NZ Life & Leisure

How a look through a camera lens saved a century-plus-old villa

When Rotorua photographer Tracey Scott looks through her camera, she sees possibilities - not problems - which is also her metaphor for life.

What's On: Ayrlies Garden Gala Plant Fair

11 and 12 May, Whitford, Auckland.

Novelist Tanya Moir's double life

Our heroine casts a dashing figure as she marches across the Banks Peninsula. And like all good dramatic characters, her  past holds a compelling secret.

Recipe: 20-vegetable salad with cucumber dressing

Ruth Pretty's recipe is based on a salad she loved eating in Tokyo. Change the veggies depending on what is in your fridge or the garden.


11 inspiring New Zealand women share their stories

In celebration of International Women's Day, we share a few of our most popular stories about inspiring Kiwi women.

How a dry garden and lavender farm helped Karen Rhind start again

For a lavender enthusiast and landscape designer, crafting a wild and beautiful garden in one of the country’s most inhospitable environments was an expression of letting go.

Tickled pink by a 1973 Holden LJ Torana

A 45-year-old Aussie eye-catcher has added colour to its owner’s life.

Recipe: Gingerbread Kisses

These little individual cakes are very, VERY good. You can keep a stash of unfilled cakes in the freezer for emergencies.


Dr Compost's recipe for the good life and top composting tips

As a champion of the health and happiness benefits of rich, rotting compost, nothing makes Ben Elms more content than the multitude of microscopic critters squirming in his compost.

How Ryan Sanders and Marco Creemers scaled the heights of success

Scaling the heights of success is becoming almost commonplace for a couple who became engaged on Mt Everest and steer a company that just scooped New Zealand’s most prestigious tourism award.

Ruth Pretty on how to be the host with the most

Ruth Pretty's name is synonymous with having a good time: meet the well-loved caterer who is bringing her special brand of deliciousness to your dinner table.

The tiny guide to building tiny

While she wasn’t immediately sold on the tiny house movement, 20-something Amanda Chapman has now jumped on board, boots and all, building her own.

What's on: Marilynn Webb- Works from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Collection

To 17 June.

What's on: Alliance Française French Film Festival

To 18 April, Auckland, then in 12 cities and towns across Aotearoa.

Video: Take a tour of Rory Harding's Dunedin Food Forest

A wild orchard in the heart of Dunedin is planted with more than 60 fruit trees.

Why vermouth is enjoying a revival

Otago winemaker Duncan Forsyth agrees it's almost counter-intuitive a top pinot noir producer should start making vermouth.

Win: One of two prize packs from The Still Room

Landscape designer Karen Rhind grows, harvests and distills her own lavender to make her range The Still Room. We have two prize packs to give away, valued at $93 each.

Be in to win one of three Archeus natural skincare gift boxes

We have three Archeus natural skincare gift boxes to give away, valued at $79 each.

Bonus recipe: Tuna Ceviche with Charred Sweetcorn Salsa

Chef Josh Emett introduced Ruth Pretty to the beauty of this style of ceviche. Ruth uses tuna but kingfish, trevally, snapper or salmon would all be great substitutes.


Be in to win one of five copies of High Country Hero

Be in to win one of five copies of author Tanya Moir's latest novel, High Country Hero.

Be in to win one of two Kahukura wraps

Untouched World's throw-over women's wrap is an ideal way to dress up a simple outfit and stay warm at the same time.

Final call for entries for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

Entries close Friday 2 March  for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Relocation, relocation: Two portable homes make a perfect Point Wells retreat

With roots too deep to easily move, the Hart family found a temporary fix - two transportable cabins beside the estuary at Point Wells.

Exploring Japan's countryside by foot

A gentle walk in the Japanese countryside is an intriguing introduction to the country’s spiritual and cultural heart.


Recipe: honey-roasted pork belly

Use strong honey, such as manuka, so the flavour permeates this rich and sticky pork dish. To make it easier to carve, ask your butcher to remove the bone from the pork.

Three generations' Anaura Bay bach escape

Three generations of one family ride the tides of change on an East Coast beach saturated with history.

From rotting walls to dreamy wedding venue

The latest instalment in a story that began 170 years ago sees a historic estate earning its keep in a very modern way.

How the Big Bang Theory transformed Glenn Jones' business

Graphic designer Glenn Jones burst onto the T-shirt scene with a bang and has gone on to create a global business from the spare room of his Auckland villa.

Fiona Campbell: 'My millions came at a cost'

Coming into a great deal of money isn’t a guarantee of an easy life. It takes tenacity and planning to live well, says someone who knows.

Exploring Northland's history on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail

The Twin Coast Cycle Trail snakes through Northland’s often raw backcountry. What better way to learn the contours of the land than by bike?

Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you

You’ll know when your digestive system is working the way it should.

The cave at the bottom of a Mt Eden garden

Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden; the Jacob family of Mt Eden have a cave.

Recipe: cheesy eggplant bake

This dish is a household staple at tomato grower, Gemma Romano's home. Her grandson Anthony likes to eat it as an afternoon snack, sandwiched between two slices of white bread.

Take a tour of Jools Topp's cute-as-a-button caboose

When everybody knows your name, a private space becomes a treasure and Jools Topp has found hers in a country caboose.

How the southerly winds inspire Mark Hill's amazing sculptures

Southerly gales invigorate the Hills family life in a holiday house by the sea.

Recipe: Holiday braised leg of lamb

This dish can be cooked at a leisurely pace in a lidded barbecue or pizza oven.

Taking camping to the next level

Multi-roomed tents with real furniture make communing with nature a very smooth operation at Wainamu.

How much iron do you actually need?

Iron deficiency is common. How much do you need, and why? Dr Libby sums up a vital mineral.

Family and friendships formed on the Tora Coastal Walk

The journey has been every bit as important as the destination for two farming families behind New Zealand’s longest-running private walk.

Villa Maria founder's Waipu Cove escape

A bach at the beach yields vintage holidays for one of New Zealand’s best-known wine-making families.

Palmerston North's award-winning bagpipe player

One of Australasia’s most successful bagpipe players, plays a triumphant tune that drifts from the flat plains of Palmerston North to the Scottish Highlands.

Recipe: Campfire couscous

A couscous perfect for summer with spring onions, dates and feta.

A caravan suffering from a mid-life crisis

Hula girls, grass skirts and a pineapple ice bucket... the only thing missing from this Hawaiian homage is a coconut palm swaying in the warm Waiheke breeze.

Hipsy Scott's storybook home on wheels

There was a young girl who dreamt of faraway lands, who saw roads stretching ahead filled with never-ending stories. Thankfully, it became it reality.

Take a tour of the historic Bull Creek cribs in Otago

Kith and kinship are at the heart of the happiness found in a tiny holiday community on the South Island’s south coast.


Think global, act local - and hurry up!

Unwanted waste might disappear from the immediate environment, but it has to go somewhere.

Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds

These Wellington boat sheds – some of them important local landmarks – mean many things to many people.


Orongorongo Valley's 50 private huts

Fifty private huts, hidden in native bush in the Orongorongo Valley near Wellington, have played an important role for generations of families.

How to do-up your vintage or retro caravan

Doing up a vintage or retro caravan is a bit like doing up a vintage car. Not only is it addictive, but you are also faced with a number of very similar decisions to make.

The Restoration of Daisy Mae, the caravan

Don Jessen shares his experience restoring a rusty 1958 14-foot (4.2 metre) Liteweight Kiwi caravan, one of only 28 built, to her former glory.

Dr Libby on the benefits of eating organic

The more we demand organic foods and reject pesticides, the more available organics will become.

Flaxmere Garden through the seasons

Drought, ferocious winds and extreme temperatures aren’t ideal conditions to create a garden, but Penny Zino has done it.

Recipe: Tomato fritters with feta

These little fritters are a treat to eat, especially when made with late-season, sun-ripened tomatoes.

Nelson family growing capri tomatoes since the 40's

Thanks to one very determined grower, Nelson’s favourite tomato is still growing strong after 60 years.

Career Path: Costume designer and stylist Claire Croskery

Stylist and costume designer Claire Croskery travelled throughout Asia, stitching a little flair into everything from stage shows to television commercials. But it was India that stole her heart.

What’s On: Shannon Te Ao

18 November to 22 April, Te Tuhi, Pakuranga.

Top organic skincare picks

Organic, biodynamic and natural skin care products were once on the fringe. Now they are all the rage.


Lake Hawea's dreamy stone glasshouse

So she said: ‘I’d really like a stone glasshouse.’ And he said: ‘Sure, I know exactly what you mean. I’ll build it.’ And he did.


The adventurer living in a treehouse

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ could have been invented for adventure traveler Ellis Emmett.

Polly's Blog: In hot water

‘Valve’ becomes an offensive word when Polly and co suffer plumbing problems.


Cruising through Maniototo at a cool 160km/h

Eric Swinbourn hankered after a friend’s cobalt blue Alfa Berlina, and then his chance came his knocking.

Turning back time on the Forgotten World Highway

The decommissioned Stratford-Okahukura line covers some of the most isolated country in the North Island making it home to the tunnels, bridges and townships that time forgot.

