A heart for the hills

Out for a spin in his father’s 1954 MG, Darryl Moore is one of thousands of Christchurch and Lyttelton residents who escape to the Port Hills for recreation via the Summit Road. Yet without local visionary Harry Ell’s passionate belief that the hills were an asset to be shared by all, it is unlikely the road and its associated byways would be there today.



Nov - Dec 2002


Opanuku Stream

Red leaves

Summit Road

Te Araroa



Living World

'Thar she blows'—a grisly trade in bone and oil

Within 30 years of Captain Cook’s first arrival in New Zealand, whalers were prowling our seas. Fortunes were to be made from “whalebone” (baleen), for corsets and umbrella ribs, and from whale oil, for fueling lamps and lubricating the gears of industry. Although the bonanza was over by 1860, small-scale whaling continued fitfully for another 100 years, until industrial whaling in Antarctic waters all but wiped out the big mammals. Whaling was a hard, often perilous business­ but exhilarating, too. The work of a nation’s pioneers.


Opanuku: from source to sea

Often ignored, frequently degraded, suburban streams are the Cinderellas of freshwater conservation. Yet many are historically significant waterways, and with a little restoration and care can become ecologically robust and a source of recreation for city dwellers. Opanuku Stream is one of two West Auckland streams singled out for special attention by Waitakere City Council. Rising in the lush surrounds of the Waitakere Ranges, it cascades down a series of rocky precipices before levelling out and flowing through Henderson Valley, eventually reaching the Waitemata Harbour at Te Atatu. With ropes, paddles and an eye for adventure, a group of Aucklanders has traced its varied course.


The colour red

Every secondary school pupil knows that leaves are green because chlorophyll, the pigment plants use in photosynthesis, is green. So why are many leaves, such as those on this liquidambar, scarlet for at least part of their lives?


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