I’ve seen a few collections of toys in New Zealand but The Toy Collector in Christchurch is the first to have me tapping at my keyboard. I wasn’t a model railway fan before visiting, but the train sets are fantastic, one is a LEGO city including houses, shops, a soccer pitch, and an airport.
LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch
LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch
The other model train set has a lot of detail too, I spent ages looking at all the individual pieces.
Model train set at The Toy Collector
Along … Read the rest
Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but after seeing the neat historical clock in the Old Bank Arcade in Wellington I thought I’d look for other curious clocks around the country. There’s no better place to start than a clock museum …..
Claphams Clock Museum, Town Basin, Whangarei
Claphams Clock Museum in Whangarei has over 1600 clocks and timepieces. The collection was started in 1961 when the Whangarei City Council paid a token sum for 400 clocks belonging to local man Archibald Clapham.
Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum
Archibald was an aspiring clock-maker turned clock … Read the rest
Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs and they don’t come from Guinea, they are the domesticated relations of the Brazilian guinea pig. The guinea pigs at Wendelton Guinea Pig Village couldn’t care less, it’s all about friendship and carrots for them.
And carrots are good for them because they’re hard, and guinea pigs teeth are continually growing. However carrot is like cake to guinea pigs, and another guinea pig fact – the little critters can get diabetes, so too much carrot is a no no. They like lots of friends though and are very sociable, so village … 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
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.
Gumdiggers hut – note the gumboots
There are also big holes where the diggers … Read the rest
There are a few uniquely New Zealand experiences you can have for $5 or less – you can hire a spade and dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach, visit Weta Cave in Wellington (free), and see all the curious creations at The Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowhai, the Catlins (seasonal hours*).
The Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowhai
Blair Somerville is the resident ‘organic mechanic’ and creator of The Lost Gypsy Gallery (free entry), and The Winding Thoughts Theatre of Sorts ($5 entry – R13). If you like unusual attractions definitely pull over in Papatowhai, your time … Read the rest
I’m not sure there are many towns that have more than three tea pots per head of population, but Owaka in the Catlins area does. In summer, there are more than 1200 tea pots in the garden at Teapot Land on Main Road.
Vegetable tea pots at Teapot Land in Owaka
The owner of Teapot Land is actually a coffee drinker, I’m not sure whether the unusual collection started with a tea pot, a coffee pot, or a kettle, but Teapot Land it is.
Teapot Land in Owaka
Visitors are invited to put a koha (donation) in the kettle and … Read the rest
If ye happen to be travelling through Gore on a dreich day, a wee dram of Old Hokonui, and Hokonui Honey Moonshine is included in the $5 entrance fee to Hokonui Moonshine Museum.
Have a wee dram of Hokonui Moonshine
The Museum documents the first distiller in the area as Irish carpenter Owen McShane. In the 1830’s Owen made a potent spirit from cabbage tree sap known by a few names including the brilliant ‘McShane’s Chained Lightning’.
Fond of more than a wee dram, Owen McShane may be the only person ever to build a jail, go out on a … Read the rest
The temperature can drop below zero during a Dunedin winter but one place you’re guaranteed to keep warm is in the Tropical Forest at Otago Museum. On the day I was there it was a balmy 35.8 degrees celsius with 64% humidity, I can confirm that’s not enough humidity to make your hair frizz.
Hibiscus can be found in Dunedin
Butterflies are the main attraction in the Tropical Forest and they arrive in New Zealand in chrysalis form from breeders in Costa Rica and the Philippines. At 11am every day as well as1.30pm weekends and school holidays you can see … Read the rest
This year’s Shapeshifter outdoor sculpture exhibition in Lower Hutt has over 50 sculptures made by 44 New Zealand artists. Works are on display from Friday 26 February – Sunday 20 March from 11am – 7pm daily. Entry is $10 adults. All sculptures are for sale. (Have a sneak peak on Facebook).
Shapeshifter is a biennial event and we attended in 2014, in part to see a sculpture made by wood sculptor and carver Kevin McCardell from Tauranga. Kevin’s work is described as life like, is it ever. Even though I knew I was going to see a park … Read the rest