Te Papa Tongarewa Museum

September 18th, 2013

One of the most intriguing museums in the world, the Te Papa Tongarewa gives you a complete insight into just how the cultures of the Tangata Tiriti and the Tangata Whenua combined. This museum is the successor to the colonial museum built by James Hector in the 1860s. It stood until 1930, when it was moved to Buckle Street until finally it came here in 1992.

An Exotic Culture

Finally opened in 1998, it was governed by Dame Sotheran and blew away the expectations it started out with. In just five months, the museum had a scarcely believable one million visitors. It remained the same until 2004 when it was granted more space for exhibition art and this was when it was renamed to its current name.

Open All Hours

It is, as of the time of writing, the national museum of New Zealand and is open every day of the year, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and if you are visiting New Zealand as a tourist this is a must see. Even if you are not a fan of art, this will blow you away – some of the material inside is simply breathtaking.

Renowned for being one of the most enjoyable museums to visit, it has been founded on a strong community basis as it tries to involve itself with the local culture. With several different sections to visit which are the History, Pacific, Natural, Maori and Art section. With extremely enjoyable interactive displays, you can also enjoy some educational programs through the museum if you are staying long enough!

You’ll Never Want To Leave!

This place is a real tourist trap, it is innovative and enjoyable and is seeing a massive increase in its retail section, too, meaning you can pick up gifts for everybody to bring back home! The online website for the museum gives a fine introduction to some of the things you can check out, including a full preview of the museum and sneak peeks of some of their most enjoyable and exuberant art and shows.

With guided tours on every day and a wide variety of things to do, see and learn within you will not be stuck for things to enjoy when you visit the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum. It is one of the most culturally elegant places to see within New Zealand and if you are looking for some diversity to your tour of New Zealand, start here.

My favourite things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand

September 9th, 2013

As a Christchurch native, finding things to do in our wonderful city is my specialty. Here are my top things to do while here.

Head out to Sumner

While along the route, you may encounter storage containers (such as those from http://www.storagedirect.co.nz) but once you reach Sumner, you are in for a treat. This vibrant little community is secluded from the rest of Christchurch. With lots of great cafes and eateries along the beach, it is a great escape from the bustling city life. The beach is the best in Christchurch, and is a must-do on a hot summer day. There are lots of great walks in the area, which brings me to my next tip.

The Godly Head Walk

If you are wanting to do something a bit different, head on over to the Godly Head Track just beyond Sumner. The drive up there can be a bit frightening. The road is very narrow at times, and it is very high. Only one car can fit at a time along bends, so don’t drive too fast and be cautious. Once there, you’ve got a scenic route which takes you across remnants of World War 2, when the threat of a Japanese invasion was ever-present. If you continue along for about an hour and a half, you’ll reach Taylors Mistake – a secluded little spot which is a hidden gem. It contains a rocky seashore and holiday homes that are packed with charm: a must-see.

The Botanic Gardens

Arguably the best in New Zealand, the Christchurch botanic gardens are a real treat. Unlike those in say, Dunedin, the Christchurch one has a lot of flowers. It has been upgraded over the years with new additions, such as a section inspired by asian culture and tradition, so if you haven’t been in awhile it is good to go back. It is a favourite spot for families as it has a free paddling pool and a big, popular playground. Head over in the summer and pick up an ice cream treat for the kids while there too!

I hope you enjoyed these tips on fun things to do in Christchurch. Be sure to stay tuned to my blog where I’ll give more tips. I will be going into great places to eat, attractions you may have missed, gardens and walking trails that you need to visit and more. Perfect for both Christchurch residents looking for a bit of fun and visitors, wanting some local culture.

Lemon Poppyseed Truffle Recipe

September 1st, 2013

Lemons are a very common fruit in New Zealand. A lot of households grow fruit trees and have a vegetable garden. Arguably, one of the most common fruit tees is a lemon tree. When home-grown, the cold New Zealand climate means that they are often very small, and bitter. They are not usually very juicy, and they have a lot of skin. The result is that eating them can be rather sour, so instead of eating them straight, it is good to find another use for them.

