Note from archiver<at>cs.uu.nl:
This page is part of a big collection
of Usenet postings, archived here for your convenience.
For matters concerning the content of this page,
please contact its author(s); use the
source, if all else fails.
For matters concerning the archive as a whole, please refer to the
or contact the archiver.
Subject: The soc.culture.new-zealand FAQ (part 5 of 6)
This article was archived around: 22 Jul 2002 01:01:02 +1200
Posting-frequency: monthly, and a pointer is posted to s.c.n-z on Mondays.
Subject: B5.4 Misc Info
B5.4.1 Film Developing
I recommend Monochrome in Durham Street Christchurch for b/w developing.
I recommend Kiwi Photolab on Gloucester Street for 35mm, and New Zealand
Photocorp on Welles Street for roll and sheet film.
Subject: B6. Map Of New Zealand
Maps are copyright, North Cape _,
please do not repost. \\
\ \ Bay of Islands
\ > o
\O \ _
1 Whangarei \2(_ \\
2 Auckland \O2\| | Bay of Plenty
3 Hamilton \ \_ __
4 Tauranga | \_ _/ >
5 Rotorua | 3 4 \____,' |
6 Taupo | 5 7/
7 Gisborne __/ _6 |
8 New Plymouth ,'8 >_) ,--,
9 Napier/Hastings ( Lake ( Hawkes
10 Wanganui `- _ Taupo 9 | Bay
11 Palmerston North \_10 /
12 Masterton \ _/
13 Wellington ___ | 11 /
/ (_ , | 12 _/
| | ///, / _/
/ (_////// (13___/
_/ 14 ( Cook
| 15 16\ Strait
TASMAN SEA / /
/ / PACIFIC OCEAN
_/ _/ 14 Nelson
__/18 / 15 Westport
__/ , 19(_ 16 Blenheim
__/ 20| _<>_n) 17 Greymouth
__/ \ | __/ Banks 18 Hokitika
_/ // __/ Peninsula 19 Christchurch
_/21 |22 23/ 20 Mount Cook
_/ |_24 | 21 Milford Sound
_/ _-| | 25/ 22 Wanaka
/ -|26 / 23 Timaru
/ - | 24 Queenstown
| _- 27> Otago 25 Oamaru
\_,-__ _/ Peninsula 26 Te Anau
Foveaux \28_ _/ 27 Dunedin
Strait ,_ `-.___/ 28 Invercargill
/_ / Stewart
Subject: C1 Definition Of 'Kiwi'
For a 'definitive' definition of what a 'kiwi' is (and isn't), here is
pete@bignode's contribution. Americans take particular note... :-)
"The kiwi is a rare flightless (& very much protected) bird native to New
Zealand, and is a symbol of NZ in much the same way that the bald eagle is
a symbol of the US. "Kiwi" is also a (generally affectionate) informal
term for a New Zealander. The pulpy green fruit with the brown skin that
Americans call "kiwi" is known everywhere else in the world as "kiwifruit",
and not all NZers realise that Americans don't know the correct name for
"If you tell a New Zealander that you ate a *kiwi*, you are unlikely to be
accused of cannibalism, but if the NZer doesn't realise that you mean a
*kiwifruit*, you will probably shock & offend them (what would your
reaction be if I told you that I ate a bald eagle?). If they *do* realise
that you mean a *kiwifruit*, they will probably just be annoyed. If you
can't understand why they should be annoyed, think of something that
America introduced to the world & imagine your reaction if we insisted on
ignoring the name that you gave it, & called it "bald eagle" or "stars and
C1.1 'Real Kiwi' Test
From: Dave Matoe
Subject: Are you are *real* kiwi test
The following test was written for a Waitangi Day party we threw a few
years back. We were amused by the apparent lack of awareness for NZ
holidays (despite being listed in the Gary Larson Calenders) so we set out
to educate our mates on Kiwi trivia. The questions are by no means
definitive and loads of juicy in-jokes have been missed out (the Goodnight
Kiwi for instance - the jokes no fun if you've never seen the thing...
should be in bed anyways :-) There is a slight ethnic tinge to the
questions, but as a Maori I like to take the piss out of myself more than
anything else so no flames please.
Incidently, the answers were rated (by a somewhat dodgey set of standards,
but its my questionnaire so tuff if you disagree :-) and scored. I have
included these results in brackets. At the end is a total sheet to see if
you passed or not.
I've also included some additional questions gleaned from notes from this
1. How many Islands are there in N.Z.? (Warning! don't confuse this with
"Islanders" cos that answers "bloody heaps of em mate")
a) 1 
b) 2 
c) 3 
4) Isn't it part of Australia? 
2. What is a Pakeha?
a) The Maori word for Parka - as in "Shit! its raining and I've left my
Pakeha at home" 
b) A foreigner 
c) The maori word for Pakistani's 
d) A crested white dove, symbolising international peace and harmony lying
on a plate with a lovely cheese sauce 
3. What is the colloquial term for people of NZ origin?
a) Bloody foreigners 
b) Bloody non-tax paying foreigners 
c) Kiwi's 
d) Fat bastards [-1 (insults do you no favours)]
4. What is NZ's national symbol?
a) A fernleaf 
c) Oi, what happened to B 
b) Ahh, there it is 
d) An odd fat bird that can't fly 
e) 'DB!' 
5. What is a Hori?
a) A short way of saying horrible - as in "Man, that bloke is a bit of a
b) The term used when you're only half horizontal 
c) Slang for 'a cuzzy bro' 
d) A fascist statement imposed on a minority group with the sole intent of
destablising their cultural position in a tumultuous ethinic climate,
with the hope of doing something or other that might be construed as
brilliant because it has words in it people can't understand (like wheel
barrow and vegemite. Multi-syllable words always were a killer) but its
underlying theme it to highlight what a gullible person you, the reader,
6. What is a Honki?
a) Something you blow your nose into 
b) The subject of the verb 'to honk' 
c) A very pale maori 
d) The noise a goose being strangled makes 
7. What is a coconut?
a) A small hard furry nut 
b) A large furry nutcase 
c) Something sprinkled over a lamington 
d) All of the above 
8. Where can the largest concentration of kiwis be found?
a) Sydney 
b) Auckland 
c) Any boat from Hong Kong or Rarotonga 
d) The Gluepot tavern on a Saturday night 
9. What city is the Capital of NZ?
a) Wellington 
b) Auckland 
c) Canberra 
d) One teaspoon of flour and 1 egg, mix together and bake for 5 minutes
10. What export generates the *worse* money for NZ?
a) Sheep 
b) Quality home grown TV like Shortland St, Close To Home, Spot-on or
c) Dairy products 
d) Nudey pictures of Selwyn Toogood 
11. Who sings "I'm a little fire engine"?
a) Fluke 
b) Flake 
c) Flock 
d) Flick 
12. What would have happened if you "just got your beans"?
a) You would have a butt full of fart gas 
b) You would have just got a beating 
c) You just did the wild thing with a choice sheila 
d) Your cell mate 'hemi' wanted to play mummies and daddies and mummy split
your butt with her dick 
13. What does 'choice' mean?
a) Excellent 
b) Several options available to an individual 
c) Short word for N.Z tea made by Choysa 
d) Whats left when all thats left in the box of xmas chocs is the revolting
marzipan ones which nobody likes. 
