Orokonui Ecosanctuary an ecological home to rare forest birds

orokonui ecosanctuary

The Orokonui Ecosanctuary is a wildlife reserve in Dunedin. It’s a safe refuge of some of the world’s rarest birds and other species of fauna and flora.

We can say that the Orokonui Ecosanctuary is our beacon of hope. For us all humanity and for biodiversity. Had it not for the efforts of some individuals, we and the next generation would  have not known about some wildlife species. We would not have seen the world’s rarest birds. Or the rare native plants of New Zealand.  Our ecosystem would have lost some of its important components.

What to see at Orokonui Ecosanctuary

When you visit the ecosanctuary, you would find these amazing species.

orokonui ecosanctuary

New Zealand pigeon

New Zealand pigeon. As the name suggests, this is an endemic bird to New Zealand. In most parts of the country, Māori calls it kūkupa. While in some parts of the North Island, they call it kūkū.

The New Zealand pigeons are the largest pigeon species. They play an important role in ecology. They are the only birds that are capable of eating the biggest native fruits and drupes.

New Zealand pigeons are regarded as frugivorous because they primarily feed on fruits from native trees. But they also browse on leaves and buds, especially the nitrogen-rich foliage.

orokonui ecosanctuary


Bellbird. This passerine bird is an endemic species to New Zealand. Māori calls it korimako and makomako. The bellbird song is famed for its distinct sounds. They resonate like that of chiming bells. You would hear them sing during the day. But more often during the early morning and late evening.

Bellbirds feed on fruits, insects, and nectar. And since they are honeyeaters, they play an important role in pollinating many native plants. Some of the plants that benefit from its pollination are the mistletoe, kowhai, and fuchsia.

orokonui ecosanctuary


Morepork. Moreporks are a small brown owl. They are also known as ruru or the Tasmanian spotted owl.  

They are known to be top predators with a huge territory. They hunt for a variety of animals and insects. Most of their preys including small birds, rats, mice, scarab, huhu beetles, and wetas. Moreporks also feed on caterpillars, moths, spiders, and grasshoppers.

This species are mainly nocturnal birds. Although sometimes they can be active at dawn and at dusk. In dark nights and when the weather is bad, they may hunt during daylight.

Rare plants garden. The Orokonui Ecosanctuary is a safe haven for native plants as well. Some of the species that are now starting to thrive in its care include:

orokonui ecosanctuary


These rare plants would have been lost from the environment due to competition with introduced species. The few that may have existed outside the sanctuary might have been struggling to survive from the munchings of browsing stock.

Come to Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Discover each species’ role in our ecosystem. And see how you could be of help to preserve, or even, increase their number. It’s not only a knowledge-enriching experience to be there. It’s fun interacting with the animals, too.

The ecosanctuary is situated on the hill above Blueskin Bay, Blueskin Road, Dunedin.

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Online gambling: 4 points you should know about the game

online gambling

Before online gambling became trending, New Zealand citizens were already hooked on several games. They gamble either for profit  or just to have fun.

Before online gambling became a trending activity, New Zealanders were already playing in casinos and pubs. They had been playing either for profit or just to pass their time.

But today, they find it more convenient playing on their smartphone, laptop, or PC, instead. Nevertheless, if you’re new to online gambling, you should think of these points as every New Zealander does.

Online gambling

Legitimacy of online gambling

Admittedly, New Zealand laws draw a confusing line regarding online gambling. According to the Gambling Act passed in 2003, you may participate in any gambling activity online provided it is not operating in the country. It states that anyone having interests in online gambling may play on websites that are based out of the country. But online websites offering gambling services are banned by the law. Strange, but this is what you can do to satisfy your urge of playing poker or any other game falling under gambling on your device.

Tax rules on online betting

Another concern that most newcomers have is about paying taxes on his gambling rewards. This is a valid question that makes you relaxed if answered correctly. So as per law, you don’t need to pay any tax on rewards you earned in response to any gambling activity online. But, you’re only exempt from taxes if you’re not a regular gambler. And that you play for fun. If you, however, one of those who gamble professionally, you must pay taxes on all your winnings and rewards. 

online gambling

Facts about online betting

Like online gamblers, many people love to bet on different games. And the best part is, you have enough options to satisfy your needs with so many websites on the internet. But before you start betting online, it’s good to verify whether it’s legal in your country or not. As per laws in New Zealand, any form of betting is allowed through internet. Unless it is situated in another country. But unfortunately, all websites originating from New Zealand are not allowed to bet on.

