Onward to Okarito – Population 27

Okarito BeachAfter extricating ourselves from the Hokitika Gorge carpark, we headed back towards Hokitika and then south. South of Ross the highway heads inland with quite a lot of not very much at all. Except lots of lovely native forest. And views of mountains if the clouds aren’t in the way. And little lakes. Continue reading

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At Last – The Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika GorgeAfter our companions  from the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail had headed off back home, we headed south to Hokitika. After visiting their scenic waste dump station we spent the night parked up on the south side of the Hokitika River at the motorhome place. It turned out to be next to the original Hokitika Airport which operated some of the earliest scheduled passenger flights in the country. Continue reading

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Up The Coast – The Rest of the Wilderness Trail

West Coast Wilderness TrailOur last day on the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail dawned grey and threatened rain. We’d had a charmed run with the weather, and if we had to have some wet then this would be the day to have it. I enjoyed a quiet walk around Kumara first thing; doing a lot of reading of the various interpretation boards around town. In front of the hotel there is a whole series of them, with lots of different accounts of the early days. Continue reading

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Into the Wild West – Biking Day 2

West Coast Wilderness TrailAfter our rain-free first day on the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail last week, we had more rain overnight at Lake Kaniere. And it was still quite gray in the morning of our second day. We decided to ferry the vehicles to Kumara at the start of the day, and this was a good plan. There was plenty of rain coming and going via the coast Continue reading

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Into The Wilderness – West Coast Bike Trail

West Coast Wilderness TrailAfter a night of rain, we woke to no rain. Which was a pleasant surprise. The forest was dripping but the sky was blue. It looked like we were off to a lucky start for our three-day ride. Before heading off from our overnight stop at Lake Kaniere I made a quick dash back to the lake that had been so gloomy the evening before Continue reading

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Off North to the West Coast

Suzi motorhome at EalingWyn had signed up with her Mosgiel tramping group to bike the West Coast Wilderness Trail last week and after the Waipori ride a few weeks back I was keen to join them too. A week off work plus Labour Weekend added up to ten days so we decided to take Suzi motorhome and do a circuit; up the East Coast and down the West. We spent the night before we left at the Woodhaugh motorhome parkover place Continue reading

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Old Haunts Become New Hangouts – Dunedin’s Exchange

Princes Street DunedinThese days I catch my bus home from work outside what I still think of as the old Chief Post Office. It’s a long long time since it was a post office. But it was. Now that I remember, one of my first jobs was a summer holiday job in the mail room, behind the very busy mail posting slots. The CPO is now the Distinction Hotel. The restaurant blows some tempting smells out into Princes Street which is a bit cruel late in the day.  Continue reading

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The Big Red Part 4 – Leaving Tom Price

Mill Stream North West AustraliaOnce upon a time, in the faraway part of a land nearby, I spent six months working as a TA (Trades Assistant) with a fine and very diverse bunch of fitters near a town called Tom Price in the North of West Australia. I was going to tell you all about it, having forgotten that I already have Continue reading

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Sunrise of the Week – Red Sky in the Morning …

Sunrise MosgielWe’re parked up again at the A&P Showgrounds at Mosgiel, with dog obedience classes and horse activities to watch. And always with a view of the hills, Flagstaff and Swampy. As I write this there’s a dramatic light show playing across the Chain Hills – huge moving theatrical spotlights. And often regular red sunrises. Yep, despite the warnings of the more pessimistic TV commentators, the sun still comes up each day. Continue reading

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On Our Bikes – Up the Waipori Gorge

Waipori Gorge forestWe enjoyed a lovely bike ride on Saturday; from the Berwick School up the Waipori Gorge. Wyn had signed up to ride with a group along the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail in a couple of weeks. Saturday was a bit of a trial to see if the legs and the bikes worked. I went along too and by the end of the afternoon was working out how I could join them on that adventure. Continue reading

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The Sun Goes Down and the Sun Comes Up – From Burnside

Sunset over Saddle HillWe’ve been house sitting around several different parts of Dunedin this year. It’s been fun trying out different suburbs. Different aspects and different views. Different houses and different pets. Burnside is just over the ridge of hills that rings the Otago Harbour, with views south and west. It’s a great spot for sunsets Continue reading

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Ko Whanaupaki Tōku Māunga – Flagstaff is my Mountain

Flagstaff DunedinFor Māori, whakapapa (genealogy) is not just about the family tree. It is about a wider context, including linking us to our land and waterways. I think it is something we can all take something from as we lose touch more and more with where we have come from. In my previous post I wrote how I was happy being a candidate in the Flagstaff Ward in Dunedin and mentioned ‘paternal familiarity’. I guess that was a bit of my whakapapa Continue reading

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Voting for a Great Leap Backwards

Ross with billboardI used to like elections; well loved them really. Although I’m thinking more of the local government ones which most people find extremely uninteresting. But not me. I enjoyed them, especially being a candidate for something. Elections for the community board; elections for the city council. It was a chance to try to move things along and promote some discussion. I was always significantly unsuccessful in running for the council Continue reading

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Well We Woke Up This Morning ….

Suzi MosgielWe finished another house sitting gig yesterday near Mosgiel, and moved out in the rain. We were heading for our usual hanging-out place just out of Mosgiel, in the gathering gloom. The rain had been persistent all day, and we got close enough to our destination to see floodwaters flowing out of the entrance. We realised we needed a Plan B Continue reading

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The Evening Before and the Morning After – On Waikouaiti Beach

Waikouaiti BeachThe last two posts have been about our weekend away to Moeraki earlier in the year. It’s not much more than an hour from Dunedin to Moeraki, but we broke our journey on the Friday night at Waikouaiti where we stayed at the friendly camping ground. We had a short quick walk to the beach before the sun went down. Continue reading

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