14. What is DB?
a) Two letters from the alphabet [-1 (No one likes a smart ass)]
b) Sweet Nectar from the Gods 
c) David Bowies initials 
d) Chemical unit for Puhaa and Pork Bones 
15. From what TV program does Manu come from?
a) Close To Home (The alchy school teacher) 
b) Shortland Street (A hit and run victim under the sheet) 
c) Play School (The polynesian doll) 
d) Romper Room (The lady who sang 'bounce bounce bounce a ball') 
16. What is a tiki?
a) A tacky green plastic ornament worn by anybody NOT from NZ 
b) A green Maori symbol with his tongue pointing out 
c) Something you get from your mentally imbalanced auntie cos she wants you
to get back in touch with your cultural roots 
d) The boat made famous by a Norwegian call CON 
17. What are Jandals?
a) A female blues trio from Aranui 
b) Something you wear on your feet 
c) Stink plastic rugby boots you had to wear when you were 5 
d) A kiwi name given to something a bit poofy. i.e. "By jingo's that
Invercargill forward pack are a pack of Jandals" 
18. What would you do if you had a Weta on your arm?
a) Remark how it complements your floral shirt 
b) Scream and yell 'getthefuckingthingoffame!!' 
c) Pay a visit to the local STD clinic 
d) Tell your little brother to stop pissing around or you'll punch his
lights out. 
19. What are Judder bars?
a) A pub for Judders 
b) A chocolate bar 
c) Humps on the road, designed to slow you down and destroy the
undercarriage of your car 
d) Things that wake you up when you're driving home from the pub pissed 
20. What is a huhu and what would you do with it?
a) A grub, you would eat it 
b) A grub, you can't eat it 
c) Something your little sister did in her undies five years ago and you've
taunted her about it ever since 
d) Something that tastes like the thing your sister did in her undies five
years ago 
21. What does L&P stand for?
a) Limp and Putrid 
b) Lemon and Paeroa 
c) Large and Penetrating 
d) Little and Pathetic 
22. What is the kiwi word for food?
a) Macdonalds 
b) Kai 
c) Tahky ah ways 
d) Kay Eff See 
23. What is a Feijoa?
a) A second generation Fijian immigrant 
b) A small sail on the front of a yacht 
c) A luvely piece of fruit 
d) The kiwi word for laxative 
24. What do you wear with your Bata Bullets?
a) Cap, shirt 
b) Socks 
c) The luvley taffita outfit that matches your eyes 
d) Stubbies 
25. What is the correct kiwi phrase?
a) Rellies 
b) Relatives 
c) Rello's 
d) Bloody in-laws 
26. Which newsgroup do frequent most often?
a) rec.sport.rugby 
b) rec.sport.racing 
c) rec.sport.beer 
d) alt.sex.bizarre 
e) soc.culture.new-zealand 
27. Who was the drummer in Grunt Machine?
a) Ray Columbus 
b) Max Cryer 
c) Tenika Buschkeyae 
d) Bruno Lawrence 
28. What was Channels two's first name?
a) South Pacific Television 
b) Channel 2 
c) NZBC - 2 
d) The black and White minstrel show 
29. Which kiwi song has the highest gross sales overseas?
a) 'Everything is beautiful' by Ernie Lennard and Glynn Tucker 
b) 'The love bug' by unknown 
c) 'Tequila sunrise' by Annie Whittle 
d) 'Take the money and run' by Bunny Walters 
e) '1905' by Shona Lang 
f) ' Lets join together' by Ray something or other 
g) Any song by Craig Scott 
h) 'How Bizzarre' by OMC 
i) 'Rust on my car' Citizen band 
30. What was Fred Daggs flea entrant called?
a) Trev 
b) Murry 
c) Wayne 
d) Daggy boy 
The scores 0 - 48
Man did you dip out or what! What a complete saddo you turned out to be.
The Dept of kiwi immigration had hopes for you, but you failed us so
dsimally that it pains us to even speak to you. We no more want you to be
a kiwi than the queen wants you as a sex slave. You have obviusly never
been to NZ, talked to someone from NZ or even contemplated the gloriousness
that it is to be a New Zealander. You are about as popular as a hunchback
with a burst hump. It is the findings of this department that unless you
have brought to the party a sister worth shagging, a beer worth drinking,
or some shit worth smoking then its adios amoeba!!
48 - 78
Close. Very close. But sadly not close enough. You have reached what is
techmically known in the trade as a 'bloody stink' level of kiwism. You
can proudly say that you know a little of the greatness it is to be a
"omnimpotentlysuccessfulandincrediblymodestkiwi" which is truly a wonderous
feat. Should you wish to continue on your path to enlightenment, the dept
of kiwi immigration strongly suggests you read one of the following
Aotearoa 'Rugged individual'
New Zealand 'Shit we're good'
The kiwi 'Greatness and modesty personified'
Coincidently, these books are available from member of the dept of kiwism
for a very reasonable price.
78 - 120
CONGRATULATIONS!! You made it.
You have reached the highest standards known to man (and woman, lets not
get sexist here) The Dept of kiwi immigration has but one word to say to
you: CHOICE BRO (ok, technically two words but I never could count) You
have achieved the cuzzie bro level of kiwism. Billy T himself would
proclaim you a 'Fella'. Barry Crump (god rest his swanny) would proclaim
you a 'real top bloke' and Karen Haye would try and score some drugs off
you. Well done mate!!
Subject: C2 Cities Of New Zealand
WHANGAREI. It's the gateway to the Bay of Islands, Whangarei Falls is
beautiful, it has excellent diving (Poor Knights), excellent fishing, a
fairly interesting Kauri museum near by (can't remember the name of it),
that clock museum (yawn).... Golfing all year round.
AUCKLAND. It's the biggest, it's hilly, it's got a motorway or two, no
water except what gets caught in rain barrels, Rob Hay's brother and his
family and a couple of his friends live there, it has more winebars and
cafe's than Chch - but not within walking distance of each other....
HAMILTON is smaller, messier, and wet. Fast growing, vibrant, strong
University influence. "It's a hole".
ROTORUA stinks! It's quite nice but it still stinks. :-)
GISBORNE fits in here somewhere...
NEW PLYMOUTH is sitting on the side of an 'extinct' volcano.
NAPIER/HASTINGS is where kiwifruit grow and the earth moved...
WANGANUI has a nice river, but no-one knows who owns it.
