I Love New Zealand (and here’s why)…

We have just spent two months in New Zealand, a truly wonderful place. People are interested in nature and the outdoors, conservation is important, and kids are taught to carry their trash home from the beach at the same time they are taught to surf. I like the balance. Our interests are the outdoor varietyContinue reading “I Love New Zealand (and here’s why)…”

Architecture and Design NZ

Like other parts of New Zealand, living along the water is a preferred location, and new houses are squeezed onto steep hillsides facing the bays or open ocean. We have seen houses built very close to the roadside, or on stilts that are three stories on the downhill side with the foundation sitting on theContinue reading “Architecture and Design NZ”

Visiting Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula

My mental map of Christchurch is a triangle. The city center is near the top. The lower right corner is the Banks Peninsula, an ancient volcano that on the map looks like a huge pinwheel. The lower left corner is Lake Ellesmere, a very large, shallow lagoon that is barely connected to the sea throughContinue reading “Visiting Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula”

Christchurch and The Earthquake

Our home in Christchurch is a recently renovated bungalow near the Avon River. A stroll around the neighborhood when we arrived revealed that we are only three houses away from an extensive park along the river. What we subsequently found out is that the park was fully occupied by houses until the Christchurch earthquake ofContinue reading “Christchurch and The Earthquake”

New Zealand Jade: Art not Science

Before coming to New Zealand, we looked forward to seeing jade being worked, and shopping for a jade pendant or two. After arriving, we began to find out a bit more about jade and jade carving that did not make our search easier. Jonathan and I are well-trained researchers, and we like to know aboutContinue reading “New Zealand Jade: Art not Science”

Road Trip! Milford Sound and Queenstown

Each of our New Zealand stops lasts two weeks, and we tend to go on one trip that takes us away from our base overnight. Our present spot on Shag Point is the farthest south we get in New Zealand and we were torn between getting to see more of the coast nearby and seeingContinue reading “Road Trip! Milford Sound and Queenstown”

Oamaru: Steampunk HQ

We visited Oamaru to see the Victorian area of town. This turns out to be two streets of 19th century industrial buildings that are gradually being converted into businesses. There is still a lot of space for potential investors. It isn’t Victorian gingerbread houses, though, more like old bank buildings. Still, Oamaru is changing withContinue reading “Oamaru: Steampunk HQ”

On the Edge of a Cliff at Shag Point

Pulling up at our new house on Shag Point there wasn’t much to see. A thick screen of trees and bushes separates the house from the road. Enter the gate and it all changes. The house overlooks the ocean, with lovely small gardens tucked in on either side. Bushes, potted plants and sculpture are combinedContinue reading “On the Edge of a Cliff at Shag Point”

North Island Highlights

This week we moved from the North Island of New Zealand to the South. During the past month we walked on beaches, collected glass, shells, and driftwood, drank coffee at a wonderful local cafe, visited museums and wineries, strolled in parks and botanical gardens, climbed hills, and watched birds. Every day held vivid and memorableContinue reading “North Island Highlights”