Wings of desire

To board a flying boat was to enter a world as rarefied as that of the Orient Express or Graf Zeppelin. These elegant, ocean-going aircraft—Empires, Clippers and Solents—were synonymous with fast, comfortable and stylish travel to exotic destinations. Pioneers of the passenger airways, they opened up routes around the globe, and enabled New Zealand to stake a claim in the business of international air travel.



Oct - Dec 1998


Blue duck

Flying boats

Hot pools

Southern right whales




Paparoa, the turbulent coast

Outside my door the sea is breathing heavily. Its exhalations are short and explosive, violent blasts of white water that bulldoze the stony beach and crumble the rocks that guard it. There are brief moments of silence before the sea draws another breath, sucking itself in with a slow asthmatic hiss, raking the gravel as it goes out, gathering itself for another blow.

Science & Environment

In hot water

Before the age of the jacuzzi, people sought the benison of natural hot springs, convinced that a soak in their mineralrich waters would bring not just warmth, but health as well. Promotion of New Zealand as a thermal wonderland wasthe start of this country's tourism industry.


Blue duck: the white-water champion

At home in waters which would test a world-class kayaker, the blue duck is an icon of New Zealand wilderness. Yet its future is uncertain. Forest clearance has led to the sullying of much of the bird's habitat, and now only the remotest rivers echo to its plaintive whio . . . whio.


Whales out my window

Slaughtered by the thousand last century, then forgotten, southern right whales have been staging a quiet comeback in New Zealand's subantarctic region. Northwest Bay in Campbell Island is one of the sites where the whales congregate each winter. Here, enduring the island's atrocious weather and utter isolation, Ramari Stewart and a small band of fellow researchers come to learn the ways of these gentle giants. 


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