Mark Doherty offers:
Population about 80,000. The city has (to me anyway) a distinctly
rural/parochial atmosphere which I kind of like. It's VERY laid-back.
It's built (mostly anyway) on a regular grid plan - wide streets, low
traffic density and definately lowrise building. Since the city is almost
entirely on a very flat plain, it's fairly compact for its population.
The town hosts a reasonable sized university, so nightlife is somewhat
more diverse than you might expect (it ain't Seattle or SF, tho'!).
People are friendly.
House prices are low, so is cost of living generally.
It's a great town for getting around by bike - flat as a griddle, plenty of
bike lanes and traffic density is SO LOW that last time I went there I
wondered where all the people were.
Easy access to outdoor lifestyle - hiking and hunting in the Ruahines and
Tarauas (little bitty mountains on the order of the Shenandoahs or
Smokies), canoeing on the Manawatu and Wanganui, hiking and skiing in the
central plateau (real mountains), horse riding etc - all within about an
hour or two's easy driving.
There is nothing even remotely resembling a US-style commute - you can live
(literally) in the country and drive to work in 10 minutes, or cycle to
work in half an hour (easy!).
Easy and relatively cheap internet access.
The weather is grotty. Not really cold in winter, but grey and rainy.
Summers are often nice - long, dry and warm, but not really hot.
It is, when all is said and done, a provincial town. I really enjoyed the
6 years I spent in Palmerston, but I would find it hard to go back now for
more tan a visit (those I always enjoy the hell out of!). But then, I
wouldn't move to Kalamazoo either!
So there you go. Not the place to move if you like bright lights, but a
good place if raising a family looms large in your agenda.
WELLINGTON is a tectonic nightmare. Go there if you like politicians, wind
(oops, redundancy :-) and dangerous airports. It's the capital of NZ.
NELSON is sunny and warm and a nice place to retire to (if you can afford
the house prices).
BLENHEIM is sunnier, warmer, and a great place to grow grapes (ask Montana).
WESTPORT is on the We[s]t Coast and is therefore wet.
GREYMOUTH is also on the We[s]t Coast and, being backed by higher hills is
HOKITIKA is a little drier because it's away from the hills. No other
CHRISTCHURCH was founded in about 1845. The older part of the city is laid
out on a grid system bounded by four avenues. Other roads take you out to
the suburbs which started as separate villages and have now grown together.
Chch is the largest city in the South Island with a population of about
350,000 people. It has a nearby port and an international airport.
Industry is a mixture of high tech (software, electronics design and
assembly) and agricultural oriented service and processing. Tourism is
expanding and is important.
There are two universities, Canterbury (near town), and Lincoln (30 km out
of town) and lots of opportunity for recreation. There are many parks in
the city and the CBD is experiencing an increase in nightlife. Access to
the rest of the SI, and indeed the NI is excellent.
If you like golf, there are 42 courses available in Canterbury...
TIMARU is 160kms down the coast from Chch. It's the other main port in
Canterbury. My sysadmin is from there so I thought I'd better include it!
WANAKA is by Lake Wanaka in the Southern Alps and is a predominately
tourist and holiday centre. Treble Cone and Cardrona skifields are near
by. The Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in April (usually in Easter weekend)
is an awesome show but unless you've booked accommodation you won't find
anywhere to stay within 100 kilometres - it'll probably attract about
50,000 visitors. There's the MAZE in Wanaka if you like solving puzzles.
It is an excellent place to while the day away.
QUEENSTOWN is by Lake Wakatipu and is the main tourist trap of the NZ 'Lake
District'. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables skifields are the main winter
attractions, bungying takes place all year round.
Richard Symonds gives us:
"I too recommend the Doubtful Sound trip (known as the Triple trip if you
take in the underground power station too - ever gone underground by bus
before?!) A few long trips (still under a day) I enjoyed as a kiwi tourist
in his own country:
- Dart River
- Nomad Safari's Skippers Canyon (you get to view bungee jumping)
- Nomad Safarils Macetown trip (over forty river crossings by landrover)
- Kawarau Jet, which was cheaper, longer, more fun and moe exciting than the
Shotover Jet (which is a rip-off). O.K. the river is wider but they got
closer to the edge. It departs from the main town pier.
- The gondola and the film that shows in the building at the top.
"Its a couple of years since I last went to Queenstown so some of these
attractions might have changed."
Lin Nah offers (edited pretty hard):
There's Skippers Canyon. Famous for the pipeline bungy (102m jump) but you
can take a safari trip there. It is well worth it. I did not do it but
paid $40 for an empty seat on the bungy bus. They don't sell this till
just before the bus leaves. You end up watching people jump off the bridge
but the scenery on the way was well worth it.
There's some concern about the safety record of the people who run the
white water rafting trips. There has been quite a few fatalities there in
the last few years as well as a few major accidents. The North and South
magazine in December 1995 did a feature on this.
You can actually use Queenstown as the base for your trips to Milford,
Wanaka, Arrowtown etc. It is a very touristy town and is often alive when
other parts of NZ are asleep. Many trekkers use it as the stockup and
information point before they head off for the various Milford tracks.
There's a trip to Milford Sound (details in section C3.1.5). If you take
the one that goes overnight, on a good weather day it is definitely the
best value for money. The rushed day trip that leaves at 7am from
Queenstown and returns at 7pm is not even half the price of the overnight
trip. Not sure how they have time to make the number of stops we did.
There are some vineyards around Queenstown.
OAMARU is a really nice little rural centre of about 15K people. Source of
the famous white limestone used in buildings. It's in here mainly because
I was born there...
DUNEDIN is the second largest city in the SI but despite this, is a fairly
small city and the University is an important part of the place. There is
a very strong Scots tradition. During holidays, the place is pretty dead,
but during term time it is (in Richard Bowen's humble opinion :-) the most
sociable campus in the country.
The university is right next to the centre of town, and to the student
suburbs (or slums :-) so there is always a pub within staggering distance.
The vast majority of students are from out of town (most from the North
Island (?)), so they are there just as much to have an enjoyable time as to
learn. Atmosphere is more casual than anywhere else, doesn't have the
snobbishness of Auckland, or the executive orientation of Victoria
As for the university itself, most universities in nz are pretty similar,
unlike overseas. The Otago Med school is better than the Auckland one
though. I don't know of any weaknesses.
Note that good flats are hard to come by in Dunedin, you might have to
start paying from the end of the previous year.
Lousy weather much of the time.
INVERCARGILL is at the bottom end of the SI and is cold even in the middle
of summer, except on hot days... It rains lots and the Comalco aluminium
smelter is just down the road at Bluff (where the oysters used to come in).
Any other cities which *should* be included? If so, post them *with* a
description. Help filling out the cities above would be appreciated too!
