Shop Eight & RekindleChristchurch CentralThe future’s desirable collectible design will be from rekindle, you can almost guarantee it. It’s recycling with a conscience, where salvaged weatherboards from houses demolished after the earthquake are fashioned into chairs, tables, desks and toys by some skilled creative locals.
BearLion FoodsNew BrightonSome seriously healthy and delicious foods here! Salads that are hearty, and homemade, with lots of thought and consideration to flavour. At the Riccarton Market their stall has all sorts of interesting things, like activated nuts, and truffles.
The Last WordChristchurch CentralBars look very inviting when they present rows of intoxicating drinks like books in a library. The Last Word has two lists for finding a drink, with one dedicated just to their whiskeys.
Ohoka Farmers MarketRiccartonDelicious tapas from the old Volcano café people from Lyttelton. Their premises was demolished after the February earthquakes, so they’ve set themselves up selling some of the most delicious market finger food imaginable. Blue cheese stuffed olives, lemon artichoke hearts, pepperdews and dolmades. Lois from Volcano can hook you up with tapas for any event.
Turkish Delight CafeMt MaunganuiMassive tasty kebabs and incredibly friendly staff.
Paper PlaneMount MaunganuiBeautiful all natural products from slingshots to dust pans, Paper Plane are doing an awesome job of promoting sustainably designed goods.
Matata CampsiteMatataA short turnoff from the main road will find you arriving in Matata campsite, a lovely classic New Zealand DOC campsite (one with hot showers) nestled behind a large bank of sand dunes. The beach is long and white, and you’re likely to have it almost to yourself. A handy stop on the way to Rotorua from Tauranga.
Nugget PointCatlinsThe Catlins Coast may be less travelled, but that just makes places like Nugget Point all the more special. Along a small peninsular, there are opportunities to see seals as you walk out to a picturesque lighthouse at its point.
- 23Japanese-style outdoor hot pools in the very middle of the Lewis Pass make this place very special. Inside is a auto-playing piano at the Japanese restaurant.
Takiro Maori Rock Art SiteDuntroonOne of the few outdoor sites to see ancient Māori rock art. Although poorly preserved, and suffering a lot of graffiti over the years, it’s still worth seeing the shapes that people made back in the day. Pou mark the way, with well written information on each.
Penguin BeachPortobelloAlong the Portobello Peninsular is Penguin Beach, your best opportunity to watch tiny Blue Penguins come ashore at dusk. Volunteers are often around to make sure the penguins can move about safely, and you should stick to the taped off areas.
Onuku ChurchAkaroaA tiny church built in 1878. You’ll find it unlocked, perched on a hill overlooking the water in Ōnuku village, about 5 minutes drive south of Akaroa. It was the site where the first signatures from iwi in the South Island were collected for the Treaty of Waitangi, and the first non-denominational church in New Zealand. It’s gorgeous and quaint, and the people who look after it are really nice.
Waiariki PoolsNgawha SpringsA blackboard changed daily will tell you the temperature of each pool, ranging from around 20C to 50C depending on the day. These muddy-bottomed pools are about as authentic as you can get. Your togs with smell like sulphur for many washes afterwards.
Parakai SpringsParakaiSizzle in a hot spring, just don't go on the last Saturday of every month!
- 33Japanese-style outdoor hot pools in the very middle of the Lewis Pass make this place very special. Inside is a auto-playing piano at the Japanese restaurant.
Kerosene CreekWaiotapuOnce a relatively unknown free hot pool in the backroads between Rotorua and Taupo, it’s fairly common to find a person or three here now enjoying the natural hot water stream and pools. There’s still plenty of room for everyone though, you can find a spot somewhere along the stream, or in the deeper still water after a waterfall.
Hot Tubs OmaramaOmaramaAn outdoor wood-fired hot tub all to yourself. Private changing rooms, and complimentary water. Yours to soaks in for over an hour.
Cascade Creek CampsiteMilfordOne beautiful campsite among a very handsome bunch, we chose this because you could pitch a tent among the lupins and be right beside a stony river. There are places which you can use for fires, and relatively clean toilets. Milford Sound is about 30 minutes drive further north.
Skippers Township CampsiteQueenstownAfter a treacherous 17km drive that’s not for the faint of heart, you’ll arrive at a historic ghost town of an old gold rush settlement. The school house is always open and contains artefacts found around the area, with displays that describe the history of the settlement and the methods of extracting gold from the hills and Skippers River. The campsite ranger told us there’s still gold to be found in the river after a heavy rain.
Marble Hill CampsiteSprings JunctionMarble Hill is right smack in the middle of the main fault line that runs up the South Island, so much so that you can see the fault and decide which crust you prefer to camp on, the Pacific or Australian. It’s nestled up in the Lewis Pass, a 20 minute drive from the Japanese-styled Maruia Hot Springs, and also very handy to some great lesser-known hikes in the Alps.
Lake Pearson CampsiteArthurs PassThere are many campsites along Arthur’s Pass, and Lake Pearson is one among a bunch that are all spectacular. This particular spot has any number of sites lining a small lake that you can pitch your tent next to, with improvised fires from previous campers you can use and fend your snacks off from families of ducks.
Okains Bay Camp GroundOkains BayCamp among pine trees, right behind a wide white sandy beach. The fees are relatively cheap, and there’s no allotted campsites, so if you’re small you can find amazing spots that no one else can get to. They have a good working kitchen with gas cookers, and a pretty fun looking kids adventure playground.
Takapuna Beach Cafe and StoreTakapunaChoose icecream flavours like liquorice, and lemon and curd, and take your lick around for a walk north of the beach, following a coastline of lavaflows and hidden small white sand beaches.
MilseAuckland CentralThe icecreams here are like no other tasted before: Feijoa wrapped in fruity milk chocolate and with a fruit pasty center, or liquorice with pistachio crumble. To get in this skinny place is a trick, perhaps unfairly it’s not for the overly obese, but by the time you’ve selected something delicious and fell out the exit you’ll be a few dozen slurpy licks to heaven.
GiapoAuckland CentralA crazy crazy place. Be prepared for an icecream with fluffy sugary bits of fluff attached and a flavour like Colin Mathura-Jeffree. The waffles are made on site, are lined with chocolate, and with a solid chocolate bottom.