Imake's 50M home brewing success story

A NZ home-brew company has doubled its turnover after launching an electric brewing machine called The Grainfather.

dublin prime minister

Travelling through Dublin by foot

A visitor to Dublin meets Molly Malone, Oscar Wilde and Handel, and downs his first-ever Guinness in the embrace of a local pub-goer.

What Carolyn Ferraby learned creating Barewood Garden

Every vista in this world-class garden, photographed through the seasons, tempts visitors down a path laden with promise. Barewood Garden's creator shares how she's grown alongside her garden.

Sawmill Brewery scales up to 1M capacity

A Matakana couple find that brewing beer, staying creative and living in the country is the best medicine for what ails you.

Exploring US National Parks

A farewell tour of some of the United States' most famous destinations comes close to breaking the heart of this nature photographer.

Water cooler: dogs on Guy Fawkes

This week in the water cooler:  we learn how to look after dogs on Guy Fawkes Day, let boy bands navigate us and are eating cakes that can't be beet-en.

Animals set to steal the show at Heroic Festival

A colourful Auckland family with a motley crew of animals are opening their garden gate for the Heroic Garden Festival.

Religious community launches tiny house business

Driven by a vision of a simpler way, five Manawatu families are reaping the benefits of living side by side.

Polly Greek's blog: Taro misadventures and aphid rain

The children are fascinated by the sight of inky falling insects, while a spot of foraging nearly sends James to meet his maker.

The magic of madness at Matakana Sculptureum

Anthony and Sandra Grant's curious Matakana playground mixes a love of art with a soupcon of insanity for all to enjoy.

Raglan biz chasing pet food market

The doggedness of two Raglan friends - plus a supportive community - helped launch a posh pet brand

Staying cool in the capital

Love and loss have given a 40-year-old sports car a new lease of life.

Kate tries her hand at cheesemaking

NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan, aka Little Miss Muffet, takes a voyage around her great-grandfather and makes cheese.

The imaginarium of Virgil & Fay

When life is for living, why settle for 'beige'? Virgil and Fay Roberts have crafted a sculpture of a home, as colourful and exuberant as they are.

Why Chelsea Winter feels at home in the country

The cookbook queen is happiest when she's following the lead of her nature-loving mother.

Is this Disneyland for dogs?

Angela Beer didn't even know she was a dog person until she met her beloved Dunhill, and she had even less idea just how far that love would take her.

A Gondwana garden retreat

Peter Cooke and Anna Moore are turning a lifetime's commitment to organic gardening and sustainable living into a retirement income.

Video: Watch Ben Foster create his faceted sculptures

Between the mountains and the sea, sculptor Ben Foster and environmentalist Sabrina Luecht have found the best of nests.

Great Dixter gardener heading to NZ

When a legendary gardener dies, what becomes of his or her garden? Ask Fergus Garrett, the guest speaker at November's Nelmac Garden Marlborough.

A 'tail' of pet technology

New wearable pet sensors will not only find Fido, they can also report on how he's feeling.


Game on for Lumsden salami business

A passion for hunting and a taste for cured meat prompted Chris and Sally Thorn to start their own artisan business in Lumsden.

Iona Weir

The biochemist discovering secrets in NZ soil

A spirited New Zealand biochemist and entrepreneur is finding ways to support women in science on her own home soil.

Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann

This German-born dream machine is  loving Kiwi country roads

Maori herbal tonic business in growth mode

A young entrepreneur from Great Barrier Island is tasting success from his own bitter medicine

A local's guide to Wellington

To truly get to know Wellington’s hidden secrets, leave the preconceptions at home.

Creating a Garden of International Significance

As Liz Morrow sits and drinks in her environment, she sees an extraordinary place of which she is but kaitiaki — or guardian.

Dr Libby talks weight loss and low energy availability

The weight-loss equation of calories in/calories out is not only dated, it can also be harmful

Exploring South East Asia by cruise ship

A cruise passenger speed-dates destinations along the south-east Asian coast, and hopes to meet some of them again.

The Russian fermented drink, brewed in Christchurch

A Christchurch-based couple who met in Russia had a gut feeling a tasty new probiotic would be a hit in New Zealand. They were right

10 timeless makeup and beauty secrets

You can’t actually age backwards, but you can look like it. Take these few make-up tips for keeping your face as ageless as your spirit.

Eruption survivor climbs to the top

Mt Ruapehu robbed William Pike of one of his legs but never his ability to inspire

Sweet smell of success for vegan soap business

A couple’s wish list read: their own land, a self-sustainable lifestyle and a business that reflected their personal values.  After a bright idea and lots of hard work, that list has become a blueprint for the Blue Earth range of body products

Annette Presley says 'feel the fear and do it anyway'

A long list of charity work and a focus on living a good and healthy life occupies one of the country’s leading business people. Annette Presley shares her insight

Sustainable crayfish venture wins accolades

A flagship venture in the forests of Southland and Otago aligns commercial interests with conservation ideals

Recipe: Koura in a spicy coconut sauce

This recipe is from Luke Adams at Caffe L’affare in Auckland

Some like it pop

A former DJ- with an intensely colourful streak- is dancing to the beat of his own drum in the Auckland urban jungle.