Safety measurements

When it comes to money-related activities, anyone would think twice before investing any dime. But to answer about any website’s genuinity is a little tricky. So you need to do your homework before you actually start gambling on any website. See what other people are saying about this website. Check its social profiles or visit its forum (if available). Another way to make sure a website is safe to invest your money is to see how many payment gateways it offers for payouts. See how convenient a website is and also try to pinpoint doubtful aspects of a website before you start betting on it.

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Rimutaka Cycle Trail: a journey through spectacular sights

rimutaka cycle trail

The Rimutaka cycle trail is an exciting ride experience. The trail takes you through beautiful landscapes and sights from Wellington to Wairarapa region.

The Rimutaka Cycle Trail is an 115-kilometre journey from Wellington to the Wairarapa region. It takes you across farmland, bush-covered hills, and rugged coastline.

What makes it even more exciting is that the Rimutaka Cycle Trail is the most accessible in New Zealand. It has several access points. It also has sections for different levels of abilities. You can ride either the whole trail or you may select a shorter course. You may even approach it from either end or at the midpoint.

rimutaka cycle trail

Rimutaka Cycle Trail

The official starting point of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail is at Petone. It’s at the northern end of Wellington Harbour. You may get to that point by road or regular rail service from Wellington Railway Station. Or, if you would ride on a weekend or a public holiday, you may take a ferry that crosses from Queen’s Wharf on the Wellington Waterfront to Petone Wharf.

Petone to Maymorn trail. The first section of the cycle ride begins at the Petone Wharf. From there, you travel along the banks of the Hutt River going northeast on an easy grade path. The trail is 35 kilometres long and takes 3 – 5 hours to complete. It ends at the entrance to Tunnel Gully.

Maymorn to Cross Creek. From the Tunnel Gully, you begin the second section of your cycle ride. This is a 25-kilometre journey on easy-to-intermediate grade path. You will be travelling through the historic Maymorn Tunnel and the vibrant green bush to Kaikote. It would take you around 3 – 4 hours to complete this ride. It concludes when you emerge from the ranges at Cross Creek into the Wairarapa region.

Cross Creek to Ocean Beach. If you opt to take the shorter course, you may finish your cycle ride at Featherston town. Turn northeast on Western Lake Road and head to the town, which is just 12 kilometres ahead.

But if you want to go the whole trail, take this 36-kilometre on-road and intermediate-grade path. Turn southwest and travel alongside the beautiful Lake Wairarapa shore.

rimutaka cycle trail

This section gives you more excitement. But you have to be careful, though. Since this is an on-road course, you are likely to meet occasional motor vehicles along the way.

Anyway, in this course, you’re going to traverse a gentle descent on a sealed public road and rich farmland. You will also pass by Lake Onoke. It’s part of the Wairarapa Moana Wetland Park. Your 2 to 3 hours cycle ride ends at the big blue of Cook Strait at Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach to Orongorongo. This is the final section of the whole Rimutaka Cycle Trail. It’s a challenging intermediate grade path where you get to tackle rocky and sandy sections. You also have to watch out since this section is exposed to strong winds.

But then, you will be compensated with awesome sights along the way. In this 18-kilometre journey, you will be riding along the South Coast. The Cook Strait would be on your left and the hill country to your right. And if you travel on a clear day, you will marvel at the beauty of the snow-capped peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island.

After travelling over Turakirae Head, you proceed north to the mouth of the Orongorongo River. Until you see the road linking back to Wellington, where your 3 – 4 hours cycle ride concludes.

The whole Rimutaka Cycle Trail is, indeed, an experience you should try even for only once.

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Coastal walking trail: hiking from one ocean to another

coastal walking trail

Auckland has a unique coastal walking trail. It takes you from one ocean to a completely different ocean. In just a matter of hours!

The Coast to Coast Walkway in Auckland is a unique walking trail. It’s a journey that takes you from one ocean to a completely different one. In just a matter of five or six hours. And it allows you to pass through a variety of beautiful landscapes that have been shaped by six centuries of Māori occupation.

coastal walking trail

Mount Eden

The coastal walking trail starts from the Waitematā Harbour on the north and east coast of the Auckland isthmus. And it winds up to the Manukau Harbour in the south. You’ll enjoy this 16-kilometre walk because of the spectacular scenery you get along the way. The trail is great and the views are so beautiful that the Coast to Coast Walkway got the topmost recognition in the World’s Best City Walks in 2012 from the online travel guide, BootsnAll.