And that use? Baking! Lemons are delicious in baking as both a main ingredient and a glaze. Today, I am going to share with you my secret recipe for lemon poppyseed truffles. These are great as a snack, or to share with friends.

Ingredients

A ½ cup of heavy cream

16oz of white choc chips

4 Tablespoons of butter, unsalted

3 Tablespoons of Poppy Seds

A ¼ teaspoon of lemon extract, preferably pure

The zest of 2 Meyer lemons

3 Tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice

Powdering sugar

Instructions

1 – Over a medium heat, place your heavy cream, lemon zest, butter and lemon juice into the saucepan.

2 – Put your whit choc chips aside in a bowl for later

3 – Allow the butter to heat and melt with the lemon flavouring, making sure to stir on occasion. Remove from the heated saucepan when the mixture is steaming and there are bubbles forming along the heated saucepan.

4 – Pour the mixture over your choc chips and let it stand for around thirty seconds.

5 – Whisk until smooth and add the lemon extract and the poppy seeds. Once it’s all together, stir to make sure it all goes together nicely.

6 – Leave the mix in the bowl for scooping, or move them to a plastic bag with the tip left on.

7 – Move truffles to the fridge for an hour to cool, or until they are strong but not solid.

8 – Use a scoop or a tablespoon to take the truffle out of the storage when ready.

9 – Add into the fridge again for half an hour to ensure it firms up.

10 – Place powdering sugar into a clean bowl for later.

11 – Roll truffles into a ball when they are still firm enough to be rolled. Don’t stress on perfection, you could do more damage that way.

12 – Roll your truffle balls into the powdered sugar bowl. Move the truffles to an airtight container and make sure all the truffles are covered in the powdered sugar.

13 – Serve and enjoy!

The Hagley Oval Decision

September 1st, 2013

Cricket is one of the most popular national sports not just in the United Kingdom, but in many countries across the world. Seen as one of the most ‘noble’ sports, it provides entertainment and a way of life for thousands across the world, in the same vein that soccer does for supporters of clubs all across the world.

However, cricket has seen some lean times in recent years with regard to attendances and problems at grassroots level.  People have stopped going to the games, and the way that the communities work in terms of the use of cricket grounds and other such problems can be very confusing and illogical at times. One of the current problems at the moment is the decision regarding the Hagley Oval, one of the cricket grounds in Canterbury. Canterbury, once a hotspot for cricket, has seen dwindling interest for years and the Hagley Oval was supposed to offer a top-class facility for the locals to go and watch top-level cricket.

However, decisions have been made to cause a significant issue – there is an attendance limit of 2,000 for games which are not considered ‘major’ fixtures. Not only does this mean gate receipts are stuck at a particular level, but because of the limitations of using the ground outside of “major” fixtures, it means that games could be forced to be played elsewhere, or gates to be frozen at 2,000 to ensure rules are not breached.

The Canter Cricket board had requested access for twenty different occasions in any given year for “major” occasions where more fans could arrive and enjoy the cricket, but they were limited to a meagre thirteen.

Consider that, for example, if two of the biggest names in Cricket were to do tours – Sri Lanka and Australia – and they took in two tours within New Zealand. The breakdown of the tour would be;

  • 3 Tests, 3 One Day Internationals or 3 T20 Matches
  • 3 Tests, 5 One Day Internationals or 2 T20 Matches

This means that already, eight of the thirteen “major fixtures” have been accounted for, if it was split between Sri Lanka for a test match and a One Day International, and then Australia at a later date for a One Day International and a T20 match.

This means that the local side, the Canterbury Wizards, have only five “home” games. This disrupts their domestic season completely, meaning they will be missing out on important revenue and more important, fan attendance if they are locked at such meagre gates for most of their fixtures!

The reason this was built was to provide cricket in the local area with fresh impetus and to leave a lasting impression for the future – how has providing such stringent limitations helped the area at all?  This means that despite crowds having the potential to be much larger for domestic games, they would have to limited to ensure rules were not breached, so how is Canterbury Cricket supposed to grow in any capacity?