It's all good craic in Belfast

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what do Game of Thrones, a jigging Irishman and Bill Clinton have in common? Belfast

Mt Titiroa

A walk on the wild side in Southland

In this award-winning story, Lisa Scott travels on foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world  in Southland.

My career path: Estée Lauder GM, Marie-Ann Billens

Marie-Ann Billens understands that the key to a long-lasting career is to create a good foundation – and to find a job that never feels like work

Joan Withers

At home with top company director Joan Withers

Of all the many significant achievements in her very successful business career, what does Joan Withers identify as the most important? ‘Finding the right man at 15 and then marrying him’

'Prioritize time to rest' says Dr Libby

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a juggle but finding the right balance is essential for happiness and wellbeing.

How Tuhoe is leading the way in sustainable design

Te Kura Whare is a new-generation building embodying super-green values and the spirit of Tūhoe

Video: Locals fighting to protect the waterways that feed Lake Wanaka

Water, a precious resource, is at its most pristine in a spring-fed stream chuckling its way through the heart of Wanaka

Twice as nice for couple living in villa for 2nd time

After years overseas, an Auckland couple has created an urban oasis on home soil in a house they have lived in twice.

Make your own willow bird feeder

Learn the art of basic willow weaving and give your local birds a tasty treat with our beginner's project.

Tiny house business booming for 21 year-old

A young Wellingtonian is thinking big with a burgeoning tiny house business.

Hunting for wild flowers in Aus

Western Australia’s wild flowers draw hoards of hunters in search of a floral fix.

An illustrated life

Native birds and high fashion might be odd bedfellows but not in the hillside home of a German expat and A New Zealand designer.

Mixed berry & apple yoghurt cake

This yummy berry and apple cake can be served warm like a pudding, or cold with lashings of yoghurt.

The caves at the bottom of the farm

Looking for opportunities to keep their adult children working and raising their families nearby, Philip and Anne Woodward added cave exploration and a café to their farming operation in a remote area south of Port Waikato.

Wairoa's man of action

Environmental scientist and lawyer Fergus Power has moved from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to injecting a little “rocket fuel” into the Wairoa District Council.

People are swooning over this 1966 Cortina

Rongotea dairy farmer Alan Rowe has struck a surprising little problem with the car he has owned for 47 years.

Our winter fashion wrap up

Stay chic and cosy this winter with our fashion picks.

Two same sex couples raising one happy little girl

Ask Rodney and Clinton and Erin and Emma... They’ll tell you it’s love that makes a family, not just blood ties.

PurePod glass cabins are a partnership with NZ farmers

A stay at these all-glass cabins on the outskirts of Kaikoura is to step into a magical realm where the world is reframed and time works in mysterious ways.

Port for duck hunting season

Boutique winemaker Debra Cruickshank has produced a port especially for duck hunting season.

Growing Mexican limes in New Zealand

How to keep a lime happy, even in the cold.

MPI is out of touch says cheesemaker

An artisan cheesemaker is concerned that increasing costs of compliance will force their business to go underground.

1906 villa sees new life after Chch earthquake

When the owners of an earthquake-wrecked home were told it was a lost cause, They knew it wasn’t.

How Bird on a Wire became one of NZ's fastest-growing firms

An Auckland chicken-restaurant chain founded on a wing and a prayer is now one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing businesses thanks to the adaptability  of its owners.

Blog: treasure hunting in the Far North

In which Polly trades in foreign treasure-hunting for a more sedate seeking of materials and finds it just as rewarding.

Secrets of the Cook Islands

There are secrets to discover in the Cook Islands by following the road less traveled.

Why Pauline Bianchi always trusts her instincts

Art gallery founder Pauline Bianchi has overcome a life-threatening accident to create a meaningful life with her  6 year-old daughter Valentina.

Is eco-friendly Mangarara Station the future of NZ farming?

Greg and Rachel Hart share a mission: to connect New Zealanders with what they eat, how they live and with the planet itself.

Street art and historic charm in Dunedin

A grand city built on a wave of gold-fueled wealth, Dunedin has had its ups and downs. today finds the city very much on a high.

How to weave a wattle fence

Weaving wattle is an ancient craft where you can make fences out of coppiced branches and stakes to form a woven lattice.

12 easy ways to add radiance to your skin

Look younger, fresher and brighter with these radiance boosting tips.

