Category Archives: travel

Wildlife and other photos from New Zealand: Tiritiri Matangi Reserve

A few days before I regretfully left New Zealand, reader Gayle Ferguson took me on an all-day expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island, a small (2.2 km² [1 square mile] reserve located on an island only about 3 km from the shore. Here’s where it is. It is a reserve that was denuded by farming and […]

Readers’ wildlife photos and video, and more on New Zealand

Several days before I left New Zealand, Gayle Ferguson was kind enough to drive me to the Muriwai Gannet Colony near Auckland. I’d never seen a gannet before, and didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience. Here’s where it is–near Auckland (colony is starred): We brought Bob the […]

Around Taumarunui, part 2

I was under the weather with an incipient cold for one day in Taumarunui, but I recovered quickly, and Heather suggested a drive to Tongariro National Park, about an hour away. It’s the oldest national park in New Zealand, the fourth oldest in the world, and is a UNESCO cultural/natural heritage site due to its […]

Around Taumarunui: animals, including glowworms!

My visit to Taumaruni and fellow atheist “blogger” Heather Hastie ends tomorrow when I take a bus to Auckland, where I’ll stay for six days before flying home. Heather was kind enough to take me to several local areas of interest, and I’ll do two posts on the area.  Two days ago, we did a […]

Caution: Kiwi crossing!

Only in New Zealand will you see these signs. This was taken near the village of National Park: And some sad news from this country: beloved Kiwi comedian John Clarke (aka “Fred Dagg”) has died at only 68 while on a hike. Heather has posted a retrospective at her site.

Talk and bird walk: Auckland and environs (and possible meetup)

I’m giving a science talk on April 13th at the Oteha Rohe campus of Massey University, hosted by Dr. Gayle Ferguson (who saved the life of Jerry Coyne the Cat) here’s the notice, and the public is welcome to come, but remember that it’s aimed at evolutionary biologists: Also, there’s a trip the next day to […]

Ten fun facts about New Zealand for Americans

Kia ora! It’s hard to believe I have only a week left in New Zealand out of the month allotted. I’ve had a GREAT time so far. It’s a gorgeous land, and everyone has been super friendly and hospitable—save the woman who runs Noah’s Ark Backpackers in Greymouth, who was rude and didn’t seem to like […]

Rotorua and environs, part 3

This is the final account of my perambulations around Rotorua, escorted by my host, local artist Geoffrey Cox. I will probably making some naming errors, so do correct me if you find any (politely, please!). One day we took a short “tramp” around Lake Okataina. It’s completely surrounded by native forest, though introduced tammar wallabies are […]

Rotorua and environs, part 2

The city of Rotorua is a hotbed (literally) of geothermal activity in New Zealand. It’s replete with hot springs, geysers, bubbling hot mud pools, and a distinct hint of sulphur in the air. Steam is everywhere in the parks. Here’s a hot-water stream running by an Anglican church in town: The city park is filled with […]

Rotorua and environs

Here’s a dollop of photos taken around and in Rotorua, where I was magnificently hosted by artist Geoffrey Cox and his wife, radiologist Barbara Hochstein. On the long intercity bus ride from Wellington (7.5 hr), we stopped for lunch at a cafe where, the bus driver said, they had famous “lamburgers”, made from ground lamb. […]