Life’s a “bach”…one with a bath for two with a view!

“Not a lodge, not a farm stay…more of a perfect shack with a view” is how our friends describe their amazing bach, The Green Trout, at Mangaweka, New Zealand. And perfect it is… Four light and airy bedrooms. The Green Trout … Continue reading

Fossil Fever…it’s catching…

I have always had a weird fascination and love for fossils and rocks. Kind of kooky huh?!
On my last trip to New Zealand we scampered down to the wild and woolly Rangitikei River. Its rugged banks hug the border of our friend’s farm at Mangaweka. The Rangitikei River is New Zealand’s longest river and was used as the Anduin River in The Lord of The Rings movie.

This amazing river has sheer cliffs that loom over the water below. The white/grey clay that makes up these cliffs is called paapa. Below the cliffs the riverbank is made up of hundreds of rocks of all shapes and sizes.

We had a lovely walk beside the river. Suddenly while wandering along my eyes seized upon a beautiful rock with the remainder of an old shell fossil inside.

Unfortunately the rock was a bit big to put in my pocket for the steep trip back up from the river. However nearly immediately I spied another teeny fossil. This dainty one was of two shells and a perfect size for my pocket.

So with the rock snugly in my pocket we walked back up the steep hill to the farm. The fossil rock now nestles together with my other rocks. A lovely reminder of a perfect trip.

Shops That Rock ~ Irenie’s, Mangaweka, New Zealand

“Welcome! Just follow the path to Mangaweka’s jail filled with antiques and high class junque…” reads the sign on the lawn outside of Irenie’s house. Murphy the Jack Russell dog will greet you at the gate and personally escort you … Continue reading

Ravishing restaurants ~ Havana, Wellington, New Zealand…

“For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the memorable meals we had in Wellington this trip was at the Havana Bar Restaurant. Located next door to the Havana Bar it is a wonderful match for its neighbour. The Havana Restaurant is light, airy and filled with wonderful aromas drifting from the open style kitchen.

Dave is the head of staff in the kitchen here. He is a cute and friendly chap and we had a lovely chat to him after our meal. The meals are tapas style which is a wonderful way to get a small taste of lots of dishes. Although the dishes are to share they are extremely generous in size. Dave and his staff use the freshest of New Zealand produce and have developed a menu which is extensive and delicious.

We were attentively served by lovely Sean. His tips and suggestions went down a treat with our group of six people.

Havana Bar Restaurant

32a Wigan Street

Wellington NEW ZEALAND

Phone: 04 3847039

Havana’s Spanish inspired seasonal tapas dishes will delight and inspire you. It is a perfect spot to while away a glorious afternoon in wonderful Wellington.

Hip Hotels ~ The Gourmet Stay, Wellington, New Zealand…

So…where to stay in wonderful Wellington? Well I’ve found you the perfect hotel.

The Gourmet Stay is a hip hotel in Te Aro, right in the centre of Wellington city. It is just a short stroll to Cuba Street, Te Papa Museum and all the interesting sights of central Wellington.

The Gourmet stay is located above a gorgeous little café in Frederick Street. You can have your breakfast in the café in the morning which is heavenly. The café also leaves little muffins and cakes out after it closes for hotel patrons to have with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee.

The Gourmet Stay has 10 rooms of varying type. The rooms are simple yet fresh and comfortable. The heating and heated towel rails make it lovely and cosy in winter. The rooms range from $120 NZD which is very good value for the centre of Wellington.

Delightful Holly helped us with all our questions and needs and made us feel right at home.

The Gourmet Stay

25 Frederick Street


Phone : 0064 04 8016800

The Gourmet stay is perfectly located to give you a base to explore and enjoy Wellington. I do hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Shops That Rock ~ Iko Iko, Wellington, New Zealand…

Cuba Street in Wellington is home to a huge range of groovy shops. One Cuba Street cutie is Iko Iko. This darling shop is packed to the rafters with natty and individual goods. Iko Iko has a wonderful New Zealand section overflowing with tea-towels, dolls, salad servers and the like all made in New Zealand…which is very handy for presents for the folks back home.

I picked up a lovely friend, Maia, for Vinod. Vinod is the star of my other blog Vinod Likes To Party.

Vinod and Maia in Wellington...

Vinod and Maia in Wellington…

Iko Iko

118 Cuba Street Mall

Wellington NEW ZEALAND

 Phone: 04 3850977

Iko Iko translates to “Let’s go”. I really recommend you do go to Iko Iko when next in Wellington.

Why waste a wall?

Graffiti or wall art isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. However for me it is an art form that always amazes me. It can be used in so many instances to brighten and enliven a dark, dull precinct and add interest and fresh life.
Wellingtonians have done this with great flare. Huge expanses of wall and shed door space have been reinvigorated with zany graffiti. I thought it looked fantastic. I’d love to know what you think…







Thought for the day ~ Pokarekare Ana


New Zealand

Māori English
Pōkarekare ana, ngā wai o Waiapu Whiti atu koe hine, marino ana e The waves are breaking, against the shores of Waiapu, My heart is aching, for your return my love.
E hine e, hoki mai ra, ka mate ahau i te aroha e. Oh my beloved girl, come back to me, I could die of love for you.
Tuhituhi taku reta, tuku atu taku rīni Kia kite tō iwi, raruraru ana e. I have written you a letter, and enclosed with it my ring, So your people could see it how much I’m troubled for you..
E hine e, hoki mai ra, ka mate ahau i te aroha e. Oh my beloved girl, come back to me, I could die of love for you.
Whatiwhati taku pene, kua pau aku pepa Ko taku aroha, mau tonu ana e. My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent, But my love for you endures, and remains forever more.
E hine e, hoki mai ra, ka mate ahau i te aroha e. Oh my beloved girl, come back to me, I could die of love for you.
E kore te aroha, e maroke i te rā Mākūkū tonu i aku roimata e. The sun’s hot sheen, won’t scorch my love, Being kept evergreen, by the falling of my tears.
E hine e, hoki mai ra, ka mate ahau i te aroha e. Oh girl, Come back to me, I could die of love for you.

When I was in the school choir we sang this lovely Maori poem. I can still recite all its beautiful words. I hope you enjoy it…

Five Star Bars ~ Havana, Wellington, New Zealand…

We have just spent a lovely hour at the atmospheric, Cuban inspired Havana Bar in Wellington. Havana is actually a bar and a restaurant situated in two quaint houses found side by side in Wigan Street. As you walk in between the two houses you are greeted by the divine shrine to Mother Mary. The statues and melted candles give a very Cuban feel to the entrance.

Sunny, Sita, Rahul and I delighted in a fresh glass of New Zealand wine and a tasty tapas dish of warm olives. The ambiance has a sultry but cosy feel with the bar scattered with wonderful old Cuban paintings and statues.
Havana is open Monday to Friday 11.30am till late, Saturday 3pm till late and closed on Sunday.

Havana Bar
32a – 34 Wigan Street
Te Aro
Ph: 04 3847039


Pai ana te kuri ~ good dog…

All working farms need great working dogs. Not only do these dogs complete complicated jobs each day moving sheep and cattle but they are also faithful friends. This week we have fallen in love with our friends Ruth and Jim’s divine dogs in Mangaweka, New Zealand. Here are some shots of Drum, Ted and Liz.