Subject: C3 Holidaying In NZ
Subject: C3.1 Places
C3.1.1 Parks And Tracks
Over 20% of New Zealand is Forest or National parks. New Zealand's
national parks and protected areas are treasures of irreplaceable value.
There are 13 National Parks which preserve NZ's most spectacular scenery,
rare and endangered flora and fauna and archaeological sites. Besides the
National Parks system, there are two World Heritage sites within NZ;
Tongariro (the boundary coincides with the National Park of the same name)
and the South West New Zealand World Heritage area (incorporating Westland,
Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, and Fiordland National Parks, and well as
extensive state land making a total of 2.6mill hectares). Tongariro
National Park was the second(?) place in the world designated as such,
beaten by Yellowstone by only a year or so.
Additionally there are three maritime parks and a host of forest parks,
reserves and conservation areas throughout the country.
Public access is possible in all New Zealand Parks and many have
magnificent walking tracks within their boundaries. The Department of
Conservation administers the parks on behalf of the New Zealand people.
DoC provide and maintain facilities such as huts, lodges, camping grounds
Most parks have a visitor centre and many run visitor programmes including
guided walks. There is usually no charge for entry into the parks although
charges are often made for overnight stays and hut use.
The Department of Conservation has several pamphlets available. Try
writing to their head office at PO Box 10420, Wellington, phone 04-4710726.
Steve Harris offers:
"... guide for New Zealand on the net to give an idea about some of the
activities and destinations in the country at:
While not a park, Kapiti Island (west of southern NI) is worth a visit if
it can be arranged.
Brian Harmer wrote:
"I went to Kapiti Island, the nature reserve off the West coast of the
Southern part of the North Island. Never have I seen so much bird life so
close up. The Kaka (native forest parrot)were so tame they would fly up to
the visitors and perch on their shoulders, and deftly swipe the filling out
of sandwiches. I have the nature trail running down my back to prove it!
There were wekas galore, kereru, saddleback, stitchback and takahe, robins
and kakariki. The bush is glorious, but my calf muscles will ache for a
week after trudging for two hours to the summit for views to the South
Island, and Eastward towards New Zealand :-)
"Landing on the island is allowed by permit only. The focus is on
preservation of nature rather than provision of tourist attraction."
C3.1.2 Beaches, etc.
There are lots of these. As a result of the 'Queens Chain' law, all
coastline and river cbanks (within 20m+/-) are available for public use.
All coastline is also public land. However, access to such areas may be
restricted by having to cross private land.
C3.1.3 Distinctive Features
There are hundreds of distinguishing landmarks around NZ and any attempt to
catalogue them would far exceed the limits of my resources! Everything
from coastal caves and arches, to some of the oldest trees in the world,
bird sanctuaries, castles, geothermal areas and underground power stations.
C3.1.4 Archaeology/Historical/Heritage Sites
Definitely worth investigating if one is (or might be) interested.
C3.1.5 Places To Go To
Marty Burr is twisting my arm to combine certain areas with common
attractions into logical groupings, eg. Marlborough/Nelson. It's a
sensible idea and I'll work on it over the next month.
As many as there are holiday enthusiasts. I'm sure a list will evolve
slowly. Start by including all the national parks and main beaches...
Any of the National or Maritime Parks
Any of the South Island high-country lakes
Anywhere in the mountains
Most of the coastline
The NI Central Plateau/Desert Road
Ninety Mile Beach
Bay of Islands
Hawkes Bay (vineyards)
Kaikoura coast (whale watching)
Central Otago/Clutha Valley
Bruce Hoult wrote:
"Queenstown is the only real tourist trap, but is so stunning that you'll
love it anyway and you'd be silly to not go there."
Hugh Grierson wrote:
"Queenstown [is a tourist trap]. Wanaka is nicer."
Paul Caples(?) wrote:
"Tourist spots in and around Auckland
- Waitakere Ranges: heaps of bush walks (try Fairy Falls), Arataki Visitor
- West Coast Beaches: Piha, Muriwai (if you like surf)
- Wine: theres plenty of vineyards heading toward Muriwai and several
organised wine trails from Central Auckland.
- Harbour Island's: Rangitoto or Waiheke (ferry's from bottom of Queen St)."
Charles Eggen Wrote:
"I had a nice stay at Te Anau Backpackers, 48 Lake Front Drive, phone
64-3-249-7713 and they are within a few blocks of "downtown".
Lyndon Watson provides the following suggestions in response to someone
saying they were spending all of their three month stay in the North
"I must disagree here with those who say, "Oh, no, forget the North Island
and see the South instead."
"If you're only ever going to make one trip, then you should see the things
that are *most* peculiar to the country. Those must include, first and
foremost, the Maori aspect of the country which is best seen in the North -
at Rotorua, the Urewera and East Coast if you're really interested, and
Northland, especially. The early colonial history of New Zealand is also
best seen in the North, particularly in the Bay of Islands in Northland and
the Land War sites in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. As far as natural
features are concerned, some that are most exotic to tourists (depends, I
suppose, on where they come from) are also in the North - the
Rotorua/Taupo/Bay of Plenty geothermal features, the Kauri forests of
Northland, Mt Egmont. By contrast, the South Island is mainly visited for
its (admittedly grander) scenery and the historical remains in Central
Otago. I think that the one-time visitor should try to cover the country,
with the emphasis on the North Island, and only devote all of his time to
the South if grand scenery is all that he is interested in.
"If this is (hopefully) the first of many visits, then I think that a case
can be made for a reasonably brisk trip over all of the country, arguably
still putting the main emphasis on the North Island - a sort of preliminary
survey as it were. Let the first visit touch on the high tourist points
and act as a sort of general survey of what the country has to offer; later
visits can concentrate on what appeals most - once again the South Island
if grand scenery is what you want to see.
"Three months seems to me to be ample for a general look at the country,
even allowing for one or two extended stays at places that you particularly
like. Spend, say, a week each at Rotorua and the Bay of Islands, a few
days in Auckland and perhaps Wellington, another week in Central Otago
using Queestown as a base, and the rest of the time just meandering around
the country and lingering where you like.
"I would do a round trip around Northland, taking in the Bay of Islands, the
bus trip to Cape Reinga and the drive down the west through th kauri
forests, then head south from Auckland. Take it slowly! Spend a day
driving the 70 miles to Hamilton, looking round Rangiriri, Ngaruawahia and
so on. Spend another day meandering east to the Bay of Plenty and stop at
Tauranga or Whakatane. Explore the eastern Bay. Spend a few days driving
round East Cape and back through the Urewera and the pine forests to
Rotorua. Then south to Taupo, do some fishing if you like, and take a side
trip to the west to Taranaki. Spend a day driving right round Mt Egmont.
Go back to the centre and drive back north through the volcanic bush of
National Park and across to Turangi. Then south along the Desert Road and
through the North Island sheep country to Wanganui or Palmerston North
before crossing through the Manawatu Goge to the Wairarapa. Sample the
local wines and drive (with care) across the ranges to Wellington.
