Category Archives: Landscape

changing plans

To make a plan is always a good preparation, to get organized for a new adventure. Before I depart New Zealand I planed to ship my BMW back to Europe to get it registered and insured. For the last timer I put bike back in storage at Auckland and moved back to Ireland, where I used to work for 7 years already. To find a job was not that difficult, best of all I could work as a pastry chef in one of Irelands best Castle, what a privilege for me. But it took me some time, even month to settle back in in European work habits they are not as casual than in New Zealand, I struggled a lot over first few month. Every thing was organized to ship bike back to Ireland, I had all papers organized what I need for custom clearance, all I have to do fly back to New Zealand get bike crated up and ship it back to Ireland, shipping quote worked out reasonable too. I scheduled 3 weeks in total what is more than enough time to get bike crated and deregistered. After I booked my flights and hotels I could sit back and relax, I thought so……

All of us didn’t thought about one situation what affected whole global business BREXIT!!!!! I fond out after I arrived at Auckland. We couldn’t make a final quote, or even estimate how long bike is on the way and if there more delays in Europe or not. 

At the end I decided leave bike in NZ for an other few month until whole situation is more settled. Than I traveled independently visited Macau, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Germany it is some time that I have been back home for many years, it was good to see parents after many years too.I start planning for my next adventure already, to get bike back to Europe

chatham island rekohu wharekauri

This is my 2ndparty of my Chatham Island experience, I spend at eh end 8 month on this remote and very isolated Island. I still remember the time I arrived and had no mobile reception, any where on the island still on my last day I really enjoyed that, no ringing phones; anywhere. The only internet what was a available was in the Hotel and in our accomodation, I felt set back to the time I grow up, had to play in the garden with my friends without any mobile phone. Over that 8 month I saw a lot from spring, to summer and to fast arriving autumn. Spring and summer was very warm and we have had nearly no rain but every day sunshine and a good breeze from the sea. Autumn arrived very quickly, over night temperature dropped to a chilly 9C in the morning, and the sun rise and sunset where absolute ameizing, not to forget the night sky, after I took many photos already I got up one night at 3.00 am to take some photos of the stars again, on that night I took some rare pictures of an Aurora Australis. The prices in the hotel are not much more expensive than on the mainland, despite all goods have to get to the island, transport of the goods is not cheap, despite price is adequate. And the quality of the food get served is up the standard to mainland, in the presentation and taste is the pride of the chef anchored and presented. As it is in remote places sometimes your first juice of food is not available, for days or sometimes for weeks, because storage is limited and ship with all goods is no the way but due to weather condition delayed. No local is very upset about that, everyone know that situation even each household.Every one on the Island received on the same day all goods delivered by ship or plain. On my days off I did a lot of hiking along the beach, or went to Henna Park, saw many more hidden treasures beside the road many of them needed special permission by the landowner to see, usually there is no problem to get land access.

Wildlife is very active everywhere. Wekas, Chatham Island pigeon fantail, and hedge hook are only a few to name. Surprisingly there are no rabbits on the whole island.

After a big storm we experienced a very sad occurrence 27 whales had been washed up at the beach not very far from my accomodation, all of them died a short time after they had been washed on shore. The best time to visit Chathams is from December to late March, days are long and warm with less rain fall during this period. My personal joyce is Hotel Chathams situated in the most iconic location beside beach. Mountains around the hotel protect the Hotel from sometimes gale force winds which arriving from the sea. In the morning all customer can see the stunning sunrise by breakfast. Well worth it is to join daily organised tours by the hotel, the tour guides has special permission by land owner to visit, what individuals usually don’t have or get. Even to listen to the talkative tour guide about history and glorious ancient times is a good benefit on top of the experience.

Chatham Island

The Chatham Island is in the Pacific Ocean located, 800 km east of South Island New Zealand. It counts in total 10 Islands in a 40km radius, the main Island is Chatham Island it is the biggest island with around 600 citizens, Pitt Island is the 2nd largest island with around 30 inhabitants’. There is one company which operate between New Zealand and Chatham Island, Air Chathams. On the island is one Hotel which has the roots back to 1860 and operates still today on the same location in front of the beautiful protected harbour in Waitangi.

My first impression of the island was that it is much bigger than I imagined, from all the roads are only 10km sealed all other roads are gravel and dust roads. All bulky goods such as cars, oven, big alcohol order, petrol and any kind of building material get delivered for private or commercial use on a cargo vessel to Chatham Island, smaller goods and mail arriving via air plain.  It is al ways an exiting day when a cargo ship arrive to the island. It is even so possible that for month no ship arrives during winter month due weather condition.

Chatham Island has a history which is for many outsiders unknown it changed many times nationality first European arrived in 1791 on the ship HMS Chatham whose captain was William R. Broughton and claimed possession for Great Briton, Pitt Island was discovered after Chatham Island.

Movarian Missionary’s arrived in the year1843, those German missionaries made no converts but had a significant input into the lifestyle. They introduced potato which have been exported to New Zealand, Boysenberry and all kind of farming, sheep and cattle have been introduced too. Some how no rabbits, the island is rabbit free still today. the Original Stone Cottage from missionary was build in 1860 and is still open for public towaday, and Helen the owner live in that house with no electricity like the decades ago. I met Helen on my visit she is a lovely lady and like to talk about the past as she grow up, there is a lot to listen too.

Lifestyle is more described as chilled and relaxing, few times of the year locals have their social events as Horse racing, Chatham Island Jockey Club is one of the oldest clubs in whole New Zealand, fishing competition, rugby matches for local teams only, and food festivals are held during the year.

Even so hunting for pig, boar swan is a very popular time. WEKA is not protected on the island it can get eaten, but if a weka want get taken to mainland a permit is needed.

Chatham Blue Cod is world famous and gray fish too both are for export, Kina, Pipi, Mutton Bird, Hakupa is widely eaten as well, and not to forget Paua, it is cooked in all kind of variation, as paua burger, curried, minced, as salad or even Paua Polognese or Lasagne is available.