thisNZlife

She gave up a new kitchen for her 1974 El Camino ute

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Baked Chocolate and Amaretto Cheesecake

This indulgent cheesecake is not only pretty, but worth every single calorie.

4 easy fixes for phosphorus loss (and a sweet benefit to clean waterways)

When you fix the conditions that cause phosphorus loss, you get some tasty benefits.

200 meals per day for kids in need

A community that not only grows its food — but also shares it around — is incredibly powerful, says this Wellington altruist.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Cabbage, Pear & Fennel Slaw

Cider vinegar, mustard and caraway punch up this simple, elegant slaw.

Video

DIY

DIY: Make an easy sheep-shaped bookcase

Add a touch of country charm to a kids' bedroom with this cute-as-a-button weekend project.

Could mushrooms hold the secret to saving bees?

A mushroom expert’s observation may help save the world’s bees.

3 exotic fruits to add to your garden this winter

Winter can be pretty quiet for fruit, but you can add something exotic to sweeten up the cold season.

The mysterious fluffy chicks that appeared in a block owner's hay paddock

The hay paddock has some ungainly inhabitants, quite unlike their elegant parents.

What is pugging? How to avoid damaging your soil this winter

Soil needs an open structure. Pugging destroys it.

9 gardening tasks to tick off during quiet winter months

The garden will be quieter but there’s still plenty to do.

Featured

Editor's Picks

Inside a bach and matching tiny house at Waikawa Beach

Life in Aotearoa is celebrated in a bach and matching tiny house on the Horowhenua coast.

Recipe: Turkish Baked Cauliflower with Spiced Lamb Sauce

The bed of spiced lamb mince sauce packs some serious flavour in this hearty winter dish.

From doctor to author: A Lower Hutt woman's path to award-winning fiction

As a doctor, Eileen Merriman knows the science of blood and bone. As an author, she delves into the intricate depths of heart and soul.

Inside a colour-blind gardener's 800-sqm wonderland in Taupo

Renowned gardener Gordon Collier is red/green colour blind — but it isn’t the reason he refuses to plant by painted numbers in his small suburban garden; he prefers to mix it up a little.

Pan-fried and vegetable scones

One of New Zealand’s best-loved children’s authors shares the secret to his childhood scone recipe.

What's On: InMotion Matariki returns to Auckland's new winter festival, Elemental AKL

Join an illuminated all-wheels parade in Wynyard Quarter for (free!) family fun at Auckland's new winter festival – 6 July from 5:30pm.

Boutique distillery owner Patsy Bass returns to Reefton for a shot at artisan gin

Reefton Distilling Co is striking gold in one of New Zealand’s oldest mining towns.

Recipe: Green Leek & Potato Soup

Celebrate cold weather with sweet leeks and hearty potatoes.

8 warming soup recipes

Warm up from the cold weather with these hearty and easy soup recipes.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Rugelach with Apricot, Walnuts and Chocolate

Pair a few of these sweet Jewish scrolls with your morning coffee.

Meet the NZ couple finding love on a 350,000 km road trip

A shared passion for four-wheel traveling has this New Zealand couple chasing all seven continents.

Polly Greeks' Blog: What does the future hold for planet Earth?

Some predict Earth's imminent doom while optimists remain eternally hopeful. As a mum, Polly wonders where she should stand.

watercress soup

Recipe: Cream of Watercress Soup

Our make your own Cream of Watercress Soup from this easy to grow green.

Behind the scenes at a third generation angus stud auction

A historic angus cattle stud takes winter by the horns with a seasonal celebration.

Cranmer Square's Red House rises again

When this Christchurch couple saw their dream home disintegrate before their very eyes, they discovered the Phoenix inside — and skills they never knew they had.

Recipe: Salted caramel macadamia slice

Impress at your next work morning tea with this paleo vegan slice from Buffy Ellen at Be Good Organics

Auckland start-up's game-changing wine technology

An idea spun from a university project is making an explosive impression on the wine industry.

Putting Gisborne oranges on the map

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

Outstanding Food Producer Winner Dinner

What's On: Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Dinners

Each year, we host a series of events across NZ to share a taste of the fantastic food and drinks we’ve discovered at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

 

From clay soil to a block blooming with herbs

Cathy Bouma never planned to have a herb business. Or a block.

The Kiwis behind the next generation of eco-products

Meet the innovators driving the push for products that last.

Review: Theresa Healey in The Audience

Kate Coughlan sees the Queen in a whole new light after watching the new Auckland Theatre Company production of The Audience.

Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats' lamb hot in demand

Wairarapa sheep and beef farmers Dion Kilmister and Ali Scott of Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats are focused on ensuring what their customers eat is as good as what they eat at home.

A life in isolation on the Chatham Islands

Helen Bint turned her back on the city to live a pioneering life on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Telly troubles

In the age of Netflix and infinite TV choices, it's Dancing with the Stars which makes Jim's family gather around the TV.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Apple Crumble Cake

This classic crowd-pleaser is all about the harmony between warm spices and granny smiths.

7 creative ways to celebrate mum's special day

Mother’s Day is almost here (it’s this Sunday, May 12th) so get sorted with these fresh ideas for activities, gestures and gifts to show you care.

How an Auckland couple is bringing native butterflies back to the city

Robert Jones and Angela Moon-Jones are bringing native butterflies back — one garden at a time.

NZ Opera presents: The Barber of Seville

This “riotously funny, utterly assured production” (The Australian) of Rossini’s crazy comic opera The Barber of Seville will finally make it to our shores, after receiving rave reviews in Queensland and Seattle.

Taranaki farmers go with the grain in dairy country

A Taranaki family with an eye on the future have sown their faith in an ancient grain.

Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Mussels

Celebrate the earthy jerusalem artichoke with this warming, potato-based soup.

Lassi three ways

My Indian Kitchen author Ashia Ismail-Singer shares three variations of this classic Indian drink.

Guest Blog: Ashia Ismail-Singer’s journey to My Indian Kitchen

It was a bout of homesickness that prompted Malawi-born New Zealander Ashia Ismail-Singer to start her blog.

Woman in the Wilderness author loves a life without walls

Miriam Lancewood lives the epitome of an “open door” policy – except, for the past eight years, she’s had no doors. Or a roof. Or an address. And that makes her very happy.

The best ways to unwind in Queenstown this autumn

Queenstown in autumn is the perfect time of year to experience this beautiful region at a different pace and to indulge the senses in the colours and flavours of the season.

Be in to a Joyce Blok Vitamin E 15% serum, valued at $130

Be in to win one of six Joyce Blok Vitamin E 15% serums, valued at $130.

Magnolia Kitchen Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bernadette Gee's cookbook Magnolia Kitchen is an internet sensation. These chewy delights were named after Bernadette's one-and-only light-of-her-life daughter Charlotte.

Recipe: Kristina Jensen’s Crab Apple & Walnut Streusel Cake

It takes a little more work than the average cake, but this streusel-topped treat is well worth it.

NZ Life & Leisure Reader Event: Walk Japan Lunch

Celebrate one of the world’s most sophisticated cultures and enjoy the best of its food and wine with NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan and travel expert Paul Christie, CEO of Walk Japan.

Be in to win a weekend for two in historic Reefton, valued at $1075

Win a weekend for two in Reefton, including two nights at converted jailhouse and four-star lodging 'The Old Gaol', dinner at Dawsons Hotel and a tour with Reefton Distilling Co, all valued at $1075.

Be in to win a Loving Sylvie 'Book Club in a Box'

Be in to win a 'Book Club in a Box': Three copies of Loving Sylvie by Elizabeth Smither and a selection of delicious snacks.

The Chia Sisters reach new heights for award-winning, solar-powered juicery

The success of a South Island soft-drinks company has its owners juiced — and selected as winner of the earth category in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2019.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Easter Buns with Lemon Icing Drizzle

Please a crowd these holidays with Ruth Pretty's zesty Easter buns which are packed with spices, dried apricots, raisins and sultanas.

Wooden Spoon Freezery named Supreme Champion at 2019 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

The ice-cream makers at Wooden Spoon Freezery are proof that business and pleasure can be mixed.

160kg of fruit per tree at this Whakatane feijoa orchard

Whakatane’s White Goose Orchard produces fantastic feijoas and winning wines, and its owners are huge proponents of the potential nutritional benefits of the aromatic fruit.

Recipe: Venison Shepherd's Pie

Venison brings an extra level of luxury to this humble classic.

Recipe: Chunky Monkey Feijoa Chutney (the best-ever feijoa recipe)

Kristina reluctantly shares one of her best-ever chutneys.

Plans for organic farming teaching centre in Motueka

Work is underway on a  teaching centre that will offer workshops, lectures, and  apprenticeships for anyone eager to learn the peculiarities of organic enterprise.

A Marlborough distiller is putting New Zealand bitters on the map

Marlborough-made bitters are making waves in the cocktail world, and their creator is just getting started.

feijoa upside down cake

Is this the feijoa cake of your dreams?

