Friday, May 4, 2012

Wellington - The Capital & Coffee

Now - the current city I live in & New Zealand's capital - 'Wellington'.

A city full of culture, great cuisine, dining, shopping, picturesque harbor and many other great feats.

However, I wanted to focus in more closely on 'coffee' - yes coffee.

Wellington is renowned for its coffee - it's rumored to have more cafes per capita than New York :O.

Well I'll let you in on some of my favorites. At the moment it would have to be Peoples Coffee - Winner of best coffee in Wellington in 2010, followed by Astoria in the heart of the Wellington's CBD and thirdly Mojo coffee.

Why are these my favorite coffee joints?

1. Peoples Coffee - Great service, great coffee and close to my flat.
2. Astoria - Great atmosphere, superb coffee and great location - close to work.
3. Mojo - Several locations around Wellington, 24 in fact nationally, fast service, good coffee, friendly faces.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ruahine Ranges

The Ruahines are a set of ranges/what some people would call mountains.The Ruahines run just south of Napier and run right down the East Coast to Wellington. The highest point of the range is at Mangaweka at 1733 metres or 5686 feet. The Ruahines are ideal for people who love the great outdoors, hiking, tramping and hunting.
The lower levels of the Ruahines are more suited for day trekking and family groups. The higher levels of the Ruahines are best suited for keen, experienced trampers and hunters.

There are plenty of huts to stay in, in the Western Ruahine Forest Park.

Here's a Department of Conservation (DOC) website that shows the locations of all the huts in the Western Ruahine Forest Park.

Highlights of eastern side of the Ruahines Forest Park are in the following link:

Huts in Eastern Region

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Plymouth - Mountains, Great Surf, Outdoors & That 'Wind Wand'

New Plymouth is situated in the Taranaki district and is on the West Coast of the North Island. New Plymouth derives a lot of its income from offshore engineering (gas/oil), its port and farming. The Taranaki province is also part of the Hurricanes Super 15 rugby district and is home to many good rugby players, some All Blacks too.

Taranaki is renowned for its good surf. It even has a highway called Surf Highway 45. To see more on the on the Highway and surf locations check the two links below.

One of the other big attractions is Mt Egmont. There are skiing/boarding options there. However, if your looking for the best ski facilities go to Mt Ruapehu.

Check out the links below for more on skiing/boarding at Mt Egmont.

I'd have to say one of the not so greatest feats of Taranaki is the 'Wind Wand'. Council paid an artist in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a tall structure that looks like a wand and bends in the wind. Check out the video of the Wind Wand below.

For more things to do in New Plymouth. Check out;

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Video of New Zealand

A great video done by Tourism New Zealand for the New Zealand 100% Pure You campaign.

Tourism NZ is now advertising into many countries including America, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Find out more on Tourism New Zealand at

Ruatiti Camping Ground

I'd have to rate this place as one of the rare gems of New Zealand. It's a camping ground I have been going to since I was two. So 20 years on and off I still go back there. Why?

Well it's a peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, plenty of fishing, kayaking, rafting, swings, swimming, back yard cricket, touch rugby, native wildlife (blue ducks) and co plus plenty of other amazing things to do. The best part though is it's free to camp at! There aren't many places around NZ that are free to camp at anymore. This no fee includes camper-vans etc.

Ruatiti Domain is approximately 20-25mins out of Raetihi in the Ruapehu National Park district (North Island).

The camp ground is situated between the Manganuioteao River and the Ruatiti Stream. It has toilet facilities and cubicles to hang up solar or portable showers. All drinking water taken from the river, stream or taps is suppose to be boiled. Most popular time is around Christmas and New Years.

Here's a good website for looking up fishing spots, weather reports and regulations in the Ruatiti Domain area.

Also, if you're into hunting there's the Ruatiti Station just up the road that takes guided hunts for red deer and boar etc. For more information check the website below.