"Then, at last, take the slow ferry to Picton and start on the South..."
Tourism Nelson, via Peter Lowish, contributes this tome on the Nelson
The Nelson Region
The Nelson region is located at the north western tip of the South Island.
Nelson is renowned for a warm and sunny climate, golden sand beaches,
lakes, mountains and native forests. Combine this with the fine foods,
superb wines, innovative arts and crafts and warm hospitality to see why
visitors enjoy the greater Nelson region all year round. Nelson is the
oldest city in New Zealand (Queen Victoria signed a Royal Charter
proclaiming Nelson to be a city on 27 September 1858) and historic
buildings throughout the region reflect a bygone era. Accommodation caters
for everyone offering luxury lodges and hotels to camping/cabin facilities
and backpackers hostels.
The three National Parks in the region are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts
and trampers alike, offering a vast scope from coastal tracks to
mountainous terrain. The Abel Tasman National Park can be explored by
foot, launch or sea-kayak. Nelson Lakes National Park is a complete
contrast with alpine likes, flora and fauna. Kahurangi is the country's
newest National Park, an unequaled wilderness experience.
Arts and Crafts
The Nelson region is home to a diverse range of visual and performing
artists and craftspeople. Painters, potters, wood workers, textile
artists, sculptors and jewellers have studios right across the region
reflecting the area's colourful, vibrant environment. These artists have
been co-ordinated into trails, ideal for the free independent traveller.
The Nelson School of Music is steeped in tradition and hold regular
performances. Nelson is also home to the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards,
which attracts entrants and spectators from all over the world.
Lifestyle: Food and Wine
The relaxed atmosphere and great climate makes Nelson a sought after
holiday destination and place to live. The extensive selection of local
beverages and fine foods, of which seafoods are a speciality, tantalise
taste buds in the many cafes and restaurants around the region.
Two ski fields in the Nelson Lakes National Park offer a season extending
from July to October. Rafting, bungy jumping, horse trekking, skydiving
and fishing operate all year round.
In the geographical centre of New Zealand, Nelson is an all season, all
age, all year visitor destination.
We are pleased to announce a new web site: http://nelson.net.nz/
The pages consist of travel help to the region, including information on
the gateways of Marlborough and the West Coast, details of the three
national parks - Nelson Lakes, Kahurangi, and Abel Tasman, articles about
the 5 sub-regions of Nelson, Motueka/South Abel Tasman, Takaka/North Abel
Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Murchison.
Each sub district contains information on accommodation, activities,
services, eating out etc.
(end Peter Lowish's contribution)
To which Lin Nah adds:
"Perhaps a mention about the popularity of Takaka Hill for New Years eve
should be included. I did not know about this till I got there. It felt
like everyone wanted to be there.
"The Nelson area makes a significant contribution to the beer (hop
growing), and wine (several wineyards) industries, and of recent past,
tobacco industry (tobacco know frequently being replaced by green tea!).
Is the Riwaka Beer Fest on 2 January an annual thing or only happened this
tramping in the National Parks
kayaking in Marlborough Sounds
kayaking along the Abel Tasman National Park
hike or mountain bike (carefully!) on the Heaphy Track
tandem sky diving (Around $170 per person)
white water rafting on the Karamea River.
"The last can be arranged through Buller Adventure Tours at Inangahua
Junction (near Westport). This trip consists of a helicopter ride into the
area, raft down a grade 5 river (more thrills than the grade 4 river in
Queenstown). There are other bits you can add to it. The basic package
that starts at Wesport and ends there is around $200 per person. For those
in our bus, he offered a free glacier rafting trip on the Franz Josef
The hyperactive Lin then adds (hacked together from two posts):
"Spots you MUST hit in the South Island:
Abel Tasman National Park
West Coast: amazing scenery
Milford / Fiordland
Otago Peninsula: albatross colony, yellow eyed penguins, fur seals
various native birds, spectacular scenery
"There is a 2 day trip that may interest some. Leave Queenstown at 9am,
taking a steam boat (The Earnslaw) across Lake Wakatipu (we were served a
Continental breakfast) to Walter Peak sheep station, then a bus on the
other side takes you along the back farm roads towards Te Anau. You see
sheep, deer etc. along the way. Lunch at Te Anau (provide for yourself)
then down to Milford with stops on the way including a couple of short
walks. One was the cascade creek loop track. The second was the chasm.
In between the two we stopped at a stream (Monkey Creek) to collect some
fresh water from the stream and went through the Homer Tunnel. On the way
the driver makes quite a few stops.
"We were in Milford by 4:45pm and were on board a boat named the Wanderer
by 5pm. After a trip around the firod and out towards the Tasman Sea we
were fed a very delicious meal and spent a night on the boat, anchored in
the fiord. Sleeping bags and linen are provided in this trip. The next
morning we were woken up very very early. Most on the boat work up at 6am
when the boat's generator's started. the others were politely woken up by
7am. If you feel restless you can go kayaking at 6:15 - 7am. Someone
tried to go for a swim. But with water temp around 5-7 deg C, he did not
stay in very long. (When we stopped to fish the evening before, some did
go for a swim. Water was slightly warmer).
We were served continental and cooked breakfast. At 9am we were back in
Milford to rejoin the bus. Then we stopped at the start of the Routeburn
Track. Most on the bus went on the short 3 hour return walk to Key Summit
(make sure you take good shoes). We then headed back to Te Anau for lunch,
then it is back to Queenstown. Best value for money IMHO - provided the
weather is good. This is the 'Milford Overland' by Fiordland Travel. I
think it is better than the one organised by the Intercity Bus. If you are
short of time, then take the one by the Intercity Bus. You leave at 7am
and come back at 7pm. Not many stops along the way."
There is also a smaller boat called Tutuko(?) It is good for private
parties like groups of 10 - 15 people. The Wanderer takes around 40 - 50
people and is a more stable boat.
You do not really need to book very far ahead. I was there first/second
week of January. I needed to book 1 week ahead. The only problem would be
if a big tour group(s) wants to go on the same day as you.
Most of the accommodation is single bunks, 4 bunks per berth. They tried
to segregate by gender but did not work for our lot as we were used to
mixed dorms and some of them were couples (14 of the people in the
backpackers bus was in the same trip). There are a couple of double bunks.
I think if you want those, you should book earlier.
It is a trip I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend to everyone provided the weather is
good. The group before us had a partial refund because the rain was too
heavy for the wanderer to leave the dock at Milford. Milford has 7m (SEVEN
METRES) of rainfall a year. Be prepared. The trip is run by Fiordland
Travel. I think the cost is around NZ$200 per head. I paid $176 because I
was travelling with Kiwi Experience.
(thanks Lin, sorry about the editing...)
