In our last Around the World with WordPress post, we showcased sites from Scotland. This week, our jaunt around the globe stops off in New Zealand — a land of beaches, mountains, rainforests, diverse cities, and hobbits.
Twenty-eight-year-old Micheal promised himself that once he graduated university he would go on a quest. A quest to Middle Earth. There are a few difficulties in embarking on an epic journey to a fictional land, but luckily he had The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook by Ian Brodie to help him. So began the adventure, hiking New Zealand from top to bottom, carrying everything that he needed to camp along the way, and visiting all the filming locations for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Like all good scribes, Micheal documented his travels in a foreign land — with blog posts on The Backpacker’s Guide to Middle Earth, such as “Lothlórien”:
A mystical realm inhabited by a large host of elves, located just east of the Misty Mountains. Lothlórien was visited by the Fellowship of the Ring shortly after leaving the Mines of Moria, where they stopped for a short time period before heading down the Anduin river…
In Peter Jackson’s interpretation of The Lord of the Rings, Lothlórien is represented by Fernside Gardens, which is just east of the town of Featherston. Fernside, created by Ella and Charles Elgar in the early 20th century, is a beautiful homestead with immaculately cared for and designed gardens.
The New Zealand Poetry Society supports and promotes poets across New Zealand. They engage with individuals and communities who share a sense of curiosity and excitement about poetry by organizing events and running competitions. They also publish poetry anthologies, a quarterly magazine called a fine line, and the work of their members:
Amber light plays upon
This hoppy hue of ale
Of which I sup a sip
The darkness of your stoutheartedness
So dark, like your love of me
That is brewed within your
Barrel of a heart
By Joanne Kingston (a fine line, December 2014)
Live in New Zealand? Love motorcycles manufactured by the Birmingham Small Arms Company in England? Then this is the site for you! The New Zealand BSA Motorcycle Owners’ Club was established in 1978 to foster “friendship, competition, discussion and adventure.” The club has regular meetings and members post a magazine every two months. Their website features news from the club, pictures from their meetups, and stories about BSA bikes:
In 1950 Peggy Iris Thomas bought a rigid framed D1 Bantam and christened it “Oppy” from its registration plate OPE811. And why, you may ask, did a girl from Liverpool choose a Bantam? Well, the color just happened to go nicely with her new corduroy jacket! Within a few weeks of buying Oppy, Peggy set out with her friend Prudence Biggs as pillion to ride 4,500 miles around Scandinavia. That wasn’t quite enough of an adventure for Peggy because in 1951 she sailed to Canada to start a ride around North America. She left Halifax heading west with $US60 in her pocket. As well as Oppy, Peggy had with her Matelot, a 60 pound Airedale that she had trained to jump into a box attached to the carrier.
In recent years the true crime genre has entered the mainstream, and even though New Zealand has a historically low crime rate, True Crime New Zealand has still found crimes to investigate on their podcast. The podcasts are available on the website, along with descriptions, contact information, and photo credits. The latest podcast is Case 11, Harvey and Jeannette Crewe:
PUKEKAWA. WAIKATO. 22nd of June 1970, 2.20pm. Tuakau police constable Gerald Wyllie answered a call from Owen Priest. Owen explained that Harvey and Jeannette Crewe, farmers in Pukekawa were missing…
Furthermore, Rochelle; the Crewe’s 18 month old daughter was found to be without her parents in the house for five days. Although, most peculiar, it appeared Rochelle had been fed and looked after for those five days.
New Zealand is a proud rugby nation. They have every right to be. The intimidating All Blacks rubgy team have won the Rugby World Cup three times — and sent many a shudder down a spine with their traditional haka. The Rugby Museum Society of New Zealand’s mission is to safeguard “the preservation, protection and display of the history and heritage of New Zealand rugby.” Their site includes some fascinating stories about the history of New Zealand rugby:
Wallace, one of the 1905/6 stars, speaking at the team’s 50th Jubilee in 1955, gave his version of how the name originated: ‘Now I’m just going to mention how we got the name of ‘All Blacks’. These coves don’t know, I was on the Committee and I know all about it. We played Hartlepool and we beat them 63-0, and the ‘Daily Mail’, an English paper, wrote up ‘New Zealand team all backs’ you see. So we were, all our forwards could pass as good as any back, and it was headed up ‘New Zealand All Backs’. And the next match we went on, I think it was Somerset. This ‘All Black’ was a printer’s error and we went on to Somerset and all around the town it said ‘Come and see the All Blacks play’, the printer had made a mistake and instead of ‘All Back’ he had got the l in somehow and made it ‘All Black’, and that’s how the name ………….of ‘All Blacks’ originated and it’s stuck ever since.
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