Career path: life as a ballet mistress

From a little girl in her mother’s Auckland studio to the big-city stages of the world, ballerina Clytie Campbell’s career has swept from one act to the next.

Gastrophysics by Charles Spence.

The Off-Topic Book Club review Gastrophysics

The Off-Topic Book Club has plenty of food for thought when exploring the science of eating in the non-fiction book Gastrophysics by Oxford University's Charles Spence.

A divine conversion

Breathing new life into an old church has taken more than a decade and cost twice the estimate but the owners are in heaven.

Rigatoni con Salsiccia Siciliana e zucchine

This is a simple dish, yet to do it well you need to concentrate.

The inspiration behind Fred van Brandenberg's organic building design

A revelation turned an experienced and successful architect away from the traditional styles in which he’d always worked towards something far more organic.

Recipe: Spanish cream

This recipe comes from  Jersey Girl Organics, winner of the Dairy Primary category of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Wild mushroom risotto with prawns and hot-smoked guanciale

This recipe by The Prodigal Daughter founder, Rachel Priestly showcases her own Italian- styled cured meats.

Raymond Herber's sculpture park

Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park

Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.

And the winner is...

Meet Sean and Jodi Brosnahan – East Coast farmers, breeders of supreme Angus beef and winners of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017.

Judges’ kitchen cupboard secrets

It’s almost time for the announcement of the winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017 so thisNZlife asked the award judges to reveal their kitchen secrets.

VW Super Beetle resurrected from a hay shed

A not-so-common species of beetle has been adored, stored and restored

The brewery that uses wild yeast from Kapiti Island

The wild yeasts of Kapiti Island star in a new brew from a Waikanae company known for its barrel-fermented sour beers.


The signs of stress in chickens

There are many environmental factors that can stress your chickens out, but knowing how to recognize the signs early will help make them happier and healthier faster.

A creative network of young country women

Meet the selection of creative female go-getters selling their wares at the Rural Ladies marketplace.

Connecting Young Rural Ladies

From two sprawling high-country stations on either side of the Waitaki River, two young and creative rural ladies are empowering and connecting like-minded women.

The mischievous goats behind an award-winning cheese

Naughty yet loveable, the Goodman family’s goats are not just pets but the raw and rather vocal talent in a cheesemaking success story.

Gluten-free bread business on the rise

An Auckland entrepreneur is earning a crust with a clever bread mix business.

How your kitchen can go pro

If you think selling food you’ve made in your home kitchen can’t be done legally, you could be in for a delicious surprise. We meet some small-time home-based business people with a passion for food who show how they work within the rules.

Creating a culture of innovation

An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button

Move it in Madagascar

Cycling the exotic island of Madagascar provides a lesson in the country's economy, as well as one in humanity.

Recipe: peanut butter burgers

Spice up your homemade burgers with a good dollop of peanut butter relish.

Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School

Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.

Nature- enter me: Chris Parry's Coromandel home

Chris Parry, drummer for the iconic 1960s band Fourmyula and manager of British bands the Jam and the Cure, left New Zealand 50 years ago expecting never to return. But that was until he found a soul-soaring piece of turf he now calls home.

Pic's Peanut Butter's $50m success story

Serial entrepreneur Pic Picot has learned that nothing pays better than peanuts.

Recipe: Esther's gluten-free gingerbread recipe

A favourite gluten-free recipe from Mary Bigg's Country Cooking School.

Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm

Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.

Juliet Jackson: 'Losing my sight didn't curb my creative spirit'

Although losing her sight meant the end of artist Juliet Jackson’s love affair with painting, it sparked a new-found passion for the written word.

Make your own moisturising bars

Use natural beeswax and coconut oil to make your own luxe moisturising bars.

Bespoke handwoven textiles on a World War One loom

A creative couple has spun a niche business by fusing old-world hand-weaving and modern design.

The Vinbrux family take Oamaru

In the two years since the proficiently self-sufficient Vinbrux family of Oamaru first captured the hearts of NZ Life & Leisure readers, for their ability to live well on food expenditure of $90 a week, the family has branched out and taken Oamaru food retailing by storm.

Recipe: Chocolate peanut butter cookies with salted date filling

These chewy and gooey bite-size sweet treats are not only delicious, but gluten-free.

Blog: no such thing as lazy summer days

Lazy summer days? Huh. For Polly and family the warmer months are too busy spent making hay while the sun shines.

Behind the scenes on the March/April NZ Life & Leisure cover shoot

We share the apple and date cake recipe which appears on the cover of NZ Life & Leisure.

Yes, this cow is made of cake

Kim Donker has turned a baking hobby into a thriving home business. She shares tips for getting started without breaking the bank.