Kieron Horide invites people to read his travellogue at:
You may find these writings useful:
Or search for other travellogues:
C3.1.6 Places To Avoid
As above, only in the negative! Start with Bulls, Dannevirke, Dargaville,
C3.1.7 Temporary Attractions
January 1995 (so you've missed it!)
The Gliding World Championships held at the small town of Omarama (between
Christchurch and Wanaka/Queenstown).
Subject: C3.2 Activities
There is extensive tramping in NZ with a range of experience to suit any
enthusiast. See the tramping faq by email@example.com available via ftp
Also available is: tramping.zip
a collection of misc other pictures and text that doesnt quite fit the FAQ
(it wants to be an html documnet when it grows up). Thanks, KLox.
The Department of Conservation has several pamphlets available. Try
writing to their head office at PO Box 10420, Wellington, phone 04-4710726.
There are something like 28 ski fields in NZ, only 5 of which are in the
North Island. Snow-making equipment is keeping the main fields open for
longer now. Ski season is May/July? to August/October? depending on the
weather that year. Try:
There is extensive mountaineering and rock climbing available. The highest
mountains are in the South Island, but the volcanoes of the north possess
their own challenge. Snow and ice climbing is available on faces up to
2300 metres high. Multi-pitch rock routes are also available, sometimes on
excellent rock, but almost exclusively in an alpine setting. Developed
crags abound on both islands, but are currently more extensive in the
south. There is a wide variety of rock types available.
The New Zealand Alpine Club now has a web site at:
with information about the club, about climbing and outdoor activities in
NZ, and links to related sites.
There is a web site at:
but access is restricted to within NZ only (traffic costs and all that).
New Zealanders are renowned for their love of activites in, on, or near the
water perhaps because we have an abundance of lakes and rivers besides the
ever-present coastlines. We have produced some of the worlds top sailors
and boat designers. Sea kayaking is getting popular. There is a guide
book for Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds. For more information on
seakayaking, email A.Ferguson@chem.canterbury.ac.nz
C3.2.5 Whale/Dolphin Watching
This is becoming very popular around the Kaikoura area (north-eastern South
Island) particularly now that the area's part of the new world whale
sanctuary. Highly recommended.
Justine Lee wrote:
"However, the service itself is heavily dependent on the weather. If the
seas are too big, the boats won't go out. Often you can't know until say,
half an hour before you're 'sposed to go out if they will or not, when the
weather is a bit dodgy. If you do decided to come down and do the whale
thing it would pay to book in, to avoid disappointment. Sometimes thay can
be booked up say 2 weeks in advance. Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd are the main
outfit. There is also another firm who take you out in a helicopter or a
plane - not suprisingly this is more expensive. There is also an outfit
who take you swimming with the dolphins.
"If your travel agent can't help you find out more information - generally
or re bookings - drop a line to the chch.chat newsgroup and I'm sure one of
us will help you out."
C3.2.6 Pubs To Go To/Nightlife
Little material available as nightlife is fairly transient, and it tends to
be subjective For a comprehensive FAQ on NZ beer, contact:
C3.2.7 Anything Else????
Baldwin Street, Dunedin, is apparently the steepest (suburban?) street in
the world. It's the scene of an annual running race to the top and back,
and apparently one has to be very careful when parking and entering and
exiting drives as there's a distinct chance of rolling over!
Simon Lyall has suggested the Hamilton Balloon Festival, but I regret news
of that has not reached this far south (yet?).
The trip to Kapiti Island is mentioned elsewhere.
Anything else you people want to include???
Subject: C4 General Culture
Subject: C4.1 Sport
We are basically mad about sports in NZ. Many weekend activities are based
around some form of organised sport. NZ has generated some of the finest
sports people in the world. A very few are listed in the section on Famous
New Zealanders (C5.6).
C4.1.1 Why do New Zealander Sportspeople Wear Black?
Dave Frame wrote:
"Around that time (don't know if it was before or after the change) they
played against some British [rugby] team and a correspondent wired his
paper in his report to say that the NZers played like they were "all
backs", meaning they were heaps more mobile than their British counterpart
(that should sound familiar to anyone who's seen the RWC this year).
Anyway, somehow it got messed up in the wiring process and it got printed
as "all blacks" and the name stuck."
And Brian Dooley confirmed;
"The first story here is close enough to the truth if "An Encyclopaedia of
New Zealand" is to be believed. The story was reputedly confirmed by one
of the last living members of the team."
and Lin Nah adds:
"It used to refer to athletes representing NZ as well. I think the change
(with respect to NZ athletes) occured in the 1994 Commonwealth Games and
Brian Sorrell 'complicates' things with:
"Soccer (and sometimes cricket) are about the only team sports that don't.
Can't remember what the hockey team (hockeyers? hockeyists?) wear.
"But it did all begin with rugby. The story (as I recall it) was that it
arose from when the first NZ rugby team toured Britain (the 1905 team?)
with far more success than either they or the British expected. A British
sports journalist, impressed by the NZers unconventional style of play,
wrote that they played as if they were "all backs" (referring to the speed
and mobility of the forwards, a tradition continued to this day). A
printer's error converted this to "all blacks", the name stuck, and an
all-black uniform was adopted.
"I think I read this some years ago in, if memory serves right, N.A.C.
McMillan's bible of All Black history, "Men in Black." So I don't think
it's apocryphal (although if it is, it's a good yarn anyway :-))."
Subject: C4.2 Food
Pavlova, pikelets, Sally Lunn, cream buns, Lammingtons, Afghans, Golden
Syrup, Gingernuts, Milky bars, Moro Bars, weetbix, marmite/vegemite, lemon
and paeroa, crayfish, whitebait, oysters, venison, lamb burgers, roast
lamb, fish and chips, Hokey Pokey icecream, kiwifruit, food cooked in a
hangi, cold spaghetti sandwiches, hundreds-and-thousands sandwiches...
Pavlova info should be available from:
Whitebait can be purchased fresh from the water in and around the river
mouths of Westland from Aug. 15th to Oct. 31st. Be prepared to pay plenty
for it. However it will still be cheaper than the $50.00 per kg often
charged in cities...
Raewyn Whyte gives us:
The NZ Wine Trail (a Tauranga-based page):
The Wine Institute of NZ website called NZ Wines Online (Vancouver-based):
A very useful NZ wines web site can be found at:
This site provides US and Canadian availability information in addition to
comprehensive information about a host of NZ wines. The site includes
promotional competitions and a mailing list, and is sponsored by TRADENZ.
A web search on the terms <wines +zealand> in Alta Vista will turn up close
to 100 references, many of them including availability of information for
NZ wines in the USA.
What follows is an embryonic list (at 10th Sep 96) of foods sorely missed
by NZers abroad. It is hoped this will grow over time and incorporate a
list of alternative overseas sources...
burgers with beetroot in
CCs (they're Aussie but we still miss them)
girl guide biscuits
lammingtons (also Aussie)
NZ pie/fish and chips/lamb chops
NZ-style hot dogs
proper-sized fresh trout...
