When aviation geek Peter Jackson decided to share his collection of World War 1 air-memorabilia, the town of Blenheim in New Zealand was chosen to host his aeronautical paraphernalia. The museum is a tribute to the beginning of the airplane and the swift harnessing of the invention into sophisticated machines.
When Kaikura in New Zealand suffered an economic downturn, the local Maori people looked to the cultural bond between the creatures of the deep and themselves to revitalise their economy and to give tourists an idea of the majesty of whales. These whales are in a truly special spot at Kaikura. The ocean floor drops some 1km down just a few hundred feet from shore, and the sea is a permanent home to sperm whales, as well as migrating right and humpback whales and a community of dolphins and seals.
You know what they say: when in New Zealand, do as the Kiwis do. Pegasus Bay is a beautiful, family-owned winery producing some of New Zealand’s finest wines. But people don’t visit just for the wine. The food is a secret weapon, with the restaurant serving up great local and seasonal dishes, using fresh, seasonal ingredients with some top-shelf choices mixed in. Our favourite dish was the black truffle frittata, which melted with flavour as we sat overlooking the wintery gardens in front of an open fire.
Hanmer Springs is an idyllic village in New Zealand, situated at the foot of the Southern Alps. The village was established on the hot, all-natural geothermal springs, which gush forward with pure snow water. Originally a sanitorium hot-spot in the 1920s, the Springs have been refined into a range of aqua pools for all ages, with thermal, sulphur and indoor pools. This is also where the Wallabies (the Australian rugby team) will be staying during a weekend of rest and relaxation during the upcoming Rugby World Cup. They couldn’t have chosen a better spot to unwind.
Christchurch was ravaged by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck on 22 February, with the city treated as somewhat of a salt shaker by the unique tectonic regime which is in place across New Zealand. However, the resilience of the people of ‘Chch’ has never been shaken.
The Charlotte Jane Hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand, remains open for leisure. The old mansion was originally a school for young ladies, and after managing to survive that run in, the recent earthquakes have done little to harm the Victorian throwback, with huge bathrooms, large, plush rooms and touches of elegance throughout. Our favourite was the stained-glass window near the entrance, depicting the original Charlotte Jane, one of the earliest ships to bring settlers to Christchurch.
With Christchurch in New Zealand continuing to rebuild and recover from the earthquakes which cruelled the centre of the city, entrepreneurial spirit has organically surged to kick off a range of urban regeneration intiatives. Gap Filler is one independent pop-up project that aims to activate the temporarily vacant sites within Christchurch to make for an interesting, and vibrant city with Bowl’a'Rama, pop-up theatre, dance and music.
We love this idea. When was the last time you sent a letter? Ivan Cash wants to do something about it. He’s kicked off a project to revive the art of actually handwriting letters. He’ll take any email you send him, handwrite it into a letter, then actually mail it to anywhere in the world. All for free. This art project only lasts a month, so get cracking.
This we want. Bottle-top popping has never been so good – and you’ve always got your phone on you. The iPhone 4 Opena is by Australian industrial designers Chris and Peter, who need seed investment on Kickstarter.
While I’m sure we’ve all considered jumping into a frothy pool of beer, apparently a Beer Spa is actually good for you, with a healthy boost of B-vitamins and minerals in the hops and the giant stein soak could just help your skin. Yup, we agree, trust the Czechs to invent this boozy relaxation!
These Epic Fail and Epic Win Stamps are perfect for your office life. Straight-to-the-point, a nice clean ink stamp on your colleague’s forehead should do the job – whether or not they’ve disgraced themselves with typo-ridden copy or achieved mightily by winning the Pensky file.
The Lost & Found hotel room is a bespoke, and most importantly, free space to stay in Melbourne for any one who is on their email list. The hotel room is now into its second year and has again been appointed with a range of all things Melbourne to house a unique studio apartment in the heart of Melbourne.
The Duchesses recently sent us a copy of their latest EP, By Morning, released in April at the Excelsior Hotel in Sydney. The atmospheric four-track cuts through the usual noise and delivers a rhythmic mix of guitars, beats and vocals. It has our Newcastle office surging (singing?) through the dark lows and the hopeful highs.
Come Closer by The Mischief Engine was shot by Newcastle’s Stu McBratney. But when McBratney was looking for a location, he didn’t choose Newcastle, or even something like Scotland’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Instead, McBratney ventured to Arsenal Park, Transylvania, Romania. And it’s breathtaking.
Personal messages and notes are nice, but be damned if you’re going to spend another ten minutes wondering if you should write regards, thanks, or cheers. That’s why the All-in-one Stamp is such a handy solution.