do it”. We were standing on the ground looking up as she hung 50 metres above in the Skyswing at Skyline Rotorua. What she couldn’t do (and who could blame her?) was pull the cord that would release the Skyswing and send her flying over the side of Mount Ngongotaha. (Feb 2017 video shows man fainting twice!! on the Skyswing).

Going up on the Skyswing

Going up on the Skyswing

Looking down over the side of Mount Ngongotaha

Looking down over the side of Mount Ngongotaha

Pull the cord and the Skyswing is released over the side of the mountain

Pull the cord and the Skyswing is released over

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A quacking good time – Rotorua Duck Tours

They’re yellow, they’re amphibious, and they’re really called ducks, or more precisely, ours was a 1944 GMC 6×6 DUKW.

Ducks, as they became known, were initially used by the military in WWII. They’ve been modified for use in Rotorua and other cities around the world as commercial tour vehicles.

On dry land at Lake Okareka - Rotorua Duck Tours

On dry land at Lake Okareka – Rotorua Duck Tours

And what do some ducks do? They quack, and we did too, courtesy of a yellow quacker handed out at the start of the tour.

There are some things, quacking like a duck say, that you wouldn’t dream of doing. However … Read the rest

Brew Rotorua – Beer Club

Brew on Eat Streat is Rotorua’s only brewpub serving the masses their Croucher brews along with craft beer from around the country and overseas. I say masses because Brew’s always been busy whenever we’ve headed down for a beer.

Beer Club - arrive early to get a seat

Beer Club – arrive early to get a seat

Outdoor seating at Brew

Outdoor seating at Brew

Beer Club is held on the 1st Wednesday of the month, you get four brews and snacks for $20pp. It’s a lucky dip as far as the beers are concerned, we were taken to Christchurch via Wigram Brewing, Eagle Brewing and Fiasco Brewing.

The fourth brew … Read the rest

Classic & Wooden Boat Parade, Rotorua

See Wooden Boat Parade for date and details.

Waka may lead the way as a flotilla of classic and wooden boats sail, chug, motor and paddle on Lake Rotoiti. The Classic & Wooden Boat Parade was started in 1998 to get Lake Rotoiti’s boats out of their sheds and on to the water. Over 70 boats joined the annual parade in 2013.

The first ever boats on Lake Rotoiti - the Maori waka, lead the way

The first ever boats on Lake Rotoiti – the Maori waka, lead the way

As a spectator, a patch of grass, sunscreen and sun hat are all you need (hopefully you can leave the umbrella in the car). … Read the rest

A new breed of boy racer?

Remove the blades, add some more horse power, make it loud and low, give it a name like MowJo, and you’re on your way to having a race ready ride-on mower.

Ride-on lawn mower race at Rotorua A&P Show

Ride-on lawn mower race at Rotorua A&P Show

When I saw lawn mower racing on the programme at the Rotorua A & P show last year, I thought it was a one off event unique to Rotorua. Not so, the first ride-on mower races were held in 2003 at the Omokoroa School gala, ride-on mowers meet regularly at the Sanson rugby park, and race at the Manawatu Garden FestivalRead the rest

Agrodome Rotorua – Who Let The Ducks Out?

It’s the odour that hits you first at the Agrodome Farm Show in Rotorua – the smell of sheep replaces the reek of rotten eggs. If you’ve been in a shearing shed it’s a familiar aroma, if not, the smell is soon forgotten as 19 breeds of sheep run on stage and take their places on the podium.

Merino sheep at Agrodome Rotorua

Merino sheep at Agrodome Rotorua

Among them the hardy Merino, a breed that originated in Spain but now roams high country farms in the South Island, and my favourite, the Perendale, whose dreds once dressed the wigs of barristers. I didn’t know … Read the rest

One Love – Raggamuffin Rotorua

Update:  Raggamuffin has moved to Auckland.

Herbs – the pioneers of Pacific Reggae, Ali Campbell’s UB40, and Toots and the Maytals drew us to Raggamuffin 2013. Some of the headline acts for 2014 are Shaggy, Morgan Heritage and Damian Marley. New Zealand artists include Tiki Taane, House of Shem and Sons of Zion, more acts will be announced in the run up to the 31 Jan/1 Feb event.

Herbs on the 2013 Raggamuffin stage

One love summed up the festival vibe for us. Rasta colours and Bob Marley images were everywhere – if you leave your Rasta themed outfit at … Read the rest