Read more by John McCrystal

Farewell Spit: a sandy phenomenon

You might be forgiven for thinking Farewell Spit is named for the last thing Abel Tasman did as he high-tailed...


Farewell Spit, the longest natural sandbar in the world. © Robert Diener

Dunedin city: Edinburgh of the south

‘Dunedin’ is an ancient name for Edinburgh and the resemblance doesn’t stop at the names.

Doubtful Sound: powerful serenity

The most obviously dubious aspect of Doubtful Sound is its name because as everyone knows, it’s actually a fiord, carved...

Devonport and North Head: Victorian village meets mysterious fort

The local iwi, Ngāti Whātua, were the first to scope Takapuna, Takarunga and Takaroro – the three volcanic cones at...

Hokianga: a road trip around a heavenly harbour

The Hokianga (which means ‘the circumstance of returning’) is named in commemoration of the legendary Polynesian navigator, Kupe, who ended...

Eastland: sun, sand and seclusion

There’s a lot to be said for sticking to State Highway 2 when travelling down the east coast of the...

Moeraki Boulders: those mysterious spheres

They just don’t look natural...


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