Watties tomato sauce
Whittakers Peanut slab
Jennifer George wrote:
"I found some very acceptable "Light Golden Syrup" imported from the UK in
Costco (do they have them in North Carolina)? Basically I would just check
around in those kind of warehouse/importer places until you find something.
Or of course a shop specialising in British foods or the like."
All of these and more are sold in two shops in London; The Australia Shop,
off the Strand, and Kiwi Fruits, on the Royal Opra (sic) Arcade.
C4.2.1 What Is Vegemite/Marmite?
For an extensive outline of these, try Jenny George's URL below which has
the FAQ and IFAQ for soc.culture.new-zealand:
<a href="http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jmgeorge/">My home page</a>
Vegemite, Marmite and Promite are all yeast extracts and basically all the
Marmite is sweeter than vegemite
Promite is sweeter then marmite
They're all extremely salty tasting.
Or, Vegemite is very salty, marmite slightly less so. Promite is
considerably less salty.
They all use caramel for the dark colouring, and it's probably this part
which contributes to the war. Marmite is considerably sweeter (and darker)
than Vegemite, while Promite is sweeter still.
Vegemite eaters will generally tolerate Marmite and Marmite eaters will
tolerate Promite. Vegemite eaters find Promite sickly sweet.
Marmite eaters will not (usually) eat vegemite. It's too strongly
flavoured for them as a general rule.
Promite is Australian (Masterfoods), but is gaining in popularity here.
There are very few exclusive Promite eaters, so conclusions can't be drawn,
but I'd expect that Promite eaters would react to Marmite the same way that
Marmite eaters react to Vegemite. I have yet to see an advert for Promite
in any medium.
Marmite is made by Sanitarium Health Food company, which is wholly owned by
the Seventh Day Adventist church. Our 7DA's don't run around with guns,
unlike a certain Texas sect. There was (still is?) a TV ad campaign for
Marmite last year which had many viewers reaching for the off switch ("The
Vegemite is made by multi-national food company Kraft General Foods NZ Ltd,
who have acquired several "NZ" labels over the last 25 years. It isn't
advertised much, though Kraft have been pushing it and their jam + cheese
labels recently in a series of adverts starring Billy Connolly and Pamela
Stevenson (Why Billy - a Scot - is pushing vegemite is beyond me, as most
non-antipodeans can't stand any of the yeast extracts...)
There is a product called "Marmite" made by the Marmite company in Britain.
This is not the same as the Marmite found in New Zealand - the UK version
has all sorts of things added such as vegetable bits and according to those
who've tried it tastes considerably different.
Lyndon Watson wrote:
"I don't know about the vegetable bits, but I found British Marmite to have
(a) a lighter brown colour, (b) a runnier texture and (c) a stronger but
otherwise similar flavour."
None of these spreads should be spread thickly. That's the second mistake
most foreigners make. The first is trying the stuff at the insistence of
NZ hosts, most of whom are gleefully anticipating the response. Best
results are obtained by spreading _very_ thinly. Discolouration of the
underlying bread/toast is all that's necessary.
Do not get any of these spreads on your fingers if there are domestic
animals around, especially cats. They all love the stuff and will try to
lick you clean. Enthusiastic felines will sometimes try to remove your
There are no meat products in any of the three spreads.
Vegemite (Kraft General Foods NZ Ltd):
Yeast extract, salt, malt extract, colour (caramel), vegetable flavours,
vitamins (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin)
Marmite (Sanatarium Health Food Company, NZ):
Yeast, sugar, salt, wheatgerm extract, mineral salt (508), colour
(caramel), herbs, spices, vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin)
It's also got a small note under the ingredients: "100% vegetarian" (but
then, what do you expect from a company owned by the 7th Day Adventist
Promite: (Masterfoods of Australia)
Vegetable protein extract, sugar, yeast, natural colour (caramel), salt,
thickener (Wheat starch), emulsifier (Glycerol monostearate), spices, added
Other countries' versions may vary....
C4.2.2 Pavlova Recipe
Ask Jenny George (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For a few notes on the history of meringues and the pavlova, try;
Also take a look at
which is where Noeline McCaughan's recipes are now residing.
C4.2.3 The Edmonds Cook Book
This book is the biggest selling book in NZ of all time. I guess you could
expect NZer's to be fat... :-)
Jenny George (jmgeorge@leland.Stanford.EDU) has a file of recipes available
including pavlova, hokey pokey, afghans, Noeline's latest bread stuff,
ginger beer, etc.
C4.2.4 Laying A Hangi
The following are Hangi instructions were kindly supplied by Ken Moselen
with additions by Robert Burling-Claridge and Lyndon Watson<>. This was
a nightmare to splice together, so if it doesn't read well, I'll replace it
with the original posts. Let me know.
Well, the one's I've been involved in (2-3 baskets) have been generally the
slightly mangled versions involving everything in one hole (slightly non
traditional), so here goes...
The food preparation is fun. It helps to do this before starting the hole,
so you know how big to dig it.
[ Even better to get a big bunch of folk together and share the load.
Remember the quality of the final hangi is directly related to the number
of people involved and (most importantly) the quantity and quality of the
beer provided!!! ]
Find your wire baskets, and line them with tinfoil,
[ Actually, I'm not sure I like these new hangis using the foil, it tends
to stop the juices getting through to the stones and I reckon the hangi kai
is drier to the palate. ]
put down a thin layer of cabbage leaves,
[ Any old cabbage-like vegetable leaf will do: cauli, brocoli, etc. ]
and throw all the food on top (side of pork, lamb, chicken, etc), and
surround them all with potatoes, cabbage, kumara, etc.,
[ Note, depending on what you want, remember gravity works inside the hangi
as well. If you want tastier potatoes, kumera, pumpkin, etc., stick them
under the meat, else over the meat. For the first couple why not some in
both places, then you can decide. Generally, put 'drier' meats under those
producing more juices. As rule of thumb I usually put beef and venison low
and pork and mutton high. Pays to wrap venison and beef unless very large
(about the size of a mutton hind leg) as cooking time still related to
size, and you can't open the hangi to get out the beef that's cooked before
the rest... ]
and a liberal dose of salt.
[ Remember, there are a lot of potatoes in there! Too much salt is
difficult to manage! The more you add, the juicier the food will be as
well (personal experience, no explanation). As a rule of thumb, for a
50-person hangi (1-2 baskets) you might use 1-2 cups of salt. ]
Cover with some teatowels, and liberally pour some water on it. Hopefully
it won't leak too much.
[ Now, I _REALLY_ advise DO NOT USE TEATOWELS unless they're brand new! I
have had one really bad experience with a teatowel that mis-flavoured the
whole basket. Try for clean, non-coloured cloth of nearly anything at all.