Coastal walking trail

Depending on your pace, the Coast to Coast Walkway takes you around 5 to 6 hours to complete. You will pass through various heritage spots, volcanic cones, urban parks, and several other interesting sights, including:

  • Britomart Transport Centre. This used to be the neoclassic Chief Post Office building. Until it was restored to become what we now know as the modern bus and train terminal. 
  • Auckland Ferry Terminal. This Edwardian Baroque-designed facility has been operational since 1912.
  • Auckland Domain. It’s the oldest and largest park in the central suburb of Grafton. It has an area of 75 hectares.
  • Mount Eden, or Maungawhau. This 196-metre high volcano provides you with breathtaking 360-degree views of Auckland and the harbours at its peak.  
  • One Tree Hill. It’s commonly called Maungakiekie. This 183-metre volcanic peak has been looked upon as an important memorial place for Māori and other Kiwis.
  • the historical buildings of the University of Auckland
  • Onehunga Cemetery. It’s here where you can find tombstones that date back as far as 1853. Many of the Onehunga’s early settlers were buried here.
coastal walking trail

Britomart Transport Centre

It’s easy to follow this coastal walking trail. There are several signs that point you in the right direction.  You can even get a route map from the local i-SITE office. And since there are plenty of refreshment stores along the route, you need not worry about food provision.

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Dio Day Out Gardens show at Waikato Diocesan School

Dio Day

The Dio Day Out Gardens and Art show is a fundraising event. It’s organized by parents of students at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in Hamilton.

The Dio Day Out Gardens and Art is a fundraising event at the Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. It is organized by parents of students of the said school. Its primary purpose is to raise funds to support the children’s school activities.

The Dio Day Out Gardens and Art show is set to open on the 8th of November at the Waikato Diocesan School for Girls grounds.

Dio Day

Dio Day Out event

Dio Day Out will bring together 15 private gardens, ranging from small suburban plots to spectacular country beds. The Waikato Diocesan School will also make its own garden available to guided tours. The participating gardens will put up their respective plant and produce stalls.

There will also be featured artists during the event who will display their artworks for sale.

Coffee and cakes will be available either on the school grounds or in one of the gardens for everyone to enjoy.

The Dio Day Out Gardens and Art fundraising event starts at 9:00 in the morning through to 4:00 in the afternoon. Entry ticket costs NZ$35 per person. It can be bought from the Waikato Diocesan School Shop on Martin Street.

The organizer, however, reminds all visitors to not bring your pet dogs along. Animals are strictly not allowed entry to the gardens.

The organizer

Dio Day

Parents of students at Waikato Diocesan School bond together to form the Waikato Diocesan School Association. They organize several fundraising drives to support the school’s activities. Aside from Dio Day Out Gardens and Art, the same group is behind ‘Dio Difference’, Dio Ladies Night, DioArtX, Dio Golf Day, and Bridge Day. fundraising events.


Dio Day

The Waikato Diocesan School Association invites everyone to mark November 8. They want you to get involve in a day of fun and relaxation at the Dio grounds. Whether you are a gardening enthusiast, a hobbyist, or just one who simply love seeing a beautiful garden arrangement, you surely would find something for you at the event.

The organizer promises that you are going to leave the place enthused, inspired, and energized. Raffles with big prizes also await you at the gardens. So, why don’t you give it a date!

If you need more information about the Dio Day Out Gardens and Art, you may call Rowan Hayes on his mobile number 0221590960.

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New Zealand’s construction industry enjoys boom

Gliderol - Auckland view

New Zealand’s construction industry is enjoying a boom, creating employment and influencing the country’s GDP.

Many sources agree that New Zealand’s construction industry has been experiencing its greatest boom in the last four decades. The same sources even predict that this growth will continue over the coming few decades. Among the factors driving this surge in construction demand include the chronic shortage of housing in Auckland, and the upgrading of earthquake-risk buildings.

Gliderol - engineer

And the good news about this development is that it generates employment of nearly 8% of the workforce in the country and influences the country’s GDP by 6.3%.

Builders Auckland is happy about this boom as it benefits them as well as it does other members of the construction industry in Auckland and in other parts of New Zealand.

In Wellington, for example, some old buildings have been identified as earthquake-risk. And so, these have to be either renovated or demolished completely. According to experts, such buildings have to be strengthened within 15 years, which means that the construction industry will maintain its booming status for the next 15 years.

Those looking to start new building projects or renovate existing buildings can easily benefit from this boom. With more revenue going to the construction industry, there is every chance that more builders Auckland will start offering construction services at a cheaper rate to compete with others. Since even lower profits in individual contracts can lead to huge annual profits with number of contracts increasing for builders Auckland, they can afford to accept work at lower rates.