Kristina Jensen's gooey upside down feijoa caramel cake is the autumn cake you've been waiting for.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Finding the Spirit of New Zealand

In the days following the Christchurch mosque attacks, Jim Kayes reflects on the power of hope and the Spirit of New Zealand.

The best NZ cheeses of 2019

Over 200 medals have been handed out to NZ’s top specialty cheese makers.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Oven-Baked Quinces with Vanilla Whipped Coconut Cream

Recipe: Baked Quinces with Vanilla Whipped Coconut Cream

An old-fashioned fruit is transformed with a little heat and a lot of airy coconut cream.

Is sheep milk NZ's next big export industry?

Businessman Scottie Chapman was told: ‘No one wants that product.’ It was music to his ears

In your Backyard: Living Lightly online extra resources

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly, is a guide to making small steps towards a lighter footprint.  We’ve compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

Video: Sustainable living in a tiny house on wheels

A tiny house that includes upcycled parts of a state home is the first step towards sustainable living for an Auckland couple.

A Motueka couple's long road to importing adorable Valais Blacknose sheep

They’re often mistaken for stuffed toys, but Valais Blacknose sheep are real and spreading their cuteness around New Zealand.

Polly Greeks' Blog: Reclaim the Christchurch shootings through love

Let the bullet-holes blasted through the fabric of New Zealand society on Friday be a call to lovingly take the hands of strangers.

Beekeeper's tiny house passion stemmed from a teenage illness

Nathan Orr’s enthusiasm for tiny homes and leaving a smaller footprint on the planet is rooted in a teenage illness.

ONZFPA Awards: Medal winners revealed

Foodies have a slew of top-quality products to look out for when they are shopping following today’s announcement of the 2019 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards medal winners.

NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced

Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Iceberg Salad with Cucumber, Beans, Mint and Buttermilk Dressing

Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Stay cool as a cucumber by pairing this simple salad with any main dish.

Christchurch terror attack: How to support NZ’s Muslim communities

Mass murder at mosques in Christchurch on Friday targeted Muslim New Zealanders at worship. Here are some things you can do to support a devastated community.

How hard can it be, to plant a stick?

Two great options for fodder, shelter, shade and firewood can be as simple as a stick in the ground

Why autumn is a great time to visit Queenstown

There’s no need to bungy-jump from a bridge or swing perilously close to a cliff-face in a jet-boat to sample the delights of New Zealand's adventure capital. Autumn is a time for gentler pursuits.

Recipe: Hokey Pokey Melting Moments

This classic biscuit is taken up a notch with crunchy hokey pokey.

A set designer's showstopper home

Of all of the scenes set decorator Megan Vertelle has crafted into reality, her patchwork Piha villa is the one that steals the show.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Too much homework

School-life balance becomes seemingly impossible for Jim's daughter when she comes home with five hours of homework.

Sister Mary Horn's third calling

From the moment she was baptised Mary Dominica, Mary Horn was on a path to a convent. Her call to be an artist came much later — at nearly 60.

Recipe: Parmesan-Crumbed Eggplant with Red Pepper Mayo

Late summer calls for lovely finger food that celebrates fresh ingredients, like eggplant and red pepper.

Polly Greeks' Blog: An advert for the off-grid lifestyle

A fish-fuelled weekend has Polly dreaming of how to write the perfect advert for the off-grid lifestyle.

How to avoid metabolic syndrome

Add metabolic syndrome to the long list of medical maladies that can be avoided by living well.

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.

John Rhys-Davies: Fresh Eggs is a hoot

Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones Actor John Rhys-Davies brings an international flair to the new TV2 black-comedy, Fresh Eggs.

3 delicious ways to use up a peach glut

Make the most of a late summer peach glut with three quick (and tasty) recipes.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Parental hypocrisy

As Jim nervously lets his daughter loose in Six60's 50,000-person deep crowd, he recalls his own gig mischief as a teen.

What's On: Gwinganna Special NZ events

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat invites you to two new New Zealand wellness events this autumn.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly on sale now

Learn to live a greener and more sustainable life with our special edition. In Your Backyard: Living Lightly.

From a cluttered workshop to a modern crib

A workshop, once bursting at the joists with a lifetime of useful things, is reworked into an exceptional holiday home.

A fabric upcycler Sarah Lancaster's cute tiny house

A sewing teacher with a superhero-like enthusiasm for saving the planet packs a heap of personality into her tiny house.

Finding their tūrangawaewae in the Abel Tasman

Making sense of the past has allowed a Kaiteriteri couple to shape the future — titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamua. Now they are paddling forwards and taking others with them.

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' .

Jim Kayes' Blog: Hopelessly unromantic

When Jim's daughter gets a boyfriend, he hopes her beau is as unromantic as he used to be.

Preparing water tanks for the un-rainy days

Young, smart-thinking innovators are developing remote methods to ensure the country’s rain-water tanks never run dry.

A beginner's guide to foraging in New Zealand

There are plenty of edible wild plant foods in the NZ countryside, if you know where to look and what to look for.

Fiordland cruise with a difference: Passengers participate in conservation work

An entrepreneurial couple have built a Fiordland-based business that takes New Zealanders out of their daily lives and back in time.

Recipe: Ginger, Lime and Peppermint Rock Melon with Mango Sorbet

An easy-to-make fruity dessert that epitomizes the taste of summer.

Polly's Blog: Potty mouths, revelations and #MeToo

When her seven-year-old expresses foul-mouthed fury, Polly reviews events in her own life that should have provoked absolute outrage but left her confusingly silent.

Recipe: Panzanella with nectarine

This is a non-traditional panzanella (bread salad) with the addition of nectarine. Central Otago is famous for its stone fruit and the nectarines are perfectly ripe at the same time as tomatoes, the combination of which creates a nice acidity and sweetness.

Jim Kayes' Blog: The politics of camping

While camping in Mangawhai, Jim is envious of his mate's luxurious tent set-up which includes a bar leaner and Nespresso coffee machine.

Whangamata business owner can work 20 days in a row over summer

Boutique owner Karan Gregory Has an eye for business based on experience earned, not learned.

On the BBQ: Ginger and Soy Salmon

Grilling on the barbecue one of the easiest ways to cook salmon.

Tasty ways to use avocados

The smooth, creamy texture of avocados makes them a great ally in baking. Give these delicious recipes a try.

Discovering the lost spring of Taputapuatea

Most people avoid getting into hot water, but the creator of a Coromandel resort spent two decades, and many millions of dollars, drilling for it.

Could llamas help us beat the flu?

A simple nasal spray using antibodies produced by llamas could give humans protection from the flu.

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.

Photo essay: Rangitoto Island's historic baches

Rangitoto, Auckland’s most familiar landmark, harbours unexpected reminders of less-complicated times.

Recipe: Rhubarb Frosé Ice Blocks (alcoholic)

For a refreshing twist on the popular frosé cocktail, try these adult ice blocks with stewed rhubarb.

Volunteer divers keep Wellington's waterfront plastic-free

Meet the scuba diver on a mission to clean up Wellington’s ocean floor.

Retro caravan called Roxanne restored to heyday looks

Summer holidays for a Hamilton family mean a beach on the wild Waikato west coast with a small dog called Rosie and a retro caravan called Roxanne.

Recipe: Sugar-cured venison

This luscious dish makes good use of seasonal produce. You need to make the red pepper relish at least a day ahead.

This couple call a wildlife sanctuary on Great Barrier home

The only human residents of a thriving Great Barrier Island wildlife sanctuary are fiercely protective of their native neighbours.

Watch: NZ's first flock of cute Valais Blacknose sheep

Valais Blacknose must be the cutest sheep in the world. We meet Sally and Lindsay Strathdee on their piece of paradise in Motueka, and meet their friendly flock in an exclusive video.

Christmas spirit aboard a European winter cruise

Swapping pavlova and sunshine for European waterways and cuckoo clocks helps one voyager realize the festive spirit she never knew she had.

A guide to the Rangitikei river in New Zealand for the intrepid traveller

Characters, curiosities and intrepid opportunity lie around every corner of one of New Zealand’s longest rivers.

Jim Kayes' blog: Christmas giving

Jim reflects on present etiquette — is it okay to shake the presents under the Christmas tree?

What to consider when adopting a dog

There are rescue groups around NZ with dogs that need homes, from puppies to pensioners. Here's what you should think about when saying hello to your potential pet dog.

Christchurch's ring master: Meet hilarious hula-hooper Toni Smith

Hilarious hula-hooper Toni Smith brings her international street performance routines home for Bread and Circus, the World Buskers’ Festival in Christchurch from January 10 to February 3.

Recipe: Perfumed punch

A fruity non-alcoholic drink, fit for a festive feast.