Directions to Ruatiti from various locations via Google Maps

From Taupo,+Waikato&daddr=Ruatiti+Stream,+Ruatiti,+Manawatu-Wanganui&hl=en&ll=-39.074644,175.874634&spn=1.142875,2.705383&sll=-39.302425,175.290298&sspn=0.284796,0.676346&geocode=FQS0sf0dQp5-CilbFksUd-9rbTHgCaNDYe8ABQ%3BFUQqqP0dxlVxCinFDIJuBNxqbTFg9t9lYe8AKg&oq=ruati&gl=nz&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&source=gplus-ogsb

From Wanganui to Ruatiti,+Manawatu-Wanganui&daddr=Ruatiti+Stream,+Ruatiti,+Manawatu-Wanganui&hl=en&ll=-39.595107,175.388489&spn=1.134399,2.705383&sll=-39.074644,175.874634&sspn=1.142875,2.705383&geocode=FRe3nv0d0gRvCilLY3Z-dLhqbTEymaNDYe8ABQ%3BFUQqqP0dxlVxCinFDIJuBNxqbTFg9t9lYe8AKg&oq=wan&gl=nz&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&source=gplus-ogsb

From Palmerston North,+Manawatu-Wanganui&daddr=Ruatiti+Stream,+Ruatiti,+Manawatu-Wanganui&hl=en&ll=-39.802206,175.578003&spn=1.131,2.705383&sll=-39.595107,175.388489&sspn=1.134399,2.705383&geocode=Fc5FmP0dlpF3CimDRKO9n61BbTEVmaJDYe8ABQ%3BFUQqqP0dxlVxCinFDIJuBNxqbTFg9t9lYe8AKg&oq=Palmerston+N&gl=nz&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&source=gplus-ogsb

From New Plymouth,+Taranaki&daddr=Ruatiti+Stream,+Ruatiti,+Manawatu-Wanganui&hl=en&ll=-39.093831,174.814453&spn=1.142564,2.705383&sll=-39.802206,175.578003&sspn=1.131,2.705383&geocode=FfcOrP0dXC1gCikNzmQj5vkUbTGg6aJDYe8ABQ%3BFUQqqP0dxlVxCinFDIJuBNxqbTFg9t9lYe8AKg&oq=New+Plymou&gl=nz&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&source=gplus-ogsb

I'll leave you with some pictures of Ruatiti Campgrounds so you can see what it's like! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mt Ruapehu

Mt Ruapehu is located in the central part of the North Island.

A great place to ski or board. It has two major slopes to ski and board on; Whakapapa and Turoa.

Here's a good site for mountain weather reports and real time webcams.

Other good sites to check out for Mt Ruapehu are;

- Sent from my iPhone

Location:Wellington, New Zealand

White Island - Active Volcano

White Island is an active volcano situated in the Bay of Plenty. Closest places are Whakatane and Tauranga.

White Island is most famous for its guided tours. There are diving and helicopter tour options to choose from too. Sulfur mining was attempted in the early 1900s hundreds. However, it did not end well for the workers so was abandoned.

There are several different tour companies to choose from. Please find some links attached below.

A Must See x 2

Woops forgot to add the links re other helicopter/plane tours.

Here it is below

A Must See

So you've probably heard of the 'should be' 8th wonder of the world, Milford Sound.

I had never been to Milford Sound intil January this year when I was showing a South African mate around NZ. Typical aye, you only see your country when a foreigner forces you to go see it. A right shame when NZ is one if not the most beautiful countries to tour in the world.

Oh well enough with the rambling. Milford Sound is truly breathtaking. We were fortunate enough to see it on a day with a beautiful blue sky. Generally it's raining there or quite overcast.

The way I did was a one day tour with Nakedbus. Think it was something like $110 or $120NZD per person return from Queenstown, depends on when you book. We left early in the morning around 7am and returned to Queenstown at close to 8pm that night. It was great, took plenty of stops along the way and even got to see a Kea (Native NZ Mountain Parrot). The price for the tour also includes the cruise in Milford Sound.

There is also options at a discounted price to fly over the Remarkables in a plane or helicopter. The helicopter lands on the Remarkables and lets you get out and walk around on the ice. Not included in the tour but is at a discounted rate. 

Here's some links here re helicopter flights. You'd have to ask on Nakedbus tour but I'm pretty sure the cost was between $200-600NZD depending on what you wanted to do.

If you'd like to check out more on the Nakedbus tour. You can go to

Monday, March 26, 2012

Still in Blog Design Phase

Hi there,

Things will ramp up here in the next few weeks when I find time.

Will be posting a lot more and will have a few links and videos for you to watch.

Stay tuned