On the part of the homeowners planning to renovate or build a new home, this would be great news because they would be able to save money.

There is also a chance that this boom will lead to alliancing, which can bring unprecedented benefits to anyone who employs building contractors in New Zealand.

Alliancing started in North Sea oil drilling. This model replaces contracting with a collaborative project approach. Alliancing means that participants will be based on a pre-determined rate according to gain/loss. Alliancing also encourages a ‘no blame’ culture and therefore benefits everyone participating in a project alliance. The uninsured risk is also shared between the participants based on terms agreed earlier.

Finally, the construction industry surge will also mean that you will have more choices when it comes to finding builders Auckland. With more people joining the industry as builders due to the boom, there will be many new local builders available throughout the country. With increased number of builders, there is every chance that the quality of work will improve while the overall cost will come down.

Maybeck Residentials, one of the major players in the construction industry, is already offering excellent building services at competitive prices. You can talk to them whether you need to renovate a portion or build a new building from ground. The company will take care of everything for you once you sign a contract with them.

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Otago Museum a good family fun tour destination

Gliderol - family tour

Take a tour at the Otago Museum and discover the wonders therein. See some rare objects, live butterfly rainforest, and try its science exploration program.

Get yourself and your family a date at the Otago Museum in Dunedin. It’s both a fun and educational experience to explore the different displays there.

What to expect at the Otago Museum

Otago Museum takes pride in its collection of 1.5 million items. Among these, you can expect to see rare objects like Japanese armour; live butterfly rainforest, as well as moa eggs. You may even be interested participating in the science exploration activities and ome special exhibitions.

Gliderol - Tropical Forest

Tropical Forest. Described as the hottest attraction in Dunedin, the Tropical Forest at the Otago Museum is the only three-level, live butterfly experience in Australasia. Hundreds of lovely, live exotic butterflies, birds, fish, and turtles thrive here because of the warm temperature of the surroundings. The temperature at the Tropical Forest is maintained at around 28°C with a humidity of about 75%.  While its lush environment is made more lively with a variety of orchids, bananas, and other plants.

Science shows. The museum conducts regular interactive science shows that allow you to get involved in, such as in the realms of technology, physics, and other fields. In the Discovery World Explorations, you get the chance to investigate for yourself some phenomenal everyday science applications. While, in the Earth Science Series you are taught about volcanic eruptions, why it can rain fish at times, and experience an earthquake simulation. 

Otago Museum

Admission to Otago Museum

Entry to the museum is free of charge. Fees apply, however, in the Discovery World Tropical Forest, and the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium. You may buy your tickets either online prior to your visit, or on arrival at the Discovery Desk.

A visit to the Otago Museum is truly a fun and educational experience for the entire family. You can go there anytime as it is open 364 days a year.

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Wairarapa lodging houses: where comfort is like home

Wairarapa lodging

Wairarapa lodging facilities feel like home. And you don’t have to spend much for it. Personalized service is common anywhere you choose to stay.

The Wairarapa region is not only popular for its local attractions. Its accommodation facilities, too, are superb. You feel like you’re just in your own home.

Wairarapa lodging houses

Depending on your budget and room preference, there’s a suitable Wairarapa lodging for you. Check these out and see which one suits you best.

wairarapa lodging

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park Wairarapa

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park, WairarapaCopthorne Hotel and Resort is the ideal place to stay if you’re primary purpose  is to visit any or all of these places:

  • Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre
  • the local vineyards
  • Tui Brewery

The hotel offers you easy access to these famous local attractions as well as to many other tourist destinations. It has 102 guest rooms that can accommodate you well.

Bordeaux on Cologne 26. Bordeaux is a self-contained holiday home right on Cologne Street. It’s just a four-minute walk from Martinborough’s renowned wineries. The property can comfortably accommodate around 10 to 12 guests at a time in its two queen bedrooms.

Moata Bed and Breakfast. This is a very well-kept 80-year old farm homestead. Moata Bed and Breakfast is right on Upper Plain Road in Masterton. It’s nestled on a 13-acre beautifully landscaped land with a tranquil rural surrounding,  It has two double and one twin bedrooms.

Moata is also an ideal venue for wedding parties and special events. So, don’t fail to check this out.

Shearer’s Cottage Masterton. Shearer’s Cottage is an elegant self-contained boutique and lodge. It caters to one or two guests at a time. So, you enjoy quiet moments alone and in private. You’ll find Shearer’s Cottage on Blackrock Road in Masterton.

