Welcome to Pamrovia!

Here in Pamrovia you will find talk of travel, and stories about travel which have been published in newspapers and magazines. Sometimes it's just notes to friends, or the random wanderings of a bewildered mind. Updates are haphazard and occasional. But bear with me, and be assured that it's all my own work and most of it is true.

Waiheke Island: a different view

            Happy New Year! Let's start 2015 with a new look at Waiheke, Pamrovia's favourite island. (Actually it's the favourite island of all Aucklanders. About 20,000 of us take up temporary residence there each January.) Mansions, vineyards, … [Continue reading]

Hoi An, central Vietnam

Ancient, atmospheric, beautiful ... and busy.  Hoi An is Vietnam's most popular tourist town. Bursting with gourmet food (at backpacker prices) and packed with expert (usually) tailors, the whole town is a Unesco World Heritage site with … [Continue reading]

Snapshots of Hanoi

 Daily life in Hanoi is an outdoors affair. Early-morning exercise around Hoan Kiem Lake, shopping and eating on pavements, motorcycles by the thousand, and bia hoi (the local fresh beer) to be enjoyed on tiny plastic stools on every street … [Continue reading]

Sundials – timely tourist trails

Who knew? It’s true, there are trails which take enthusiasts from sundial to sundial around the country. Public parks, universities, schools, hospitals, churchyards, and the walls of buildings – they all hold examples of this ancient way of telling … [Continue reading]

The Grand Traverse – in defence of the Guided Walk

Intrepid trampers or a bunch of softies? Pam Neville puts the case for guided walks. We’re a bedraggled bunch at times, we tail-end Charlies. One has boots with soles flapping loose, held together only by regular applications of sticky tape. … [Continue reading]

The Grand Traverse

It's been so long!  But Pamrovia is moving again.  This time it's a tramping adventure called The Grand Traverse.  Six days of walking in the Fiordland National Park and the Mt Aspiring National Park in the South Island of New Zealand.  Here are some … [Continue reading]

Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park

Horizons by Neil Dawson is my favourite at this wonderful place.  Dawson – he of the large suspended steel orbs such as Ferns in Wellington’s civic square – has created his biggest work ever for Gibbs Farm. Horizons is 36 metres high and can be seen … [Continue reading]

Six of the Best Things About Wellington

The smell of coffee as you emerge from the plane. You know you are in Wellington the moment you leave the air-bridge. The aroma comes from Fuel Espresso which takes up two walls just alongside the main gates. Also welcoming you to the capital is that … [Continue reading]

Helena Bay, Northland

Different worlds rub up against one another in Helena Bay (more correctly but less commonly called Mimiwhangata Bay). A typical holiday bach is basic and weather-beaten. Often the bach is extended into a mini-compound by one or more old caravans. … [Continue reading]

Mimiwhangata: A special place

New Zealand has many remote parks and reserves, wild stretches of coastline, and havens for threatened wildlife. Among the lesser known is the Mimiwhangata Coastal Reserve in Northland, a working farm surrounded by a marine reserve and crossed by … [Continue reading]