Tag Archives: Maori

Northland: Cape Reinga and Ninety Miles of Beach

After a ferry ride crossing the Hokianga Harbor to Kohukohu, we drove to Cape Reigna at the top of the North Island. This was a pilgrimage of sorts. We were looking for closure, symmetry. Having traveled to the most southerly point of the South Island, we were determined to have matched NZ’s topographic tips. Continue reading

Northland: Kupe’s Home at Hokianga

There is one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath. — Herman Melville

There is a certain sadness now to writing about New Zealand, this country we’ve come to know and love. But it’s surprisingly cathartic, too, a way of saying farewell, I suppose. Our trip to Northland was our final weekend getaway before we begin the process of packing for our return home-home. Continue reading

Moeraki Boulders: Imperfectly Whole

I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle. —Nicolaus Copernicus

I love all things round. I’m not sure whether the circle’s appeal has to do with optical purity—or sensuality of line, emulating as it does the fat curve of Earth, moon and sun. Or how, since the beginning of time, it so tidily has symbolized unity, infinity, the cosmos, wholeness, being one with life. These were my musings as we headed up the coast to the Moeraki Boulders. I visualized these geological oddities, glowing like oracles in sunshine. Continue reading

The Fiordlands: Spellbound in Milford Sound

Everyone told us—emphatically—that we couldn’t visit the South Island without seeing Milford Sound. “It’s like going to Arizona and not seeing the Grand Canyon!” Sheeeeesh—even though plenty of Kiwis haven’t. It seems people everywhere take landscapes for granted. Like me (red-faced). I’ve lived in Idaho almost 20 years, and have never been to Glacier National Park. Continue reading

Glacial tramping at Aoraki/Mount Cook

Gasp = to inhale suddenly, as in surprise. In a word, our response to the dazzling blue of Lake Pukaki. Set against the snowcapped Southern Alps, the lake’s iridescent turquoise is created by sunlight mixed with rock flour, fine rock particles ground into dust by glaciers. It’s the gateway to Aoraki/Mount Cook, the king among NZ’s mountain peaks. Continue reading

Feasting at L’Arte Cafe and nesting in Hawke’s Bay

We love road-tripping highways and especially byways, and tracing our path on the New Zealand atlas. We’re learning how to create adventure, momentous and miniscule, wherever we go as we criss-cross the landscape coast to coast, north to south. Today Easter Monday, enroute to Napier via Lake Taupo, we dined for lunch at a funky garden oasis. Continue reading

Creation ongoing, freshly pressed as it were

Embarking on a cave-to-coast day trip, I try to wrap my mind around New Zealand as being the youngest country in the world, the most recently discovered landmass. Everywhere, the landscape embeds time, past and present. Continue reading

Surprise invitation to a Maori marae


Sometimes you don’t know what you’re searching for until you find it (after a wrong turn or two.)

Kenton and I wanted to practice Kiwi-style driving (left side of the road) in our rent-a-wreck, a 1996 Toyota Corolla with right-hand drive, low clearance and noisy mud flaps. A day at the beach, we thought, after a couple of hours driving up and down hills on narrow, windy roads—not unlike Rattlesnake Grade south of Asotin, Washington. Continue reading

A Saturday morning with water spirits

What is it about waterfalls that fascinate humans? It it the setting, the sound, the motion, the mist? Whatever the impulse, we followed it to Bridal Veil Falls, which is about a 45-minute drive from where we live. This is a spiritual place for the Maori. They call it Waireinga, meaning leaping waters, referring to wairua (spirits) leaping the great water fall. Some Maori tribes believe the waterfalls to be occupied by patupaiarehe (maori fairies). Continue reading