Waihi & Whangamata: Things to do, places to eat and where to stay

While the golden triangle of Waihi, Whangamata and Waihi Beach isn’t short on glittering activities and pristine landscapes, the Coromandel’s true gems are not tour stops but people giving back to the community.

Recipe: Green Bean Salad with Cranberries

Green beans with a tangy cranberry twist, a delicious side from Ruth Pretty's make-ahead Christmas lunch menu. 

Recipe: Honey-Glazed Pork Loin with Guava & Raisins

A pork roast with a fruity filling, fit for Christmas Day.

Downloadable and printable subscription gift card

We offer free printable cards for any of our customers who are sending subscriptions as a gift.

Jo Seagar's BBQ St Clements Lamb

‘Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements.’ This is the inspiration for this easy but fabulous way to cook lamb on the BBQ. What more perfect choice for our New Zealand Christmas feast than lamb.

Pottery hens with a cult following

Yvonne Sutherland has been firing and painting hens for more than three decades and collectors around the world obviously adore them as much as she does.

Recipe: Spicy Korean-Style Meatballs

These tasty meatballs will be a hit at your next barbecue.

From backyard hobby to blooming business

A novice gardener's flower growing efforts have bloomed into a home-based business.

Round cucumber varieties to try

If you like the long green cucumbers, you're going to love these extraordinary orbs.

Recipe: Pepparkakor gingerbread biscuits

These delicious little spice biscuits are not too sweet, easy to roll out and quick to bake.

Take a peek inside Wellington's iconic boat sheds

For more than 100 years Wellington’s Clyde Quay boat sheds have been happy places for people who love tinkering with boats.

Recipe: Beetroot Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Horseradish dressing gives this beetroot salad the x-factor.

Polly's Blog: Bird calls and tubular bells

Polly digs deep to make sense of a world that keeps spinning despite the family’s ongoing efforts to slow it.

How St Fabiola (the patron saint of divorce) inspires artist Kirsten Sutherland

Wellington digital textile artist Kirsten Sutherland has stitched together her art, an eclectic home, a creative boutique and a new husband, who just happens to own a brewery.

From KwaZulu Natal with love

Beautiful, hand-made beadwork decorations put the compassion into Christmas.

NZ-made clothes designed in a high-country sheep station:

Hayley Rhind moved onto a new farm with her husband and two young children. Then she had a brilliant idea for a clothing business.

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.

Recipe: Jude’s Chocky Rocky Road

This gourmet version of a classic sweet makes a great homemade Christmas present.

Native plant nursery founder wins big at NZI Rural Women Business Awards

A group of innovative thinkers has been given top honours at the prestigious NZI Rural Women Business Awards.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Losing my cool

Jim struggles to stay silent while sitting  in the backseat during his daughter's driving test.

Putting Dunedin back on the chocolate map

A craft chocolate company is winning awards, and the hearts and minds of dunedinites.

SOLD Enchanted storybook cottage

A unique opportunity to own a fairy tale property in Central Otago.

Recipe: New Potatoes with George’s Guacamole

Give new potatoes a Caribbean twist with a healthy dollop of  zesty Cuban guacamole.

3 new books NZ foodies will love

Three books that traverse the diverse culinary landscapes of Central Otago, Sri Lanka and Dunedin are bound to get food and wine-lovers talking.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Exam season

As exam season looms, Jim's eldest threatens to take a three-year-long gap year.

Buy the best artisan food products in our new Farmers' Market

NZ Life & Leisure and thisNZlife's involvement in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards has opened our eyes to the wonderful boutique products New Zealanders are making.

thisNZlife Farmers' Market Recipe: Spicy Tamarind Ribs

This pork rib recipe from Jenny's Kitchen is so delicious and easy-to-make it will become your summer go-to. Make them in the barbecue or the oven and order  Jenny's Kitchen Tamarind Chutney direct from the thisNZlife Farmers' Market .

Permaculture systems in your garden

Permaculture is a fancy name for all the things many of us are already doing in our orchards. Ben Gaia shares tips to get you growing more food using fewer chemicals.

 

 

A guide to importing farm animals

Bringing a new breed into NZ is expensive, and you can only import certain species of farm animals from approved countries.

Recipe: Tomato Cashew Soup

This tomato soup with carrots, celery and cashew cream is a local favourite.

Finding a solution to period poverty in NZ

Six months' volunteering abroad inspired a 24-year-old Wellingtonian to look for a sustainable and economical solution to a worldwide problem - and to implement it on her university campus.

Recipe: Raw vegan coconut yoghurt tarts

Breakfast for a sweet-tooth doesn't get much better than this.

Recipe: Pineapple sage tisane

A tisane or infusion is a drink made by steeping fresh or dried herbs in hot water.

Recipe: Moroccan honey and mint syrup cake

This cake from East End Café in Wairoa is delicious served with a dollop of cream or unsweetened Greek yoghurt.

Polly's Blog: The Unfathomable life kaleidoscope

Polly and James are on nursing duties as the kids battle a nasty bug, but in the backyard Bugs Bunny has been at play.

Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan's wedding plans

New Zealand’s Lord of the Reins, Lance O’Sullivan, and his wife Bridgette have found new passions beyond the heady days of Bollinger and BMWs.

Sisters making intentionally unsexy underwear

A pair of Wairarapa sisters are two decades in to making comfy underwear designed for the wearer, not the viewer.

A blockbuster adventure in Hawai'i

A cinema-lover discovers a world beyond the familiar attractions of the movie-esque Hawai’ian island of Kaua’i.

What's On: Tutus on Tour - new regional shows announced

The Royal New Zealand Ballet's Tutus on Tour is visiting eleven regional centres in 2019 from 18 March - 11 May 2019.

Creative thinking is driving a blooming biological economy

A book argues New Zealanders are already starting to make a living out of the natural world in new ways based on “value” rather than “volume”.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Christmas Fruit Mince Croissants

Get Christmas morning off to a cracker start with coffee, perhaps a glass of champagne and this festive take on filled croissants.

Recipe: Chilli Prawn, Roasted Kūmara, Yellow Pepper & Pistachio Salad

A little planning, a touch of prep and — voilà — a  make-ahead Christmas lunch menu that leaves plenty of time for hosts to spend with guests.

Topp Secret Gingernut recipe

The Topp Twins had to beg their mum Jean to share their nana’s famous Gingernut Biscuit recipe for their new cookbook Topp Country: A Culinary Journey.

Pagan Karauria's shear determination overcoming adversity

She’s a hard job, wool handling. For some, it’s harder than shearing. Pagan Karauria of Central Otago says that’s the case for her, and she’s a master wool handler as well as a shearer.

Recipe: Frenched Lamb Racks with Ponzu Sauce

Jazz up new season lamb with this classic Japanese citrus-based sauce and pink-peppercorn rub.

BeetrootChocolateMudCake

Dr Libby's Beetroot chocolate mud cake

This cake packs all the divine flavor of a traditional chocolate cake but is so much more beneficial for your health.

The truth about E. coli

A common bacteria sounds a warning of contamination, but it’s not the baddie it seems.

Recipe: Homemade cultured salted butter

Add some local flavour to the traditionally homemade staple.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan Reader Lunch

The food was exquisite, the sake was flowing and the conversation was filled with colourful travel stories at the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan reader lunch.

Polly Greeks' Blog: Bird detective work

Polly and family discover ornithological treasures at wildlife sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi.

This cheese sold out before the cheesemaker cut the curd

Kirsty Silvester and Dave Chapman are true DIY cheese producers,  from pasture to pecorino.

7 reasons why the eastern rockhopper penguin should win Bird of the Year

Meet the cute and sassy eastern rockhopper penguin and vote it Bird of the Year.

The farming family taking Blue Ducks under their wing

Fortunate indeed are the endangered Blue Ducks now flourishing under the protection of a family that has figured out how to combine farming with eco-tourism.

6 flowers for the cottage garden

If you want to emulate the soft, frothy hues of a cottage garden, these six flowers are a good start.

Anthony Hoy Fong's big bites in the Big Apple

From deep-fried chicken to fine-dining foams, and from family man to food warrior, this New York-based New Zealand chef loves his kai – in more ways than one.

Artisan sea salt created with buckets of ingenuity

With a custom-made vacuum chamber Greg Beattie turns seawater from the Hauraki Gulf into New Zealand’s first truly artisanal sea salt.

Pollys' blog: Wheelchair ballet

Wheelchair-bound Zendo discovers a new dance routine.

 

 

How to grow tequila

The plants really want to hurt you, the harvest is carried out by digger, then chainsaw, you cook the heart out of it for three days, but the end result is worth toasting.

My day as a chocolate judge

From “bottom leakage” to “fat bloom”, Emma Rawson brushes up on her chocolate lingo to join the world of bonbon judging.

Recipe: Tropical Grilled Salmon

A sweet and savory glaze gives grilled salmon big flavor.

Ditching the boardroom for the brushes

Jumping off a cliff was a free-to-be-me revelation for a one-time middle manager who ditched the boardroom for the brushes.

