Things to do in Oamaru – A20 cycle trail

December 30, 2014

The Alps to Ocean cycle way is New Zealand’s longest – 301 kilometres from Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru harbour.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is New Zealand in all its colour and beauty – from our highest mountain, past great lakes and rivers, and down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 8 section bike trail is an easy to intermediate grade, offering a pleasing mix of on and off-road terrain which links the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

Most people would need 4 -6 days to do the whole trail but you can do day trips or shorter rides.

Highlights include:

  • Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Elephant Rocks
  • Snow-capped Mountains
  • Clay Cliffs
  • Golden Landscapes
  • Maori Rock Art
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Blue Penguins
  • Limestone Cliffs
  • Boutique Shops
  • Lakes: Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore, Aviemore
  • Vineyards
  • Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct
  • Hydro Canals

Neighbours have been running homestays in an historic home for years and their business is booming now the cycle trail has opened.

I’s still in its infancy but has already been numbered among four of the best cycle trails in New Zealand.

 


Things to do in Oamaru

December 30, 2014

A few years ago friends came to stay a couple of nights on their way to Wanaka.

They ended up forgoing the trip to Central Otago in favour of staying longer with us.

It was one of those golden summers when days at the river a few kilometres from home were far more attractive than coping with holidaying hordes in more populous spots.

Not every summer is like that but the last few days have been good for holiday makers. We’ve had enough heat to enjoy the beaches or rivers but not too much to make other attractions too much of an effort.

When our friends visited, nearly three decades ago, Oamaru wasn’t regarded as a holiday destination.

That’s changed.

Lonely Planet, which had just two pages on the town five years ago now gives it nine and has dubbed Oamaru the coolest town in New Zealand.

An Explore Waitaki App will help you discover the district’s charms, find what’s where and how to get there.

I have yet to download it so don’t know if it will take you to places the locals go to cool off when the weather cooperates.

Rivers change and Gemmels Crossing where I spent many summer days as a child is no longer so good for swimming.

But there are still good swimming holes further up the Kakanui River near Clifton Falls and the Waitaki River also has some great picnic and swimming spots.

For those who prefer beaches, there’s Campbells Bay, All Day Bay and Moeraki.

Oamaru and the Waitaki District  hinterland have lots of other attractions.

Oamaru Today is very good at highlighting things to see and do and I’m planning to write posts about the area over the next few days.

You’re welcome to add your own ideas for holiday makers in North Otago of further afield.

 

 

 


December 30 in history

December 30, 2014

39  Titus, Roman emperor was born  (d. 81).

1066 Granada massacre: A Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, crucified Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city.

1460  Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield.

1835 Charles Darwin left New Zealand after a nine day visit.

Charles Darwin leaves NZ after 9-day visitThis red gurnard was collected by Charles Darwin when the Beagle visited the Bay of Islands.

1865 – Rudyard Kipling, English writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1936).

1916 The last coronation in Hungary was performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita.

1919 – Lincoln’s Inn in London admitted its first female bar student.

1922  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed.

1924 Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galaxies.

1927  The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opened in Tokyo, Japan.

1928 – Bo Diddley, American singer and musician, was born (d. 2008).

1931  Skeeter Davis, American singer, was born  (d. 2004) .

1937 –  Noel Paul Stookey, American folk singer (Peter, Paul & Mary), was born.

1940 California opened its first freeway the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

1942 – Michael Nesmith, American singer and musician (The Monkees) was born.

1944 King George II of Greece declared a regency, leaving the throne vacant.

1945  Davy Jones, English singer (The Monkees), was born (d. 2012).

1947 King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate by the Soviet-backed Communist government of Romania.

1947 Jeff Lynne, English musician (ELO), was born.

1948  The Cole Porter Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1,077 performances), opened at the New Century Theatre and was the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award.

1950 Bjarne Stroustrup, Danish computer scientist, creator of C++, was born.

1953 The first ever NTSC colour television sets went on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.

1959 Tracey Ullman, English actress and singer, was born.

1961 – Bill English, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, was born.

1965  Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines.

1975 Tiger Woods, American golfer, was born.

1993  Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

2004 A fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina killed 194.

2005  Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the open Atlantic Ocean.

2006  Madrid’s Barajas International Airport was bombed.

2006 Deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, convicted of the executions of 148 Iraqi Shiites, was executed.

2009 – The last roll of Kodachrome film was developed by Dwayne’s Photo, the only remaining Kodachrome processor at the time, concluding the film’s 74-year run as a photography icon.

2011  – Owing to a change of time zone the day was skipped in Samoa and Tokelau.

2013 – More than 100 people were killed when anti-government forces attacked key buildings in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

December 29, 2014

Opsomania  – intense longing for a particular kind of food, or for highly seasoned food.


