dunedin

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Blackball, New Zealand: They won't make them like this anymore

Blackball, New Zealand: They won't make them like this anymore

In small-town Blackball the locals have a saying: “Blackball, the centre of the universe . . . the part where nothing moves”. It helps to have a sense of humour when you live in the centre of a silent universe. These days Blackball, less than half an hour inland from Greymouth, can only boast five major buildings other than...

East Coast, North Island of New Zealand: Hawkes Bay the long way

East Coast, North Island of New Zealand: Hawkes Bay the long way

The handbrake might give you a bit of trouble, says John as he finishes a litany of idiosyncrasies about his beautifully restored 1957 Mark Two Zephyr. I have already heard it can pop out of second, to put in a measure of Valvoline with the petrol, to check the water daily, and that riding the brakes downhill might lead to them overheating and...

Northland, New Zealand: After the Flood.

Northland, New Zealand: After the Flood.

For me there are two ideal kinds of lie-down, totally relaxing, long weekends away with a good book. The first and most obvious requires endless tropical warmth and hours of sunshine, and a beach or pool within waddling distance of the deck chair and buffet. The other is . . . Well, it’s sort of what we got when we went to the Golden...

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

The weather was perfect: fiercely cold, low mist and a chilling drizzle. This is ideal when you are at Denniston, because only in such miserable conditions can you get some small appreciation of what life must have been like here a century ago. At 600 metres above sea level and with the coast barely visible through the rolling mist, this former...

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

To be honest, I’d only been to Dunedin twice previously -- and I left early both times. A few years ago I spent a night there on my way to somewhere else, and when I was 17 I arrived as snow turned to soggy sludge in a cutting wind. I fled to the airport after an utterly miserable couple of hours. I should have liked Dunedin better on that...

Ross, South Island of New Zealand: Home is where the hearth is

Ross, South Island of New Zealand: Home is where the hearth is

Good historic hotels are getting harder to find. Increasingly the elderly pubs of the nation are being gentrified and scrubbed clean. Their walls are being painted up nice, a colour consultant is hired, and the big boys move in and take what was once the character of the place and reshape it into something more . . . marketable? The history...

Tokaanu, New Zealand 2007: Small towns on a slow up-spin

Tokaanu, New Zealand 2007: Small towns on a slow up-spin

About 10 or so years ago I spent a few days in Turangi on the southern shore of Lake Taupo in New Zealand's North Island. I was on an assignment for the Herald. I wish I could say the story involved fishing in a town that boldly asserts it is the Trout Fishing Capital of the World but, in deference to people are dedicated to that sport, I admit...

Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

Early in 2010 the women who had been in the late-Eighties Kiwi band Cassandra's Ears got together for a gig and to their delight discovered that James Moss of Jayrem (which had released their two EPs Private Wasteland and Your Estimation) still had the master tapes. Jan Hellriegel -- Ears' singer -- had pursued a creditable solo career after...

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