Guest blog: 'How deep-mulching transformed my garden'

Guest blogger Elien Lewis doesn't let a shady garden stop her from producing a bounty of produce.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Man flu

Jim comes down with the flu and has a hard time receiving any sympathy from his family.

A food farm in the heart of Remuera

Reuse, reclaim and recycle is the motto of a zero-waste Auckland gardener inspired by Michelle Obama.

What feathers can tell you about your bird

Feathers are a feature of all birds, whether they can fly, swim or just live on the ground, and there’s a lot they can tell us.

How this tiny goat breed found its way to NZ

A small herd of tiny goats are NZ's newest breed and it has been a long journey for them and their determined owner.

The US market is hot for this NZ-designed electric farm bike

An award-winning New Zealand-designed electric utility bike for the farm is on the road to success in the US market.

Travel essay: Saving smiles in Kenya

Not every baby is born with the ability to smile. Cleft palates are a heartbreaking but treatable condition. In Kenya, one photographer documents the mothers and children that make their way to surgery as they embark on a journey of hope.

Polly Greeks' blog: A ghastly silence

Polly knows trouble is afoot when rambunctious three-year-old Zendo is suddenly silent.

Attention young gardeners

Entries are now open for the Yates Budding Young Gardener competition.

Bolt-resistant coriander varieties to grow

Coriander can be a little bit fussy to grow, but with the right care you can prolong leaf growth.

Wild yeast ale made in a low-ceilinged cavern

An Oamaru couple play with wild yeasts and wild ideas in a low-ceilinged cavern where they brew Belgian-inspired ales that could put hairs on the chest.

Jim Kayes' Blog: 49 candles

As Jim celebrates his 49th year, he reflects on how birthdays tend to matter less when you are older,  that is, unless you have children.

'How empathy makes me a better director'

A happy childhood in a musical family led one young woman to pick up an instrument, whisk up life with a wooden spoon, and ultimately, to film stories of human compassion.

Five generations of Central Otago orchardists

Five generations of a Central Otago family have tilled soil, trained trees, and fought the forces of nature and political upheaval to sustain a lifestyle they love.

Video: Home sweet tiny home

A young Wellington couple talk about designing and building their first home, a tiny house on wheels, and reveal what it’s really like to live in a whare iti in winter.

Orchid growers put down roots in Titirangi tree house

Ice cream and photography were the unlikely stepping stones that led a couple to a house among the trees and into the exotic-flower business.

Recipe: Salt and Pepper Taro with Szechuan Pepper Salt

Think you've tasted taro, wait until you try Ruth Pretty's tasty take on this Pacific Island staple, a sneak peek from the upcoming September/ October issue of NZ Life & Leisure, on sale August 24.

Guest blogger: Living the good life in Te Akau

Never a day goes by without Laura MacDonald's toddler eating dirt. But that doesn't stop her living the good life on her rural property in Te Akau.

Recipe: Homemade 100's & 1000's Biscuits

Laura MacDonald from thekiwicountrygirl.com shares her homemade version of  this New Zealand kids' favourite.

This is the most common cause of death in poultry

A breathing problem in chickens is difficult to diagnose, and not to be sneezed at.

After 20 owners, Bertha the Impala finds her forever home

A custard-coloured Impala has had a string of owners over the decades but has now found her sweet spot – her forever home.

Film review: She Shears

A  must-see New Zealand documentary follows five female sheep shearers on their journey to the Gold Shears.

danielle hawkins

Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist

An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.

Recipe: Stecca bread with roasted butternut dip

This all-time favourite bread is exceptionally easy to make. The dip can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

 

Video: 21-year-old NZ mandala artist with worldwide fanbase

Meet 21-year-old fine arts student and artist Lizzie Snow who is winning fans around the world with her intricate geometric mandala designs. Watch our exclusive video.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Wheeling and dealing

Jim's daughter adopts a 'squeaky wheel' strategy to get a new car,  while he reflects on the Ford Falcon that got away.

Kate White's crusade to protect the Waitaki river in Kurow

Just as the Waitaki River grinds down mountain ranges carrying them in serpentine fashion to the sea, Kate White is an irresistible force changing the face of a small south island town.

How a family of four ditched cling film for good

Lunchbox snacks, leftovers and half-eaten avocados can all be kept fresh plastic free with a few simple swaps.

Celebrating Sue Macfarlane's Winterhome garden

In between many entrepreneurial pursuits, one hardworking, creative woman has left a living legacy - a five-star garden and a close-knit family - and made her mark on her community.

A new take on the classic NZ sheepskin

A Wanaka couple’s enthusiasm for natural-fibre products weaves essential purpose into their business, warmth into their home, and ties them to a very personal pioneering past.

Recipe: The best marmalade ever

Marmalade is easy to make if you get organised in advance. This is a great recipe which produces a wonderful, bright yellow marmalade that keeps well.

An eco school where kids learn outdoors - and take risks

Dani Lebo uses her family’s permaculture farm to teach local children about farming, food, fun and taking an element of risk – all outdoors and in all weathers.

Why Golden Bay should be your next weekend trip

Discover a region where the sunshine hours are unrivalled and the beaches are shared with sunbathing seals.

Menu sneak peek: Harbourside Winner Dinner

Harbourside's head chef, Shaun Tyagi is serving up a menu to die for at the Auckland Outstanding Food Producer Winner Dinner

Sacha Jones: "The older you are the funnier you get"

Amid teenage comic hopefuls sweating backstage at a comedy club, 52-year-old Sacha Jones sat reading a Charles Dickens’ novel. “People said, ‘Aren’t you nervous?’ and I told them, ‘I’m old!’”

Recipe: Crumbed terakihi with creamed mushrooms

You can also try this dish out with gurnard or blue cod (although, these will take a little longer to cook than terakihi).

Polly's Blog: Matariki musings

Our Far North blogger Polly gazes into the Matariki sky to see if the future is clear and bright or if it's a little hazier for struggling Northland families.

Book review: Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner’s Guide

A new book from a permaculture expert helps beginners conquer their fear of fruit tree  pruning.

Recipe: Cauliflower and truffle soup

Cauliflower never had it so good. This is a fabulous starter for an evening meal or serve in espresso cups or shot glasses as an amuse-bouche.

We're going on a truffle hunt

Hunting for truffles is not for the impatient or the olfactorily impaired. Success calls for a sniffer-out of buried bounty – in other words, a dog.

Passive Houses: Is it time NZ embraced this European trend?

Shocked at the number of cold, damp houses in New Zealand, a Waikato-based couple searched for their own building solution. A ground-breaking passive house provided the answer.

The most ambitious (and delicious) Lemon Meringue Pie

Looking for something special to bake? Why not try Simon Wright's Lemon Meringue Pie.

Is it time for mead to make a comeback?

By rejuvenating an ancient tipple, Oren Dalton hopes to breathe new life into our regions.

Exploring Tasmania's pristine south coast by ship

Whales and wild waters, sugared beaches and dramatic landscapes, kangaroos and convict chronicles are all wrapped into the story of this isolated coastal stretch made accessible when explored by small ship.

How this couple built a thriving quail egg business from scratch

Gourmet delights wander round this lifestyle block south of Gisborne, and its owners can’t get enough of what is turning into a delectable little bird business.

Jim Kayes' Blog: In the swing of things

Jim Kayes is egged on by a 12-year-old and gives a terrifying ride in Rotorua a swing.

Vegan probiotic caramel slice

A sweet no-bake made with coconut yoghurt and raw cashews.

Have you given Botox a fair chance?

Want skin that looks film-star fab and forever wrinkle-free? Develop a more trusting relationship with needles say the experts.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's pommes purées

Reserve this decadent potato mash for special occasions.

brown kiwi in New Zealand forest

Polly's Blog: kiwi encounters

Polly and the kids delight in things that go whistle and scrape in the night while Pax the dog quivers in the corner.

From bare dry pasture to successful lavender business

When Karen Rhind left behind her carefully-maintained Garden of National Significance for bare, dry pasture and a new challenge, she also opened the door to a sweetly-scented business.

Camp Glenorchy transformed into sustainable Zero Energy site

Two American environmentalists have turned a run-down campground in Glenorchy into a sustainable development where technology and nature work together.

8 things you need to know before you try growing hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are still a niche product in New Zealand but they have the potential to be the country’s main nut crop.

The high-protein, low-fat fermented food you can make yourself

If you’re interested in eating more plant protein, a little fermentation can go a long way.

Roasted beetroot with sorrel

An earthy salad to warm up any winter gathering.

How the Coromandel environment inspired Cathedral Cove Naturals

Wholesome ingredients and happy memories of childhood holidays on the Coromandel form the DNA of  coconut yoghurt and cereal business Cathedral Cove Naturals.

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Jim Kayes' Blog: Forget me not

When Jim's daughters say he is getting forgetful in his old age, he takes it to heart.