NZer of Year shortlist announced

December 29, 2014

The New Zealander of the Year 2015 Awards Office has announced the shortlist of people being considered for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

They are:

• Dr Sharad Paul: Surgeon and skin cancer specialist (Auckland)
• Sir John Kirwan: Rugby coach, mental health and depression awareness advocate (Auckland)
• Cassandra Treadwell: Chief executive and founder, So They Can (Lower Hutt)
• Sir Stephen Tindall: Founder, The Tindall Foundation (Auckland)
• Julie Chapman: Chief executive and founder, KidsCan Charitable Trust (Auckland)
• Barbara Ala’alatoa: Principal, Sylvia Park School (Auckland)
• Roana Bennett: Manager, Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Trust (Rotorua)
• Dr Susan Parry: Auckland City Hospital and Ministry of Health (Auckland)
• Cynthia Ward: True Colours Children’s Health Trust (Hamilton)
• Judge Peter Boshier: Law Commissioner (Wellington)

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett

Determining the New Zealander of Year is a very tough job for the judging panel. The calibre of nominations was very high.

Each of these individuals is extraordinary. Some have worked tirelessly to making other Kiwis better off while others have inspired us through being the very best at their chosen fields. All of them are unique and special New Zealanders. They are all Kiwis of whom we can be very proud.

Background

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their sixth year. They recognise, encourage and reward New Zealand’s most vital asset – its people. It is open to all New Zealanders and celebrates the contributions of Kiwis from all walks of life. More than 230 nominations were received for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

In January, the judging panel – comprising representatives of all the awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will announce the final shortlist of three people being considered for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards evening in Auckland on 25 February, 2015.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Dr Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

Other categories

The New Zealander of the Year Awards 2015 will also be honouring New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five award categories. The semifinalists for those categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year

Ben Dowdle (Auckland); Guy Ryan (Wellington); Tabby Besley (Wellington); Sebastian Hallum-Clarke (Wellington); Ella Yelich-O’Connor “Lorde” (Auckland); Jason Pemberton (Christchurch); Matt Strawbridge (Wellington); William Pike (Auckland); Te Rawhitiroa Bosch (Waikato); Henrietta McNeill (Invercargill); Malvindar Singh-Bains (Auckland).

Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

Donald Sew Hoy (Auckland); Dr Brian Broom (Auckland); Gaylene Preston (Wellington); Kerry Bensemann (Christchurch); Betty van Gaalen (Kapiti); Kai Luey (Auckland); Bob Robertson (Queenstown); Roger Robinson (Auckland); Tong Too (Napier).

Mitre 10 Community of the Year

Paihia!; VisionWest Community Trust (Auckland); Kidscan (Auckland/NZ); Central Lakes Trust (Otago); Givealittle (NZ); South Alive Invercargill; Community Fruit Harvesting (Auckland/NZ); Pathway Trust (Christchurch); Rural Women New Zealand (NZ); Te Whangai Trust (NZ).

Sanitarium Innovator of the Year

Peter Beck (Auckland); Professor Shaun Holt (Tauranga); Kayne Horsham (Wellington); Glenn Martin (Christchurch); BCS Group (Auckland); Chris Rodley (Nelson); Neville Jopson (Dunedin); Pat Martin (Christchurch); William Palmer and Peter Beguely (Auckland); Peter Stothers (Auckland).

Kiwibank Local Heroes Awards

Amy Burke (Christchurch); Billie Jordan (Waiheke Island); Donald Rogers (Auckland); Helen Davidson (Roxburgh); Helen Henderson (Lower Hutt); Trevor Clarke (Auckland); Talitha Vandenberg (Paihiatua); Dame June Mariu (Auckland); Peter Willsman (Queenstown); Steven Parkinson-Loane (Christchurch).

More information on the awards is here.

 


Which nationality are you?

December 29, 2014

Which nationality are you?

You’re

Japanese

You’re quite confident and in the clear with yourself. Others admire you and you’re often a role model for them. Life seems to be easy for you – you barely have to do something in order to be happy. You get along in various environments, but you always stay yourself and go your very own way. You’re very ambitious and successful. The only person, you want to beat, is your former you. You strive after becoming better, happier and more human. Thanks to your single-mindedness and your ambition, you reach your goals every day.

Hmm, there’s a lot that isn’t me there.

I did the test again.

You’re

Canadian

You’re a wonderful person, who loves to help others out. You’re an everyday hero. Nothing is about fame and wealth for you – you help because it makes you happy. Your love is unconditional and your friendships are always deeper than usual. You don’t just listen to other people’s opinions, you respect them. You are happy when others are – you have never been jealous. In fact you haven’t even heard of the words “envy” or “jealousy”. Your inner nationality brings you happiness and balance. Your life is a success for you and others.

I wonder if they have New Zealander?


More people, fewer poor

December 29, 2014

Good news tweet of the day:

At first glance it looks as if the global population has been declining.

But the vertical axis is the number of people in the world living on less than $1.25 a day and the line is the percentage of global poor.

The world has more people but fewer poor.


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