Preferably natural, rather than synthetic (taste of burnt plastic will
usually put people off... ]
- Dig Hole (a slope on one side helps a bit later on) :-)
[ Best ground to make a hangi is one that's easy to dig!! Other than that,
almost anything is possible to use. Clay, sand... Stoney ground (eg. old
riverbed) will need at least some sand/soil to line the hole, otherwise the
heat is lost quite quickly. This is offset to some extent by burning
longer, in the cooking hole, and digging a bit deeper (making a more
enclosed HOT hole (remember the soil dumped on top is relatively cold).
Hole needs to be big enough that when the baskets are stacked, however you
want to stack them, not much more than half the height is above the normal
ground level. Don't forget to allow for the room taken by the
stones/steel, but its not particularly critical.
IMPORTANT: **NEVER** use treated timber!! You might be lucky, and all the
nasty copper gunk, etc. will burn away before the irons (stones, etc.) cool
off sufficiently for it to stick to them. However if you luck out you
could have a lot of _very_ sick people on your hands (anyone remember the
Wanganui Xmas hangi of around 1976, Kowhai gardens?) ]
- Place paper, kindling, and lots of wood on top (enough to burn really hot
for about 2 hours (at least))
- Place enough Railway Irons, Ploughshears, and any other large, heavy,
solid pieces of iron or steel on top of the firewood (these don't tend
to explode like stones do if there's any dampness in them) to hold the heat
from the fire for a long time (the more the better - within reason).
- Light fire and watch for a couple of hours, have a few drinks, etc. etc.
< If you use stones (a sort that doesn't explode when heated and cooled -
say granite), you would want to fire them for longer than iron, say three
to four hours. I still use stones for their good heat retention. >
(Traditionally, the fire and the hole are separate, you just drag the
really hot stones from the fire to the pit, and forget all the mucking
about with the ashes etc., but this takes lots more room, and you can't do
it properly in the backyard, so I've described all the mucking around we
normally do; it doesn't take too long though, only about 15min from
starting the lifting of the irons, to burying the food, with three of you)
[ Well, tradition varies. If the ground is damp/wet, you will get a
considerably better hangi if you burn in the cooking hole. A lot of heat
will be lost to warm the surrounding ground otherwise. ]
Do the next bit as quickly as you safely can.
- Whilst being hosed (wear strong shoes, jeans, and tee-shirt) carefully
(and quickly) lift the (probably just slightly glowing) irons from the
ashes (using a wooden handled rake, etc) and put them next to the pit.
[ I find an old chunk of corrugate iron works really well. Scrape, shovel
the stones/steel onto it, clean out the hole, then tip/scrape the stones
back in. ]
- Scrape the ashes out of the firepit (this is really hot work) with a
woodhandled (the longer the handle the better) rake/shovel
[ This is where you make/break the hangi. The more ash you leave in, the
smokier the hangi will taste. Your choice. Some leave bits on purpose.
Some cover the remaining ash with a light layer of sand. ]
- Put the irons back into the pit
- Cover the Irons with a couple of layers of very wet sacks
- Put the food baskets on the sacks
- Cover the food with a sheet
[ NB: wet sheet. I also suggest, use several sheets, then hose them for a
few seconds before covering the whole lot. The more top covering you can
manage the better. As the food cooks, steam within the cooking hole will
wet the top dirt. This naturally dissolves a bit, and can sometimes leak
into the food, not particularly enhancing the flavour!
Lay the sheets so they overlap toward the center of the pile, rather than
all of then being tucked under the dirt all the way around (see later for
why). Like this:
______ \ sheets/sacks
/ | food | \
__/ +------+ \____
- Bury the lot, and wherever you see steam escaping, put some more dirt on.
< Steam is what it's all about - you've got to have lots of heat and lots
of water. When we do it at home, as soon as the food is in the hole, we
poke a hose in and start the water running. It keeps running while we
cover the hole as fast as we can, and then we turn it off and pull the hose
out. A hangi must not run dry! >
Now for the Good Bit.
- Wait about 6 hours (longer if in doubt)
[ Hey, you missed the good bit! Remember, someone has to watch that hangi
like a hawk, any steam escaping could completely ruin the hangi. And
besides its hot, thirsty work. Only solution is for a bunch of you to
stand around leaning on fences, shovels (just in case), or anything else
that's handy, and keep a close eye on the hangi hole. Of course, to avoid
the attention dropping (6 hours remember!) a few good yarns wouldn't go
amiss, and naturally, you're going to get very dry (6 hours!) so a few good
beers also wouldn't go amiss. This usually works best if every so often
someone throws a shovelful of dirt toward the hole. Try to pick a time
when whoever it is that's complaining about "lazy bloody hangi diggers" is
NB: Try to have at least one person stay sober enough to notice when 6
hours is up! ]
- Carefully dig up
[ This is when you will bless having thought of laying the sheets to
overlap in the middle. As the dirt comes off, scrape it outwards. Then
when the sheets appear, peel them back like a banana peel, leaving the
baskets of food clean and yummy inside. Also useful because minimal
disturbance to hangi, and can successfully be covered back up, just in case
it needs a bit more cooking!! ]
- Lift baskets, and serve.
[ It's a good idea to have thought ahead, and got some bits of bent fencing
wire, so you don't have to lift the baskets by hand. Mind you, they're
usually damn heavy, so use No 8 wire, not that pansy hi-tensile stuff! ]
The bottom of the pit should still be hot enough to turn a bucket of water
into steam, so keep any stray kids/pets away from it.
< Those are the best bits! >
That's about it.
[ Oh no! not quite, remember to get the hangi stones/etc. out of the pit
before you cover it up!!! Its easier to get them out (and less nasty, icky
food residues, etc.) if you do it before the hole is completely cold. I
usually do this while the food is being chopped/sectioned, etc.
Also don't forget to enjoy! (Mind you, if you have been 'watching for
steam' with sufficient enthusiasm, the food quality will be _superb_,
regardless of how well cooked it is!).
Don't be put off by the complexity. Its EASY. Just a bit of common sense,
and you're away laughing. The best thing about it is the co-operative way
it gets done, and there's probably no easier way to feed a few hundred
Works just as well for 10-20 people, or even just the immediate family
(mind you in my case that _is_ 100 people!!!)
Great for family get-togethers. Spend early morning preparing (whole
family gets involved littles to biggest, 1-2 hours setting up the hangi,
then 6 hours to enjoy each other's company. Then, without anyone having to
disappear into the kitchen for ages, right when the talk is flowing, etc.,
bang - all the food is ready to eat.
One thing I like is everyone is involved. Even the most chauvinistic males
or the most get-out-of-MY-kitchen females (no flames please, stereotyping
acknowledged) will pitch in together to do something to help. And the food
always tastes better when you have cooked it yourself!
Hell, I'm looking forward to the weekend already! ]
Good effort, gentlemen! Must go and dig a hole...