Happy campers: A 1966 blast from the past

A retro car and caravan combo brings reconnection with the past and a raft of brand new memories.

Growing creative minds in a converted boatshed

Friends told Peter and Ellen Jarratt they were reckless, crazy and throwing it all away when they upped sticks to follow their hearts. But they did it anyway.

Monique Fiso

How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine

Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.

Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue

A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.

Recipe: honey rice crisps

Use a mild-flavoured honey, such as blue borage, in this toasted sesame version of the classic treat.

Water cooler: Griffons go global

This week in the water cooler: Nadene is seeing stars in Hunua, Emma has gone to the dogs (again) and Cheree goes banana(grams).

A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard

When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.

Exploring the sacred forest of Ubud, Bali

A sacred forest in Bali’s Ubud is both a conservation area for monkeys and a place where humans strive to reach physical and spiritual well-being in accord with Hindu principles.

The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.

How to make solid beeswax perfume

If you are sick of paying hundreds of dollars for a tiny bottle of celebrity-endorsed fragrance, these solid perfumes made from beeswax and essential oils are the answer.

Auckland family catches piece of fishing history

She may be berthed close to the super yachts of the world’s well heeled at Auckland’s Silo Marina but the Moerangi is no flash-n-crass gin palace.

Couple switch corporate life for barrels of rum

An Anglo-American couple find their adventurous spirit by swapping international careers for a Golden Bay distillery and its stock of barrel-aged rum.

Why tagasaste is a useful tree to know about

If you are looking for the next perfect edition to your backyard, then tagasaste is the one you've been searching for.

From farm to 'glampground'

Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.

Dr Libby: post-natal health

Some of the physical and emotional consequences of giving birth can be felt for up to 10 years afterwards. These are Dr Libby's tips for combating tiredness and focusing on your wellness.

Recipe: Chilled cucumber soup

Do you have borage growing in your garden? Try using the petals in this refreshing summer soup.

Recipe: Chilli lime prawn burrito with coriander slaw

The following recipe is fast, low fuss and delicious. It is ideal for feeding a crowd at the family bach.

Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave

Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.

Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life

It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.

Carriages see new life off the rails

A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.

Cruising in the Trinidad

For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat. 

Welcome to The Outback

In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instruction on how to live.

The Perry family on how to "Raglan-afy" a bach

A universal truth is the power of three. In the coastal township of Raglan, three adored baches subscribe to that hypothesis.

Small kids in a campervan - no problem

Fun and freedom on a budget? Or the family holiday from hell? Traveling some 1200 kilometres from Christchurch to Auckland in a campervan with two small children isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven. But this family survived… and then some.

Three hot summer fashion trends

From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.

How a wonky kennel inspired a cute-as-a-button hut

Dogged determination helps restore the DIY mana of a west Auckland pastry chef, and creates the ultimate city retreat.

Wild horses, big dreams

Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.

Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge

A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.

Five things to do in Melbourne on a budget

Rhianna Osborne lives like a local to enjoy Melbourne without breaking the bank.

The green heart of Italy

For an alternative to well-worn (and often overrun) Tuscany, the relatively unknown Abruzzo region in central Italy offers a true Italian experience with the capacity to surprise.

Classic baking: Yoyo recipe

These Yoyos are guaranteed to melt-in-the-mouth. This classic sweet treat is quick to make and will no doubt be an absolute crowd pleaser.

Why the Beer Baroness misses beer

She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.

A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland

Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.

How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef

The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.

Architect couple's two different approaches to design

He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs

Horse trekking through the Coromandel

There may be a few hills to climb and you could well be subjected to a little karaoke, but this trek through some of New Zealand’s best scenery does good in more than one sense.

Life on the run with Liz Stringer

For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.

When Helly met Sally: love through the lens

Sally Maguire’s dog knew a thing or two when it introduced its owner to the love of her life, Helmut Hirler. They walk us through their beautiful home and art gallery, 'Artmosphere' .

From Antarctica to Port Chalmers: David Elliot's well-drawn career

David Elliot loves nothing more than a good story. As luck (and hard work) would have it, his country-spanning, award-winning, character-rich career has bestowed him with plenty of content.

Beauty product gift ideas

Beauty-junkie daughter? Fragrance-loving friend? Or just looking for some inspo for your own Christmas lust list…? here’s a guide to some of the best beauty gifts of this festive season.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon

The NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon was huge success, raising $6500 for Ranui House.

Meet the NZers making our country predator free

The government’s audacious goal of a predator-free New Zealand by 2050 needs to harness clever people and smart technology. Meet some leaders in the field.

The ultimate wedding gift

Sheryl welcomed her husband Tony into their marriage by giving him the key to her  fabulous 56-year-old fin-tailed Ford.

