Little libraries in New Zealand can be as small as a few metres squared or as little as the pile of books to be read beside the bed.
One of the sweetest small libraries I’ve seen is Puhoi Town Library, north of Auckland. The building was originally an office for the Roads Board but became a library in 1923. However in April 1924 a flood washed away most of the books and the library wasn’t re-established for over 50 years.
The library has a unique claim to fame in that it featured in Stephen King’s 1992 movie ‘Tommyknockers’ as the … Read the rest
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
On 9 December 2019 White Island / Whakaari erupted and tragically took the lives of 21 people and seriously injured many others. (Consequently there are currently no tours to White Island).
This post was written a year before the eruption and is now dedicated to the helicopter pilots who made their own decisions to fly to Whakaari to look for survivors. The actions of the pilots saved lives while putting their own at risk.
White Island / Whakaari is an active marine volcano, 48km north of Whakatane. Get there two ways – by helicopter as we did with Kahu NZ… Read the rest
If not, Morrinsville is a small town in the Waikato that’s big on cows – farming them and turning them into street art to help tell the story of the town’s history and heritage.
Herd of Heathcotes painted by Helen Rowlands (39)
The Herd of Cows? website has a street art trail map so you can find the 48 members of the colourful herd and read about the artists that painted them. Some of the art work on the cows is wonderfully whimsical, and one of the cows is a whopper – Mabel the 6.5 metre tall mega cow stands … 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
Let’s get into it – The Evening Banquet Tour includes a tour of Hobbiton Movie Set and costs $190 for an adult. Our tour started at 4.30pm from Shires Rest Cafe where we boarded a bus to Hobbiton. Our guide Belinda then took us on a guided tour through the magical Shire.
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour – I want to live here
We arrived at The Green Dragon Inn around 6pm, chose our complimentary beverage, then waited for the big feast reveal at 6.30pm.
The Green Dragon Inn from afar (photo taken during the day)
The curtains were parted to … 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
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
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