Tag Archives: New Zealand

Playboy model angers Maori with nude shoot on sacred mountain

For many people, constantly on the hunt for a striking image to post on Facebook or Instagram, reaching the top of a mountain overlooking the clouds might provide the perfect shot.

And if you’re a Playboy model, with nearly 300,000 followers, why not quickly drop your kit and step right into that shot – butt naked.

Continue reading Playboy model angers Maori with nude shoot on sacred mountain

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New Zealand whales: Hundreds refloat on high tide at Farewell Spit

More than 200 whales stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand on Saturday have refloated themselves and returned to sea.

But conservation officials have warned that they could still turn back to the beach at Farewell Spit, South Island.

Earlier, volunteers managed to refloat some 100 of the more than 400 pilot whales which beached on Thursday.

Continue reading New Zealand whales: Hundreds refloat on high tide at Farewell Spit

This amazing starry sky is a cave full of glowworms in New Zealand

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day features an amazing photo by Phill Round. It looks like a frame from a Spielberg movie—an humanoid figure appearing at the base of a mountain, with the unknown starry sky of an alien world behind it. In reality, it’s a man getting into New Zealand’s Hollow Hill Cave.

From APOD:

HollowHillwithHans1024

Captured in this long exposure, the New Zealand glowworms scattered across the cave ceiling give it the inviting and open appearance of a clear, dark night sky filled with stars. Unsuspecting insects fooled into flying too far upwards get trapped in sticky snares the glowworms create and hang down to catch food.

The 11 Friendliest Cities In The World, According To Travelers

11. Salzburg, Austria

11. Salzburg, Austria

Score: 82.5 (tie)

It’s not difficult to see why Salzburg made the list. The beautiful city boasts “mountain vistas, mind-blowing architecture, and so much history,” and the people are “warm and friendly,” our readers gush.

It’s also very family friendly: “It’s like a living theme park, the perfect destination for young kids on their first trip to Europe,” one reader added. Plus, it’s home to the gorgeous Hotel Goldener Hirschone of Europe’s best hotels with the most helpful staff around.

11. Budapest, Hungary

11. Budapest, Hungary

Score: 82.5 (tie)

Budapest is “majestic, regal, and breathtaking,” with its “rich history and elegant buildings,” according to our readers. But it’s the “lovely, friendly people,” “courteous drivers,” and “youthfulness” that make the city special.

Our readers suggest heading to the Fisherman’s Bastion to get “a real feeling of local life.” In the summer, don’t miss the chance to mingle with the locals at one of Budapest’s now-famous “sparties,” which are held at the landmark Széchenyi Baths.

9. Seville, Spain

9. Seville, Spain

Score: 82.8 (tie)

“Quaint and amazing”—plus “charming, beautiful, and welcoming”—is how our readers describe the historic capital of Andalusia.

“The locals are warm, kind, and full of life,” one reader adds, while another raves that the city “dances to the rhythm of flamenco like no other Spanish city!” See for yourself—and while you’re there, have a meal at the classic and elegant Egaña Oriza, an editor favorite.

9. Savannah, Georgia, USA

9. Savannah, Georgia, USA

Score: 82.8 (tie)

Charm abounds in Georgia’s oldest city, as evidenced by the number of readers who raved about the “animated guides in seersucker suits” and “Spanish moss dripping from the trees.”

Visitors both new and returning also enthused that the “rich tapestry of our country’s history” here made them feel like they’d “stepped back in time.” For delicious Southern fare, “don’t miss The Pirate’s House Sunday Brunch.”

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Score: 83.6

Though Siem Reap is full of “awe-inspiring beauty” and “incredible food and sights,” our readers say that its “people were the best.” One reader added: “It is the resiliency and kindness of the Cambodian people that I will remember.”

While you’re there, stay at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor (pictured), five miles from Angkor Wat, orAmansara Resort, famous for its wonderful staff, beautiful chalets, and location—just minutes from Angkor Archaeological Park.

5. Sydney, Australia

5. Sydney, Australia

Score: 83.8 (tie)

Not only is Sydney “the most beautiful large city in the world” with a “breathtaking” harbor and beaches, it’s also home to the “friendliest people,” our readers say.

“They’re always so helpful, and they love Americans!” another adds. As if you needed another reason to visit, Sydney is also home to the best food in the world. Don’t visit without stopping by at the spectacular Quay for Chef Peter Gilmore’s nature-inspired cuisine.

5. Dublin, Ireland

5. Dublin, Ireland

Score: 83.8 (tie)

According to our readers, Dublin is a “vibrant city” that’s a “bibliophile’s dream.”

Apart from being “green, lush, and very walkable,” it’s also “the kind of place you stop in for a drink in a local pub, only to end up chatting with the locals for the next five hours.” Even First Lady Michelle Obama is a fan.

4. Charleston, South Carolina, USA

4. Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Several visitors praised this “quaint and special little gem” for embodying Southern hospitality at every turn—so much so that they “would consider living there full time.”