Blog: Feature windows and communal beds

Polly laments the communal bed while a new DIY feature window brings some unexpected lessons – and just a little pain.

Bringing super yacht technology down to size

Jason & Tristin Dickey talk us through how they brought superyacht technology down to size in a range of luxuriously fitted aluminium boats.

Inside Lynda Hallinan's "posh barn"

Hurricane Hallinan, aka the country’s liveliest gardener Lynda Hallinan, shows us her spring makeover in time for another charity fundraiser.

Recipe: coriander and coconut chutney

This refreshing chutney makes a delicious filling for vegetarian sandwiches. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for meatballs, kebabs or crudités.

Recipe: Fish caldine curry

Seafood is found in abundance in Goan cuisine. The curry gets its colour from turmeric, one of the stars of the spice world, and has a hint of sweetness from the coconut.

From tragedy to red hot business

Jen Viegas is bringing the rich and evocative flavours of Goa to New Zealand gourmets, one spoonful at a time.

Recipe: Bolo de coco coconut and semolina cake

Bolo de Coco is a favourite Goan  sweet treat.

The high country station selling merino to NATO

Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.

A garden of surprises

Planting in this geometrically composed garden was underway long before the decision was made to build a Restoration-period house in its centre. The two are a seamless match

Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies

In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.

bakedapple with cheese

Recipe: Blue cheese stuffed apples

This is a gorgeous and simple alternative to the traditional after-dinner cheese board.

Red leicester cheese and pesto tarts

This is a take on a Jo Seagar recipe and a favourite with the Whalley family for Christmas pre-dinner nibbles. They use a 12-muffin tin but you could also make them mini-muffin size.

The tweet that transformed a cheese business

Mt Eliza raw milk cheese has been described by one foodie as like watching colour television after years of black and white.

An award-winning toy business run from home

The kids play in the bush and fish in the stream. The adults work from home creating toys that win awards.

How a coffee addiction led to a tea business

Wellington tea maker’s three herbal blends are led by gut instinct, ensuring what’s tasty also nurtures body and mind.

Capri's journey from Berlin to Blenheim

He wanted a race car, she wanted a comfortable ride, turns out the 1974 Ford Capri was the car they didn't know they always wanted.

How to reduce food waste

More than half the food thrown out by Kiwi households could be eaten.

From soap star to designer

Designer Katrina Hobbs is an expert at reinvention. From travel-show host to soap star, business presenter and now business owner, she takes a role and runs with it.

Small town fashion success

Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.

How a 100kg bag of cacao beans changed lives in two countries

A Havelock North's desire to support  Pacific Island farmers has led to sweet business success.

What drives a person to run 100km?

Cheree Morrison takes a walk in the well-worn running shoes of Fiona Hayvice, one of the world’s top ultra-marathon athletes.

Blog: near noodle starvation

A new wwoof-er demonstrates his unfamiliarity with wholefoods and a spiral staircase sends the family’s spirits to heaven.

Clachanburn Country Garden

You're invited to our readers' spring luncheon

Tickets are now on sale for NZ Life & Leisure special event and hear the incredible Jane Falconer of Clachanburn Country Garden

Turning heads at 78

Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.

Finding work/life balance

A personal quest for work/life balance is at the core of a new restaurant and wellness centre run by a top chef and his yogi wife.

Career change: entering the ice age

A mid-life career change is just what the doctor ordered for Auckland film editor Jacks Jackson

Dr Libby's health advice

In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.

Creating a home in France

Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille

A twist of citrus

A delivery business with a twist boosts returns for a Gisborne orchard.

World-class climber reaches new heights

Height is no limit for Dale Thomas. New Zealand's champion tree climber is just as comfortable at the tops of giant trees as he is with two feet on the ground.

The Artisan Paper Pusher

David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.

Finding Love in the Outback

In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instructions on how to live.


Finding flower power

To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia

Two weddings and a Land Rover

Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.

Following his guitar dreams

Guitar-maker Dave Gilberd ditched a high-flying career in engineering to follow his dreams.

A colourful life

There’s an element of Wonderland in interior designer Anya Brighouse’s home but this creative force is anything but out of control

Brendan Seal of Urbn Vino

Winemaking in the city

A canny Central Otago winemaker gives Pinot Noir some good city legs.

Boosting the Maori land economy

Taranaki-born Jamie Tuuta is enhancing the potential of Maori land and assets in his role as the Maori Trustee

Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels

An architect designed his dream house on the shores of the Kaipara using coolstore panels.

martin carroll

Policeman by day, silversmith by night

Half of Martin Carroll's life is spent stopping dangerous drivers; the other half is spent creating works of art

Silver Fern Farms

How I became a meat grader

Sarah Duncan (42) appreciates a good steak — her career is dedicated to assuring that the meat on Kiwi forks is of the highest possible standard.

Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche

Daniel Gudsell turns a customer complaint into a thriving, environmentally friendly wood business.

Jing Song

How this woman is changing NZ wine

A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.

local horse

Blog: A bathroom at last

The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.

Noeline Young

This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day

Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.

Okewa raincoats

Why this couple are singing in the rain

The rain fell down and a solution popped up – a young Wellington couple has designed a collection of classy raincoats that are making a splash.

neil mclachlan

A life saving houses

Despite growing up on the cutting edge of the minimal Modernist movement, this interior and architectural designer’s heart is in the past.

A milk bottle chandelier at The Milk Station in Otaki.

Derelict milk station transformed

A 1926 Grade II Historic Place-listed concrete milk station is seeing a new life as a spectacular Otaki wedding venue.

Michael MacMillan and family

5th generation artist explores heritage

With art in his arteries, Michael MacMillan maintains a family tradition in a valley of hops and hopefulness, his greatest supporter by his side.

Apollo Taito.

Career Path: The vegan soldier

Apollo Taito is a manager in the mental-health sector, part-time soldier, PhD student,  vegan and animal-rights campaigner.

Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend

Off-Topic Book Club podcast

The club were divided over My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

Shoemaker Louise Clifton

Dunedin shoe school kicks off

She made her first pair of shoes out of some car mat, now Dunedin’s Louise Clifton has opened her own shoe school.

Trend spotting: the future of skincare

From weird face masks to smart skin patches, there are plenty of beauty trends to help you face the future.

Averil Stuart-Head in Italy

A new Italian life at 57

Christchurch’s Averil Stuart-Head followed her heart to create art in a medieval village in Italy.

Recipe: deconstructed cheesecake

This edible flower cheesecake tastes as good as it looks.

Auckland edible flower business blooming

A South Auckland grower shares the secrets of her edible garden.

giza pyramid

The best in tech

Cultural wonders, spectacular solar footage and a pawsome way to hook up - Frances Jones premieres what's hot in tech at the moment.

Olveston gardens

3 green-fingered generations

A chance vacancy at Olveston Homestead has enabled three generations of the Goldsmith family to polish up a bit of Kiwi history

1967 Fiat 500 F Bambina

A long lost Bambina

Some cars lead a colourful life this, is  the story of vibrant Italian icon called Niko.

Passionfruit macadamia truffles.

Macadamia passionfruit truffles

Make these truffles even when passionfruit is out of season.

A life less ordinary at the Fox River Commune

The times may be a changing but the Fox River Commune on the West Coast still attracts a colourful group of thinkers, dreamers and creators.

How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love

Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.

Geocaching in New Zealand

Modern day treasure hunters

Sophie Armitage is just one of millions taking part in a worldwide treasure hunt, where the prize is prestige and may be hidden just around the corner.

Hotter than Hades in Chihuahua, Mexico

Head into Breaking Bad territory, where land is dry, throats are parched and dogs are very very small.

Blog: Off-the-grid and online

In the first of her fortnightly blogs,  NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks shares an update of life in her mudbrick off-the-grid home in the Far North.

Does a cup of tea taste better with Jersey cow milk?

A Waikato farming family takes the cow by the teats and markets its own jersey milk.

My wayward wheels: from mountains to the sea

Riding 300 kilometres on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail can be hard work  but it’s worth every turn of the wheel.


Maori macadamia industry tough to crack

Vanessa Hayes, aka the Nut Lady, is on a mission to establish a nut industry for Maori on the East Coast.

Tapas bar La Boca at 3 Rue du Plan de l’Oume.

Peta Mathias explores Uzes

The writer, cook and lover of the south of France tempts visitors to dance in her town square.

beeswax food wrap

Make your own beeswax food wraps

This environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film is easy to make at home.

Clachanburn Country Garden

Video: Behind the scenes at Clachanburn Country Garden

What does it take to create a garden of national significance in a remote place with an extreme climate and heavy clay soil? A body made of strong bones and a soul full of magic is a good start.


From a crop of potatoes to a booming enterprise

Starting with a single crop of potatoes, a Gisborne farmer has created one of New Zealand's largest and most innovative horticultural businesses.

Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success

A picture-perfect lavender farm, is just one of a bunch of businesses nourished by a Kurow dairy farm.

New Zealand's first sake brewery.

Turning Japanese: brewing sake in Queenstown

There's a new sake brewery in Queenstown. How it got there involves three middle-aged men, helicopter honeymoon flights, rugby and karate all knitted together.

The king of Kombi vans

A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.

Good Bitches Baking

Saving the world through cake

What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.

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