This couple have sent no rubbish to landfill for three years

Yes, you can cut down on plastic waste. All it takes is a little planning to change to more eco-friendly habits says the experts.

soil

How micro-organisms can super size your soil

This award-winning organic farmer near Kaipara coast may have hundreds of sheep and cattle, but what she’s really farming is millions and millions of invisible helpers.

Frodo's chainmail used for architectural solar screens

A Wellington entrepreneur who created chainmail worn by Frodo and others in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is making sturdy armour for buildings.

4 places to indulge in retail therapy in Palmerston North

What better way to get to know a region than by doing a little retail therapy? Treat yourself to a little something special in these four Manawatu stores - a souvenir of sorts.

chocolate cake stevia

Have your chocolate cake and eat it without sugar

Unlike sugar, stevia doesn't add calories or carbs. So you can afford to have an extra slice or two of this chocolate cake delight.

What your dog is trying to tell you

If your dog often barks and jumps at strangers, pulls on the lead,  or whines when you leave for work these could be symptoms of a relationship problem. Selina McIntyre, a former lion-cub carer turned dog-behavioural expert explains why.

From Hollywood to Wellywood: A renowned costume designer comes home

In a world where robots rule, superheroes surprise us and gorgeous frocks rock, costume designer Kate Hawley has found her forever home. Occasionally, she returns to Wellington where she’s surrounded by treasures magpied on her travels.

TV builder Cocksy's Tairua home

Popular TV builder John Cocks is a keen diver who refuses to simply go with flow: although his body is ailing, his maverick spirit prevails – so there’s no cause for the undersea critters around Tairua to rest easy just yet.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Meatballs with Buttery Apple Sauce and Make-Ahead Gravy

Many food cultures claim meatballs, albeit in different guises, as one of their specialities but Scandinavia happens to take the crown. 

Jim Kayes' Blog: Lol moments

Jim's cringey efforts to use the latest lingo provide amusement to his teenage daughters.

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Bags not: Retailers are ditching plastic bags – are you ready?

It’s finally happening. After lots of talk, greener bagging options are set for a checkout near you.

chris ballantyne

Take a tour of Chris Ballantyne's organic mini-farm in Te Atatu

A landscaper with a mini backyard farm believes small-scale food production is key to well-being and urban ecological balance.

Outstanding New Zealand products every foodie should know about

NZ Life & Leisure is very proud to celebrate people who create beautiful food. Here's a list of some fantastic New Zealand artisan food producers you should be adding to your shopping cart.

Lisa Scott gets her skates on for roller derby

Lisa Scott gets her skates and her badass attitude on at the roller-derby rink.

Recipe: Cos leaves with pear, walnuts, mozzarella

These cos leaves make a delicious, healthy nibble. Use the best of fresh seasonal pears to really bring out the flavour.

lamb photo

10+ management tips to ensure your lambs survive

Lamb survival rates can vary dramatically from farm to farm, and your management plays a big part.

tamarillo cheesecake

Recipe: Tamarillo Cheesecake

The rosy blush of tree tomato lifts this delectable dessert to luscious new heights.

Beyond knitted jumpers: The future of the wool industry

These NZ entrepreneurs may have invented their way to an economically viable future for the New Zealand wool industry. Their products aren't what you'd expect.

 

 

 

Recipe: Soy and honey chicken nibbles

This classic flavour combination is always a party favourite.

Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds

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

 

strong woman illustration

Jim Kayes’ Blog: Girls Can Do Anything

Gender bias has no place in the Kayes’ household – and Jim is happy to don a pinny or even a frock when the occasion merits.

Why red mites are such a big pest for chickens

One of the most aggravating pests in any hen house is red mites. They’re also one of the hardest to spot until they’re a real problem.

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.

From the UN to a back-to-nature apothecary

Once on the international stage for environmental causes, Georgina Langdale returned home to set up a back-to-nature business that makes a difference, one purposeful potion at a time.

Owner restores his late grandfather's 1958 Morris 1000

When you learn the best childhood lessons in a garage, and spend the ensuing decades tinkering with troublesome classics, you’re a bona fide car devotee

The best heritage apples to plant

You definitely won’t have eaten as many varieties of apple as a couple who have made it their personal crusade to save the heritage apple trees.

How the advice of a headmistress shaped a corporate exec turned viticulturist

Annika Streefland’s dreams of being a botanist stalled when a formidable headmistress gave her a lecture on the value of independence. How thankful she is now.

A culinary journey through Wellington's Cuba Street

The flavours of Cuba Street are celebrated in a new book Cuba Street: A Cookbook. We meet the passionate foodies behind three colourful Wellington businesses.

 

WOW: At home with the creator of WearableArt

Vision, grit and a good shot of gumption propelled the World of WearableArt from a small-town show to a global spectacle.

Secrets of the Cook Islands

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

Recipe: Cheese Shortbreads and Cauliflower Mousse

Why serve plain old cheese and crackers when you can dish up these simple cheese shortbreads topped with cauliflower mousse?  Place a tablespoon of cauliflower mousse in the centre of each shortbread and garnish with tomato.

ash hilton jewellery

West coast jewellery family's silver linings play book

When a Texan belle arrived in New Zealand for a three-month holiday, she didn’t plan on meeting a rugged West-Coaster. Thirteen years, two kids and a thriving jewellery business later, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

Growing, dividing and harvesting garlic chives

This chive is not meant to be eaten raw, but cook it properly and your dishes will dance.

 

Recipe: Decadent chocolate-stuffed dates

Serve up this decadent, fruity finger food at your next party.

A Pink Ribbon Mocktail

The clever team at the Cocktail Collective have put on their mixing aprons to create a pink mocktail worthy of the Breast Cancer Foundation's Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

Polly's Blog: Solo rat-trapping duty

Left in sole charge of the children and the land, Polly connects with the wildness within.

You be the judge in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards

New Zealanders have the chance to step into the judges’ shoes to sample 12 finalist dishes in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards.

2 apple stevia recipes

Serve up stevia instead of sugar in your autumn baking for a diabetic-friendly dessert.

A baby robin. Photo: Dreamstime.

What to do if you find an injured bird

Sometimes you may need to help an injured bird, and sometimes its best to leave it alone.

Jim Kayes' blog: Sweet 16

As his eldest turns 16, Jim remembers when she was just a wee bub and how fast they grow up.

Trading London life for paddock-to-plate

Getting to grips with the grassroots of growing, and of a community, Lloyd Rooney and Michael Fraser found contentment by leaving the glamour of London for the quiet backwaters of the Waikato.

Philippa Fourbet fell for Anduze pots, then the French potter

When a French potter met a vineyard-owning investment banker from the opposite side of the world, they discovered their talents and tastes were sublimely matched.

Polly's Blog: Headlamp season

This week, Polly feels illuminated when investigating solar power.

Behind the scenes on a Central Otago saffron harvest

It takes 125,000-150,000 flowers to produce just one kilogram of saffron which can sell for $30,000. So harvesting the stigmas is a delicate process at Wynyard Estate in Central Otago’s Teviot Valley.

Crete horse

Video: Exploring Crete by horseback

Sabine Ruijters guides NZ Life & Leisure's Yolanta Woldendorp for a horseback ride to remember in Crete.

Pandoro founder's brush with fate

The founder of a groundbreaking artisan bakery has returned to her childhood stomping ground and  a creative calling that was always waiting in the wings.

Five minutes with US author Karen Joy Fowler

We caught up with Karen Joy Fowler, author of the bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, ahead of her Auckland visit in May.

Lisa Scott wings butterfly yoga

Social butterfly Lisa Scott is bent out of shape and all in a flutter doing hot yoga in the butterfly enclosure at the Otago Museum.

Video: 138 kg of food harvested from 15 sqm in 6 months

When NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan left behind her vast veggie beds at the Rocket Ranch for city life, she called in the experts to create a 100% edible courtyard garden.

NZ's finest food producers revealed

We raise a glass, and a tasty morsel or two, to the winners of this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Supreme Winner announced

Richard and Helen Dorresteyn are committed cheesemakers, inadvertent buffalo farmers and deserving Supreme Winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2018.

oprah wrinkle in time

Screen Sirens podcast: A Wrinkle in Time

The Screen Sirens  didn't enjoy watching A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, although they have a lot of fun discussing the Disney fantasy film in their latest podcast.

Polly's Blog: Love thy neighbour

Tensions with a neighbour force Polly to learn lessons from the land.

Cocktail delivery service? Sign us up

Cocktails look and taste great, but are tricky to do at home. Meet the NZ entrepreneurs making them easy. Plus 2 bonus cocktail recipes.

camping at New Zealand beach

Polly's blog: Easter camping misadventures

While townies flock to the campgrounds to get away from it all, for bush baby Polly the holiday park is a chance to reconnect.

How this family reduced their power bill to $30

Inside the life of a sustainable family who only need to work part-time and eat from a permaculture pantry that grows right up to their back door.

