Southward Car Museum, Paraparaumu

It’s been a long while between blog posts but this one’s been sitting in the shed …….

Southward Car Museum has over 500 vehicles, many of them classic and vintage cars. Founded by the late Sir Len Southward and his wife Lady Vera, the museum opened to the public in 1979. We had a speedy look around the museum on our way down State Highway 1, here are some of the unusual vehicles in the collection ……..

Philip Lewis bought a new 1920 Dodge and decided to hand beat a replacement body out of copper. Who knows why, but the … Read the rest

Curious Clocks in New Zealand

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.

Archibald was an aspiring clock-maker turned clock collector and he welcomed people into his … Read the rest

Wacky Wellington

Wellington has a few wacky and well known attractions like the Cuba Street bucket fountain, the lobster loos on the waterfront, and the political puppets at The Backbencher Gastropub on Molesworth Street. These attractions are mentioned in our A-Z Travel Guide to Wellington on $10 or less. We recently spent a couple of days in the capital looking for more wacky attractions that don’t necessarily fit a $10 budget …

Carlucci Land Mini Golf, 281 Happy Valley Road
Carlucci Land mini golf course is built into the hillside on Happy Valley Road. Rock staircases led us around the wackiest mini … Read the rest

Drinking for good in Wellington

Recently I wrote about Ngopi in Auckland, a Malaysian cafe that donates its profits to charity. In Wellington there is an espresso bar in a container on lower Cuba Street called Stories. Stories Espresso Bar was set up by youth organisation Zeal to provide employment and work experience for young baristas.

Zeal run barista courses, but the young people who completed the training often found it difficult to get a job and gain experience. This is where Stories Espresso Bar steps in, young people get work experience under the tutelage of an experienced barista, and customers get a good cup … Read the rest

Wearable Art

All sorts of curious items find new life as wearable art – used tea bags, bird wings, and even whole budgies – Budgerigar Brassiere.¬†One designer mentioned half a gallon of Mac’s Gold beer in her materials list although that may have helped fuel her creativity.

It’s not only curious items but also common materials that are turned into stunning wearable art. In 2009 Alaskan carpenter David Walker won the Supreme Award at the World of WearableArt Awards Show (WOW) with ‘Lady of the Wood’. The design is a reproduction of a 17th century ball gown and is made … Read the rest

Museum Art Hotel, Wellington

* Museum Art Hotel is now QT Wellington *

I’ve read that interior designer Michael Nolder was tasked with creating ‘New Zealand’s best bar and something completely over the top’ when redesigning Hippopotamus Bar at Museum Art Hotel in Wellington. In my opinion he nailed it, here it is in all its elegant glory ……..

The rooms at the hotel are currently undergoing a ‘Coco Chanel inspired’ renovation. The Classic Rooms we’ve stayed in were definitely missing the quirky and creative touches apparent throughout the public areas of the hotel. There was nothing at all wrong with the rooms, but … Read the rest

Thirsty Wellington – Unusual Places For A Brew

Below are a few unusual places for a brew, alcoholic or otherwise in Wellington ….

The Backbencher Gastropub, 34 Molesworth Street
The Backbencher Gastropub is opposite Parliament and has a political theme. There have been a series of satirical political puppets strung up over the years. Prime Minister John Key unveiled a new set of puppets in 2013, including one of himself disco dancin’. We’ll see if he’ll be ‘stayin’ alive’ after the 2014 election.

There are a few spaces to eat and drink. You can head to the Back Bar to watch sport onscreen and have sports legends Tana … Read the rest

More than movies at Roxy Cinema & Embassy Theatre in Wellington

We don’t go to the movies often enough, it’s a cheap ticket to a foreign land, or at least a window into another world. We didn’t go to the movies in Wellington either, but we did find there’s more to Roxy Cinema in Miramar and Embassy Theatre in downtown Wellington than movie theatres. (And excellent theatres they are too according to rave reviews I’ve read).

Roxy Cinema was formerly known as Capitol Theatre and was built in 1928. The last movie screened in 1964, the building was then turned into a shopping mall.

The art deco facade of the Capitol … Read the rest

Carried away in Carterton

Getting carried away for us was rising before 6am on a Friday morning to hook up the caravan and head to Carterton. We were keen to see hot air balloons lift off at 7am as part of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival*. The balloonists got carried away on a beautiful March morning, it’s definitely a sport for early risers, we won’t be taking it up any time soon.

The big attraction at the 2014 event was ‘Patriot’ – a replica space shuttle. The balloon is close to 54 metres high, has a wingspan of 35 metres and weighs 449 kilograms. … Read the rest

Take a walk with words

Take a walk with words to celebrate National Poetry Day …..

Haiku Pathway, Katikati
Sandwiched between Robert Harris Cafe and Hammer Hardware in Katikati you’ll find the main entrance to the Haiku Pathway.The haiku are engraved on boulders along the path that follows Uretara Stream ….

Words on Walls in Napier
Many of Napier’s streets are named after poets, it seems a natural progression to write¬†Words on Walls….

Janet Frame’s words (above) are on the wall in Theatre Lane near The Kitchen Table Cafe and Community Art Space.

Words on Walls is an ongoing project, visit the i-SITE … Read the rest