Shearer’s Cottage requires, however, that you should stay for at least two nights there. Its tariff is $175 per night, inclusive of GST and abundant breakfast basket.

Wairarapa lodging

Gateway Motor Inn. If you come to Masterton with a small group, book at Gateway Motor Inn. It can accommodate up to 30 guests in these types of bedrooms.

  • rooms with king-size beds that have beautiful ensuite, private sundeck, full mini bar, tea and coffee facilities, room service, and other amenities
  • ‘Pharlap’ suite. Here, the bedroom is separate, with spa bath, and its kitchen is fully-equipped. The kitchen also serves as dining and lounge area and can be used for meetings.

Gateway Motor Inn is on 390 High Street, Masterton.

For booking and further information about any of these Wairarapa lodging houses, you may contact the property directly. 

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Backpacker accommodation in Central Auckland

backpacker accommodation

In Central Auckland, you can stay in a truly comfortable backpacker accommodation without compromising quality. Where service is generally commendable!

Finding a low-priced accommodation in a first class city can be difficult. But not in Central Auckland. It is here where affordable rates and quality are common. Backpacker accommodation comes with personalized and prompt service. The facilities are also generally clean.

Backpacker accommodation

If you are looking for a good backpacker accommodation in Central Auckland, check these out.

backpacker accommodation

Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel

City Lodge. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay, choose City Lodge. Although it is located right in the central business district, the hotel provides you with a serene ambience.  All of its guest rooms are clean and have en-suite facilities.  

You can find City Lodge on Vincent Street, between Mayoral Dr and Pitt Street. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the Sky City casino complex and near the Aotea centre.

Queen Street Backpackers. One of the friendliest backpackers hostels in Auckland City! That is how Queen Street Backpackers is better known for.

Located on 4 Fort Street, the hostel gives you easy access to local transport like train and bus stations and ferry terminals. Shopping precincts are also nearby. Room rates at Queen Street Backpackers range from $21 to $99, depending on the type of room you choose to stay in.

The Station Backpackers. The Station is on Level 5 and Level 7 of the Arena Hotel. It’s a brand new backpacker accommodation on Beach Road, right in the central business district. The hostel is close to the city’s major local attractions. It provides you easy access to Auckland’s art galleries, museum, transport system, beaches, cinema, and markets.

Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel.  If you want to be near the Vector Arena, stay at Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel. This is an apartment-style accommodation on Fort Street. 

backpacker accommodation

Verandah’s Backpackers Lodge. The Veranda’s Backpackers Lodge is located on Hopetoun Street. What makes this facility unique is its architecture. Verandah’s Backpacker Lodge consists of villas built in 1900. And yet it’s very well-kept and still elegant as it was. From its location, you can just walk to the cafes, restaurants, entertainment centres, and boutique shops.

For your inquiries regarding room rates, contact the backpacker accommodation of your choice directly. You may also consult with your travel agent for further details of each.

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Hamilton attractions: there’s more to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ set

Gliderol - Sanctuary Mountain 2

Hamilton attractions are not limited to Tolkien’s realm of Middle Earth. Find out more for yourself and be amazed at the wonders of the region.

If you are a Tolkien fan,  you would perhaps readily associate Hamilton with the amazing Hobbit-sized village created for his trilogy. But are you aware that there are far more Hamilton attractions than what you have seen in the films?

Yes, apart from the wonderful scenery featured in J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy, there are definitely more reasons to visit Hamilton, New Zealand. This once agricultural service centre has dramatically grown to become the third fastest growing urban centre in New Zealand. It’s now a thriving retail hub, offering a wide a range of products – from the essentials to the fanciest items. Everything you need and want is virtually found in Hamilton.

Timber Trail

Timber Trail

Interesting Hamilton attractions

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.  Considered the largest pest-proof inland conservation project of New Zealand, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari has successfully restored a 3,400-hectare land into what it was in the ancient times

Timber Trail is where you can go cycling through massive ancient forests

Hamilton Gardens. Unlike any garden, Hamilton Gardens is composed of several themed-plots, each of which tells stories of ancient civilizations.

Sightseeing tour at the Waikato River. Canoeing through the longest river in New Zealand allows you to experience a different kind of sightseeing tour. 

Hot air balloon ride. Sightseeing tour on a hot air balloon allows you to look at Hamilton and the Waikato region from a unique perspective.

Hamilton attractions

Hamilton Gardens

And of course, when you’re in Hamilton you should not miss visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set. Here, you can retrace the path that Frodo and Bilbo Baggins took in ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

These are but few of the several Hamilton attractions that you should visit when you come to New Zealand.

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