Auckland A & P Association celebrates 175th Anniversary

The Auckland A & P Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary at this year’s Royal Easter Show. But the family event looked quite different at its premier in 1843.

In Your Backyard Urban Harvest: Online Extras

In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest, is a guide to growing fruit and vegetables in small gardens. We've compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.

The Growroom project aims to encourage urban agriculture

Architects are collaborating on innovative solutions for food production in increasingly urbanised areas.

Four generations' memories at Rangitikei's Tyrone farm

For more than 100 years, a Rangitikei farm has been home to one family. Now the fourth generation is putting its own twist on tradition.

Polly's Blog: A lesson from the children

All it takes is a different point of view to see wild pigs and whole grains from a new perspective.

possum bookmark

Make this cute crochet possum bookmark

Mark our words, there’s nothing better than a squished possum. This cute, comical bookmark is just the fun craft project to remind you of that.

Tomb Raider

Film review: Tomb Raider

It may not be the female action-hero film you’ve been hanging out for, but a new movie starring Alicia Vikander breathes new life into the relic-hunting character Lara Croft.

A beginner's guide to goat's cheese

Goat's cheese is a hot culinary trend - but do you know which flavours to match with it? Take a course in goat's cheese 101 with two new cheeses from Whitestone.

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.

Recipe: Roasted baby turnips

A simple turnip recipe that makes a great addition to a weekend roast.

Jim Kayes' blog: Telling little lies

This week, Jim gets caught telling a few porkies.

Lisa Scott goes cage diving with great white sharks

They say the only way to conquer a fear is to confront it, but Lisa Scott discovers singing “la la la” and completely ignoring it might be less psychologically damaging in the long run.

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.

Holden Commodore

Dunedin to Queenstown: A road trip to remember

A road trip through iconic southern scenery spins the wheels and the twangs the heart-strings.

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.

 

Andrea Bosshard on filming her father for new doco

Kobi – a Life Work documents the story of film-maker Andrea Bosshard’s father – an unassuming goldsmith and mountaineer who became known as New Zealand’s grandfather of contemporary jewellery.

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.

One family's experience with deer velvet farming

The Inch family farm red deer with a velvet hand and a soft touch, but it has been a learning curve for his city-born-and-bred wife.

Final call for entries for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

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

5 steps to the perfect cup of tea

Mindfulness is a key ingredient in the preparation of your daily cuppa, explains Tea Master Anna Kydd.

How to create a food forest garden

Food forests can seem like the most complicated of garden designs, but here's how to do it yourself, step-by-step.

3 irresistible plum recipes

When plums go crazy, these recipes will help you use them all up in the most delicious ways possible.

 

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.

11 tips to marketing a successful food business

Three experts share their wisdom on how to create a profitable food product.

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.

Recipe: Citrus cooler

You can use any mix of citrus to make this perfect evening drink, and dress it up with mint and borage flowers.

Jim Kayes' blog: Big dogs vs small dogs

In Jim Kayes' blog this week - the family debates whether to downsize their next pooch.

The Off-Topic Book Club: Lincoln in the Bardo

The Off-Topic Book Club can't agree about whether George Saunders' Man Booker winning novel lives up to the hype.

 

Polly's blog: heartbreak in the holiday season

A seaside town is brought to a standstill after a drowning.

Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you

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

3 inspiring New Zealand food forests

We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.

Make money from honey (without being a beekeeper)

Here’s how to profit from bees without becoming a beekeeper.

Recipe: Beer-can chicken

A Kiwi-summer favourite has been given a tasty upgrade with a spicy rub.

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.

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.

What to do at Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana is a special place; we share the best places to walk, explore and learn from this amazing part of New Zealand.

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.

 

4 Golden Bay outdoor activities

Visiting Golden Bay - the Insider's Guide has got you covered.

Why scientists are researching health benefits of Moonglow tomatoes

There are tomatoes, and then there is this great-tasting heritage variety with a very special secret.

Wired-up sculptor Cherise Thomson's No. 8 creations

An Auckland artist regularly uses hundreds of kilometres of wire, but she isn’t making fences.

Think global, act local - and hurry up!

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

Lisa Scott... goes tramping

The earth moved for the Feckless Miss Scott on her first three-day tramp high in the Naumann range north of Lake Ohau.

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.

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.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Keeping up with the kids

This week Jim suffers from a wounded ego when he lags behind his daughters on the sports field.

Motueka nursery growing rare native seedlings

The nursery supporting its local habitat, local gardeners and its owners.

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.

From derelict barn to award-winning berry business

A Wairarapa couple have transformed a derelict wee barn and rundown lifestyle block into a successful fruit and berry business.

Polly's Blog: In hot water

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

 

An unforgettable drive

Kelly Gillbanks drives the Holden Equinox SUV through the Forgotten World Highway and discovers some colourful New Zealand history  including the feline vice-president of the 'Republic of Whangamomona' and a brand new private museum.

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.

Jim Kayes' blog: Dad's on strike!

This week Jim is on strike to help improve his daughters’ usefulness around the house.

Artist John McLean's coastal orchard in Taranaki

Artist John McLean was driven by need to become self-sufficient 30 years ago, but today he and wife Chris couldn't live any other way.

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.

Book review: Life on Muzzle

A tale of pioneering in the 1980’s in one of  NZ’s most remote high-country stations captures book reviewer Peter White’s imagination.

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.

Recipe: Southland cheese rolls

The best cheese rolls are found in Southland – and don’t dare suggest otherwise.

Video: Watch Amelia Ferrier transform a cake into a work of art

Cakes are a blank canvas for a talented baker and author of Melie's Kitchen.

Kristina Cavit

Teaching mindfulness to vulnerable NZ teens

For Kristina Cavit – yoga teacher, mindfulness coach and youth leader – mindfulness means not only paying attention to and nourishing her present, but also that of others.

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.

cat on fence

How to garden with cats

Kirsty Pascoe is an avid gardener who has applied permaculture principles to her back yard and her cats.

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.

We try riding an electric bike through Auckland

Electric bikes are popular in Asia and Europe, but will they catch on in Auckland? We see what the buzz is about.

Self-taught knitter turns heads at Vogue

Nicole Leybourne’s designer jumpers are so sought after, she’s had to hire a team of knitters across the country.

Christmas on the barbie menu

Have yourself a very merry Christmas barbecue with these show-stopping recipes by Anthony Hoy Fong

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.

4 reasons why you need to visit Blackball

Gold is hidden in the black sands and gravel creeks of Greymouth but travelers need to venture no further to find quirks and curiosity than Blackball, 30 kilometres inland from Greymouth.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Playing with fire in Samoa

 This week Jim takes the family to Samoa and it is confirmed, those daughters are an easy step ahead of him in his Apia-bought jandals.

7 kaka facts for bird lovers

The kākā is vying for your vote in Bird of the Year. We share seven reasons why this gregarious parrot deserves to be New Zealand's top bird.

Raglan biz chasing pet food market

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

Couple create fernbird safehaven

A Southland couple have turned their block into an internationally-recognised wetland of importance, and a safe haven for one of NZ's rare birds.

Polly's blog: Meeting Far North Boogeyman

Polly comes face-to-face with Brutus, the local boar, and the Far North version of the Boogeyman.

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.

Water Cooler: Deco decadence and anti-plastic fantastic

This week in the water cooler: we're exploring Napier's Art Deco architecture in style, reducing our use of plastic bags and taking part in an important study.

Jim Kayes' blog: Saying goodbye

This week Jim ponders different ways of grieving and wonders, yet-again, if those daughters aren’t a step ahead of him.

Tickets available to the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners

Readers in Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin can sample the award-winning cuisine at the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners.

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.

Screen Sirens podcast: Top of the Lake

Are we living in a television golden age? The Screen Sirens discuss why award-winning Kiwi writer and director Jane Campion now prefers to work on TV these days. They then give the low down on the second season of Top of the Lake.

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.

The veggie that helps break the sugar habit

Kristina is trying to break her addiction to sugar and she's found there's a veggie on her side.

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.

Water Cooler: NZ's best chocolates

This week in the water cooler: We announce NZ's best chocolates, meet a very special creche at Ararimu School and wage a war on stickered fruit.

Mother and son racing team rally on

Brenda Williamson is as competent managing a private hospital as she is navigating tight corners.

birthday party cake

Polly's blog: Please and thanks

This week, Polly finds manners put grease in social cogs while attending a children's birthday party.

A 'tail' of pet technology

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

 

Behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards

Being a chocolate judge would be many children’s dream. thisNZlife goes behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards to discover how to taste chocolate like a pro.

Jim Kayes' blog: breaking bad

This week the sky falls in after a slip on the rocks.

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.

Alice Englert talks about her mum Jane Campion

Actress Alice Englert wasn’t fazed baring her soul on camera for her mother Jane Campion’s latest series.

