What better to do with the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street in Dunedin New Zealand, than organise a jaffa roll – where numbered balls of chocolate coated with a hard sugary outer are sent flying down in a moving wall of red and orange. The fastest jaffas finish the 79% gradient street in around 15 seconds, raising money for local charities.
I was mesmerised by a small seal pup colony at Ohau Stream, just north of Kaikoura in New Zealand. The small Ohau stream is a playground for seal pups, who swim up to a pool at the base of a 30-metre waterfall while their mothers are out at sea hunting fish. The pups are completely at home in their nursery — undisturbed by tickled onlookers, who are offered a privileged glimpse of a carefree existence.
The Free House is a pub set in a retro-fitted church in Nelson, New Zealand, an exploration of the art of beer that is unshackled from big brewery mass produced fizz that we so often have to endure. Disciples have enjoyed more than 250 different craft beers since the crusade to set beers free was embarked upon in 2009 by Eelco Boswijk and Mic Dover.
Since leaving her Ukrainian homeland 14 years ago, Julia Nalivaiko is often asked, ‘What’s it like?. To answer the curious masses, she’s returned to Ukraine and Russia with Australian filmmaker Stuart McBratney to document the people, culture and food. They’re currently halfway through their 8-week shoot, and are posting video stills from the road. Here’s a sneak peak. For more pics, check out their Facebook page, and click “like” to receive updates.
The Marlborough region in New Zealand produces more than fifty percent of New Zealand’s finest wine. However, the cold climate means some innovative solutions are needed to combat grapes being damaged by frost as they grow in early spring. Enter the helicopter, flying low over vineyards to push warmer air from the inversion layer down onto the freezing ground and circulating the air. This has meant that more than 150 helicopters — a large portion New Zealand’s fleet — were in use over a small region at one time.
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.