When Great Barrier Island, off the coast of Auckland, became a Dark Sky Sanctuary, I wrote this story for Singapore Airlines' inflight magazine, SilverKris.
It’s a fiercely-fought contest, a 24-hour endurance event, a significant pest control operation, and a family sporting occasion. The 25th birthday of the Great Easter Bunny Hunt is one more assault in the war against the rabbits of Central Otago—and for the Southern Hopper Stoppers, it’s also a celebration of the friendships forged on the front line.
Kauri create shelter and nourishment for other species to grow, but now, a disease without a cure is killing these forest giants one by one. In the past five years, the infection rate of kauri has more than doubled in the only forest where it’s monitored—the Waitakere Ranges. At least one in five trees there are doomed. Can we save the species?
When the MV Rena broke in half on January 8, 2012, three months after it ploughed at full speed into Astrolabe Reef, the water around it bloomed a bright, tropical blue.
The colour was due to the 25-kilogram bags of milk powder that had ruptured during the previous day’s storm.
It was just one of the commodities that the Rena disgorged into the Bay of Plenty over the following months...
In a library of palm-leaf manuscripts, everything smells like camphor. Each page must be regularly oiled to keep it soft and moist; if it dries, it turns to dust, like tree bark that disintegrates when it becomes brittle.
For Clemency Montelle, the sight of a library full of these thousand-year-old manuscripts, rows and rows of shelves retreating backwards, hasn’t yet been dulled by familiarity...
Catching kea requires two things: patience and a hot-pink jandal. You can substitute something else for the jandal, but the patience is compulsory.
First, you’ll set up camp on the tops, above the bushline, where tussock and wind make the air blurry. You’ll have to rise before dawn to start your watch, because kea are crepuscular—they go foraging at the times when day and night merge...