Recipe: Roast leg of lamb with broad beans with easy gravy

Mint enhances the flavour of both the lamb and the broad beans, bringing a freshness to this dish.

steamed fennel

Recipe: Steamed fennel

This fennel dish makes a lovely addition to a traditional roast meal, or is a good accompaniment to fish and chicken.

Water Cooler: Dog adopting and ballet

This week in the water cooler, we're tutu impressed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Romeo & Juliet, are finding heart-melting dogs, are celebrating Tanya Carlson's 20 years in fashion and are watching Helen Clark documentary, My Year With Helen.

Uncrowded remote Awakino ski field new zealand

Lisa Scott's wild ride at Awakino Ski Field

Lisa Scott’s first day of snowboarding at Awakino skifield in North Otago involved a helicopter and an avalanche.

Polly's blog: listening to the natural world

The family visit the local marae, and reap the mother of all harvests.

7 things to do in Invercargill

There’s plenty waiting to be discovered in the big city of Invercargill and in the small towns that line its wild coast.

Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann

This German-born dream machine is  loving Kiwi country roads

Screen Sirens: Keeping up with Keaton

The Screen Sirens weigh up how the new film Hampstead compares to Diane Keaton's other movies.

Water Cooler: Virtual worlds and grapefruit hunting

This week in the water cooler, we're foraging for grapefruit, exploring virtual worlds, taking trips to Spain and are feeling inspired by a New Zealand business leader.

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

manuka rx natural New Zealand skincare

Why manuka is New Zealand’s super-healing oil

A New Zealand super-plant is powering the healing properties of a must-have multi-tasking new balm.

The Burt Munro of the skies

A New Zealand pilot is channeling Burt Munro racing a Soviet World War II era fighter plane in Reno next month.

Simon Gault from plot to plate

Former MasterChef judge Simon Gault’s diabetes diagnosis is a 'sauce' of inspiration for a new food venture and at his restaurant Giraffe where he serves veggies grown in his own garden .

Water cooler: fun with soap, why NZ avocados are very special, and chicks for Ag Day

Recipe: two great avocado ideas

NZ avocados are particularly special, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 per cent more folate than those grown in other parts of the world.

Recipe: Okroshka soup

This cold summer soup, made with kvas, is Russia’s answer to gazpacho.

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

Jim Kayes' blog: growing up quickly

This week Jim realises he’s been left behind - again.

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.

9 tips for starting a local food co-op

For more than 25 years, the locals of a small rural Southland community have co-operated to provide themselves with mostly locally-grown, organic food. They encourage others to try it, and to learn from their years of experience.

Eruption survivor climbs to the top

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

Reader story: Joany's sometimes stall

The roadside stalls that dot the rural landscape, suddenly appearing on a windy road when you least expect it, so I was trying not to let on just how desperate I was for one of my own.

Water cooler: a winter weekend, clever koura and hockey stars

This week in the water cooler: A winter weekend in Central, wild waterways and their wonderful creatures, underwater world champions and a towering construction.

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

Recipe: Red onion marmalade

Take your cheese board to the next level with this onion marmalade recipe.

Art with a world view

A leading Japanese businessman who has chosen New Zealand as his home, wields art to encourage society to reuse what exists rather than waste resources. he shares his vision for bringing contemporary art into the natural landscape.

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

A guide to NZ's backyard birds

How to identify birds and encourage birdlife in your backyard.

Video: Botanist Philip Simpson shares his love of totara

Our native trees are some of the most unique in the world, and so is the man who has dedicated his life to studying them and telling their stories, including his latest on the king of them all.

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.

Water cooler: Dunkirk review and garden goals

This week in the water cooler, we're raving about Dunkirk, achieving our garden goals and digging up our old handbags for a good cause.

Recipe: Quinoa fried chicken with coriander salsa

Switch breadcrumbs for quinoa for a gluten-free version of fried chicken.

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

Polly's Blog: Pondering parenting styles

Polly tests an alternative parenting method on for size

Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino

Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time

Water Cooler: Celebrating science, dry July & French spirit

This week in the water cooler we: celebrate clever New Zealand scientists at the KiwiNet awards and take our horses to the dentist  (yikes).

'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.

rubbish car driver

Video: Hitching a ride on a rubbish truck

thisNZlife’s Emma Rawson and Sarah van Boheemen from Love Food Hate Waste hitch a ride on an Auckland Council food waste collection truck and see, firsthand, how much food New Zealanders throw away.

Jim Kayes' blog: Am I turning into my mum?

Jim turns from hero to zero when channeling his mother's parenting style.

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

Recipe: Gluten-free, dairy-free saffron almond cake

This cake is gluten and dairy-free - and delicious. It’s a beautiful saffron-gold colour, and has a delicious orange flavour and moist texture, plus it’s easy to make.

Off-Topic Book Club Podcast: The Suicide Club

The Off-Topic Book Club have a lively discussion about Berlin-based New Zealand author Sarah Quigley's new novel The Suicide Club.

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

Recipe: Poor Man's Orange marmalade

Kelly Farrimond's Poor Man's Orange marmalade is a reduced sugar version of a family favourite.

Polly's Blog: A legendary stick-in-the-mud

Polly  channels Crumpy and Scotty when she braves flood waters in a Hilux - and becomes a true bush woman in the process.

Sustainable sewing in a solar-powered campervan

Sarah Lancaster is a maker on a mission to encourage sustainability - one hand-made tote at a time. Through her business, Sew Love, she’s teaching basic tailoring skills such as hemming, mending and patchwork.

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.

Recipe: Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake

Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake is a family favourite.

Jim Kayes' blog: Coach dad

Jim Kayes finds himself cast in the role of coach, but can he hold court in the world of school netball?

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.

Andean superfood quinoa grown in Taihape

A little experiment with a superfood has turned into a win-win business for a young farming couple.

The science behind growth hormones

One of the enduring myths about commercial poultry is that poultry producers worldwide use growth hormones to make broilers grow faster and produce more meat.

Polly's Blog: Pig hunting with the Scottish Bear Grylls

James hogs the limelight when he goes on the hunt for a pig and Polly wisely stays at home.

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.

No-fail pumpkin and coconut soup

This easy-to-make pumpkin soup is packed with flavour.

Water cooler: In praise of persimmons

This week in the water cooler: We wage a fruit war with Lynda Hallinan over persimmons explore a handy travel photo app, and mow our support for Emirates Team New Zealand.

The murky world of NZ water

The discussion around the state of NZ’s fresh water isn’t short of an opinion or two, but science is speaking out more loudly.

The hunt for the real llamas of NZ

This llama farmer is so dedicated to her quest to find and save the real llamas of New Zealand, she is making a life-changing move to a new home on a new island.

Jim's blog: Driving me mad

This week Jim Kayes teaches his daughter how to drive, and lives to tell the tale.

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.

Polly's blog: 'Save New Zealand's rivers for our kids'

As the debate over the country’s polluted waterways heats up, Polly Greeks writes a love letter to Aotearoa’s rivers and streams.

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.

Jim Kayes' Great Barrier Island fishy tale

Twenty-five years a journalist, Jim Kayes knows how to hook a story but when he ventures out on his rookie fishing trip  he realises hooking a fish is completely different.

Water cooler: long weekend movies and wild Waikato roads

This week in the water cooler: we review McLaren and Wonder Woman, avoid some nasty slips in the Waikato and put porridge to the test.

Meet the stars of Pecking Order

The 2017 National Poultry Show is a celebration of NZ’s oldest poultry club, and its members are all stars of a chick flick with a difference.

Port for duck hunting season

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

Jim Kayes' blog: Good morning sunshine

Jim Kayes has been a journalist for 25 years. He survived growing up with four sisters and is now married with two daughters. Despite this, he thinks he's in charge.

Slavko Martinov talks brain tumours and Pecking Order

The director of the new film Pecking Order talks about the bizarre world of poultry showing, and how a brain tumour has shaped his outlook on life.

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.

Water cooler: How to find a missing cat (we hope)

This week in the water cooler, we're using our CSI skills to search for a missing cat, eating all of the pies and are singing in the rain.

Screen Sirens podcast: Wonder Woman review

Screen Sirens reviewers Emma and Yolanta say Wonder Woman is the action movie women have been waiting for.

Former America's Cup sailor floats new business

A three-time America’s Cup winning team member is back on a boat but in a wooden dinghy.

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.

How this rare pig could aid biomedical science

The rarest pig breed in the world is teetering on the brink of extinction, and the few people working to save it would love some help from anyone who enjoys the company of pigs, and a good slice or three of the tastiest bacon around.

Hedgehogs: friend or foe?

Hedgehogs present a prickly problem, being both garden friend and foe.

Anthony Byrt and the conversation of art

Journalist and art critic Anthony Byrt is doing his bit to make the world – and Northland – a better place.