The historic town earned accolades for its blend of “undervalued local culture,” history, and natural beauty, as well as the “incredible food” and Charleston City Market, with its boutiques and art galleries.

3. Victoria, BC, Canada

3. Victoria, BC, Canada

Score: 85.7

There’s just so much to do in Victoria, you need at least a week to see it. “Bike on the Galloping Goose, people-watch at Moka House Coffee, sip wine at Beacon Hill Park, go whale watching, and on and on,” one of our readers advises.

“The inner harbor is worth a day wandering around,” another adds. While you’re there, look for the stunning Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is well worth “a walk through, even if you don’t go for high tea.”

1. Melbourne, Australia (TIE)

1. Melbourne, Australia (TIE)

Score: 86.0 (tie)

It’s no surprise that our readers adore Melbourne: It’s “one of the classiest cities in the world” and boasts an “abundance of parks and fabulous public art.”

Plus, Melbournians are a “friendly bunch,” famous for their “wonderful sense of humor.” And don’t even start with Melbourne’s amazing nightlife, food, and hotels—we told you long ago it was Australia’s capital of cool.

1. Auckland, New Zealand (TIE)

1. Auckland, New Zealand (TIE)

Score: 86.0 (tie)

We must admit, we saw this one coming—and so did you. “The people are friendly, and their humor and view on life is something to aspire to attain,” said one reader. “Such a gorgeous city on the water” with “clear air,” “fresh food,” and “amazing culture,” others raved.

A trip to the Auckland Museum for its Maori collections and “terrific” cultural performances is highly recommended. If you’ve never been to New Zealand, this “clean, youthful, adventurous, beautiful” city is the “ideal starting place” for seeing the country.

Hobbiton Movie Set is a Real Life Version of Middle-Earth You Can Visit

Though The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are over, that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating the franchise.

And for die-hard fans, there’s always Hobbiton to visit.

The former movie set is located in Matamata, a small agricultural town in the Waikato region of New Zealand.

Since filming, it was turned into a spectacular permanent attraction that’s complete with 44 unique Hobbit holes, a double arched bridge, and The Green Dragon Inn and Bar.

Tours are available, and they begin at a picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm and pass through the 12-acre site that’s home to Hobbiton.

The knowledgeable guides share fascinating details of how the set was created.

Afterwards, you can dine at the specially-recreated Green Dragon Bar on traditional Hobbit fare and craft beer.

Matamata is about two hours from the major city of Auckland.

If you want to make a weekend of it, accomodations are available on nearby farms, giving you a taste of the rural community.

Considering how gorgeous these photos look, you’ll definitely want to spend ample time taking in the pastoral beauty.

Easy Urban Gardening with Bosske Planters

<br /> In addition to its fleet of cube planters, Bosske designed the Sky Planter, which can be hung from a ceiling or covered porch. The interior of each planter includes a self-watering reservoir, limiting the amount of time one needs to spend watering. The hanging model also limits the amount of floor or table space that traditional planters take up, making them perfect options for small apartments.<br />

New Zealand–based Bosske derives its name from “bosky,” an old English word meaning “small forest.” Expanding on this concept, Bosske creates gardening products for small spaces, including indoor environments like apartments.

Bosske’s line of products also includes self-watering reservoirs that enable them to practically care for themselves, making them ideal planters for busy professionals. Find the planters in the Dwell Store.

<br /> The Bosske cubes can be used to house flowers, giving a pop of color to an apartment, or a variety of other plants. The trio planter makes for a great herb garden on a kitchen windowsill or counter.<br />

In addition to its fleet of cube planters, Bosske designed the Sky Planter, which can be hung from a ceiling or covered porch. The interior of each planter includes a self-watering reservoir, limiting the amount of time one needs to spend watering.

The hanging model also limits the amount of floor or table space that traditional planters take up, making them perfect options for small apartments.

<br /> A best-selling product at the Dwell Store, the Bosske cube is available in a small, large, and trio planter. Structured in a clear acrylic cube, the planter is designed to reveal the inner workings of each plant—soil, roots, and all.<br />

The best places to live – A data-driven ranking of the most liveable cities

NOT New York nor Paris nor Tokyo. Urbanites in Britain’s former dominions should count themselves lucky, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, our corporate cousin.

Its annual “liveability index” puts eight of the taen most comfortable places in Australia, Canada or New Zealand. The index crunches 30 factors related to things like safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment in 140 cities.

Over the past five years urban life has deteriorated somewhat: liveability has declined in 51 places and improved in 31 places.

During that time, the index average has dropped 0.7 percentage points (skewed by cities in conflict areas where survival, rather than living well, is the priority). Interestingly, the top cities have not changed much over time.

The EIU notes that they “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density.” Hence those of us in London, San Francisco and Shanghai must endure the rat-race, and dream of dwelling amid Viennese coffee houses or Vancouver’s sailing and skiing.

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