Brian Glassey Pecking Order

Bird brains and Anne with an E

This week in the water cooler: We have birds on the brain reviewing Pecking Order, get caught in a web of spidey powers, and revisit a classic with Anne with an E.

The 10 most cost-effective edibles to grow

Food is the biggest household expense after accommodation, and the cost of it seems to be skyrocketing year after year, so what are the most high value things you can grow to save money?

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.

Recipe: Windsor Blue cheese, pear and walnut pizza

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.

Recipe: Gluten-free quinoa tart

This easy-to-make quinoa tart is a tasty and filling dish to serve to guests on a gluten-free diet.

willow maker golden bay

Artisan willow weaver encourages community spirit

This old craft is still immensely popular, and encourages a true community spirit on a Golden Bay lifestyle block.

Polly's blog: a whale tale

Polly turns to a whale when time rushes by.

apple orchard

Design a home orchard

A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.

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.

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.

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.

Full list of winners for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

NZ Life & Leisure proudly supports the annual Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. With 150 entries, from the Catlins to Kaitaia, the judges were spoilt for choice.

For crying out loud! NZ's town crier shortage

New Zealand towns and cities are crying out for more town criers. Two sisters are ringing the bell for a proud (and loud) institution.

tiny house

'10 lessons I learned living in a 27sqm tiny house'

Golden Bay writer Charlotte Squire learned a lot about life in downsizing her family into a 27sqm home

Blog: the pros and cons of homeschool

The land is proving to be a natural classroom in more ways than one for Polly and her family.

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.

Vanilla pear, parma ham and blue cheese salad

This recipe by The Mountain Cafe's Kirsten Gilmour is perfect for a light, fresh,  lunch or evening salad.

Water Cooler thisNZlife - every Friday

Water cooler: Chicken Screams and divine TV

This week in the water cooler: we scream like a chook, watch divine TV and gaze in awe at mighty Mt Ruapehu.

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.

boiling water to sanitise

How to sanitise water

If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.

A healthy food plan for post-emergency power cuts

Food in a refrigerator won’t last long without power so plan your food usage carefully to avoid contamination.

lamb injured

How to look after animals in an emergency

How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.

Blog: traveling with kids

Polly finds traveling with kids a less-than-relaxing experience.

Dr Libby's guide to eating 'flexitarian'

Force yourself to eat a certain way and you will likely fail. try giving yourself a little wiggle room instead.

Scientists explore cancer-fighting properties of heritage apples

An everyday accountant is working with New Zealand scientists to explore the disease-fighting properties of heritage apples and orange tomatoes.

The return of the community fridge

Zero-waste blogger Amanda Chapman discusses the community fridge project and her eco heroes.

A creative network of young country women

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

kiwiinthewils

Rare footage of a Stewart Island brown kiwi during the day

Distracted by saddlebacks and robins, Insider’s Guide editor Cheree Morrison never expected to trip over a kiwi.

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.

Jim Kayes cycles the Hauraki Rail Trail

Jim Kayes is easily led astray by his 10-year-old daughter on a bike along the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Blog: is it time for the ducks to get the chop?

This week, Polly defends her ducks from a date with  the casserole pot.

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

6 inspiring man caves and she sheds

We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.

Are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer?

Some businesses are disguising their employees  as volunteers, so are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer from another volunteer scheme?

Move it in Madagascar

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

5 weird but really tasty things to make using basil

If you only think pesto when you think of basil, Jenny has some recipes to tickle your tastebuds.

Recipe: peanut butter burgers

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

Mexican photographer's first farm visit

Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.

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.

Annabel Langbein’s flash-roasted chilli lime salmon

Feeding a crowd?  Annabel Langbein's zesty salmon dish with Nam Prik sauce is ready in 20 minutes.

Water cooler: lettuce soup and pumpkin growing tips

It's a garden harvest special in this week's water cooler as we share tips for growing pumpkins, harvesting fruit and transforming mature lettuce into a delicious soup.

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.

Blog: wet, wet weather and harvest fever

Polly gets wet feet during the storm and discovers she has to reap what she sows.

New exhibition transforms dead animals into art

Visual artist Rebecca Swan's exhibition at the Auckland Arts Festival transforms dead animals into works of art.

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

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

Ghost stories and the charming characters of Port Chalmers

Ghosts, nudie photographs and a Pacific slave trade - Lisa Scott takes a tour of Port Chalmers and discovers a few skeletons in the closet of this Dunedin suburb.

Water cooler: Going green and a poor little paw paw

In the water cooler this week: Emma has a double take at Twin Peaks,  Nadene isn't peachy about the weather and Kate and Tracey go green.

cheese

Why this artisan cheesemaker doesn't get paid

The award-winning owners of Lonely Goat say the costs of compliance are nothing to yodel about, and explain why they are working for love, not money.

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.

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.

The ugly, indispensable quince

It’s completely inedible when raw and dangerous to cut up, with a heady, perfumed scent that is completely at odds with its appearance. Sound like your kind of fruit?

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.

Blog: No such thing as a stranger

At a time when travel bans and giant walls place severe strain on international relations, Polly reflects on the kind hospitality she received in the Middle East.

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.

Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit

At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.

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.

3 fantastic green bean recipe

Turn a bean overload into three fantastic summer dishes.

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.

Garden pesto

A garden lover's pesto

Basil, parsley, rocket - use whatever greens you have growing in your garden to make this zesty pesto.

NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm

A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.

How to start small in the cheese business

Many people have a dream to become artisan cheesemakers. It was 20 years in the making for Adrian and Jill Walcroft of Cartwheel Creamery, but they’re maturing nicely.

Blog: The case of the disappearing duck

In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.

6 surprising things about Abel Tasman

Dunedin writer Lisa Scott went adventuring in the Abel Tasman National Park, north west of Nelson, and came away reeling.

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.

Dot Smith's garden with no soil

This is a garden of no soil that supplies the award-winning Riverstone Kitchen with its fresh vegetables and fruit all year-round, and it's a work of art.

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.

boys at campfire

Blog: boys gone wild

Young boys run wild on Polly's  family camping trip.

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.

Family of 5 living large in a 20sqm tiny house

This family of five lives in a 20m², off-grid and smart phone-free home with a composting toilet and a shower they share with the sky.

'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'

As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.

chiapudding

Recipe: creamy coconut chia seed pudding

Carine Claudepierre shares a  dairy-free, egg-free breakfast option inspired by tapioca.

Thinking outside the box on Great Barrier Island

Less than 100km away from the 1.4 million people who make up Auckland is an island of the self-sufficient. Great Barrier Island resident and author Lindsay Wright checks out some of his industrious neighbours.

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.

How to make cashew cream

Cashew cream is an easy to make dairy-free alternative to whipped cream.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

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

Recipe: Balsamic strawberry bruschetta

If you're looking for something fresh and fancy for Christmas lunch this year, give this balsamic strawberry bruschetta a go.

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. 

15 tips for designing a great country home

Today’s needs, tomorrow’s changes and even resale appeal need to be taken into account when designing the rooms in your home.

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.

Recipe: Elderflower cordial

This has to be the most divine cordial ever. I can never make enough of it. You just need a small amount in a glass topped up with water and you'll be in heaven. This is how one writer describes it.

Three hot summer fashion trends

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

Blog: The great Christmas debate

Polly debates whether to boycott Christmas and celebrate the Summer Solstice instead.

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.

Cockles

Water cooler: how to cook shellfish

In the final water cooler of 2016: Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her shellfish secrets, Cheree has her eye on the prize and Kate is all tied up in knots.

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.

Incredibly practical Christmas gift ideas

Running out of present ideas for the practical person in your life? NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall's gift list might provide inspiration.

Water Cooler: Westworld and ice cream galore

This week in the water cooler: we get very confused watching Westworld, make green pizza bases and are screaming for ice cream.

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.

5 common plants causing your hayfever

Spring might be over, but there is plenty of pollen still in the air. Listed below are a few of the potential culprits, and it's probably not what you might think.

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.

The quick and slow of Christmas cakes

There is always an easy way and a hard way to do something, and Christmas cake is no different.

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.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon

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

Harvesting a culinary profit

Starting a backyard herbal enterprise can be a viable means of earning extra cash. Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herbs spills her secrets to success.

Top female go-karter inspiring new generation

Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.

Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club

This month the Off-Topic Book Club do a podcast about a case made famous by a podcast when they review Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry.

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.

Garden work for November

As the weather starts to warm up, it is prime time to start sprouting flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs in your home garden.

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.

Leading the way in eco tourism

Featuring New Zealand's largest earthbag buildings, tipis, a permaculture garden and solar energy, Raglan's Solscape eco-camp is leading the way in sustainable tourism.

5 ways to make stock handling safer

Livestock being moved around a property can become unsettled, and that can be dangerous. Here's five ways you can keep things under control.

Personalised perfume business winning fans

A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients

Water Cooler: Goats, glass and salmoriglio

This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of stained glass, wax lyrical about goats and make delicious yet unpronounceable sauces.