Artist Emma Bass harnesses the healing power of beauty

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Chicken Curry Puffs

These baked golden parcels can impress on their own as a spicy entrée or make a tasty addition to an afternoon spread.

A Wellington mum transforms her front lawn into a productive veggie garden

Sarah Hopkinson’s personal and professional passions come together in a sandy section she’s transformed into a productive garden.

Behemoth's rise to making politically infused craft brews

Andrew Child’s first award-winning beer was named after a Wellington mayor. Then came Dump The Trump IPA.

How this couple turned their block into a small-scale market garden

When red-hot chilli fans Steve and Anne Corkran got burned by big business marketplaces, they decided to go direct to their customers and turned their block into a thriving market garden.



How to determine if you've got a dud egg

An egg that doesn't hatch may seem a mystery, unless you know how to read the clues.

20 + things you need to know if you're on tank water during a drought

Forecast rain might be a welcome relief for tank water users across the parched North Island, but now they should be wary of contamination.

5 things you need to know about owning teeny tiny goats

They’re very cute, very smart, and very small, with big milking stats.

DIY: Make your own hanging bird bath

Made with twigs ‘n’ twine and a pot-plant saucer, this bird bath will appeal to the arty gardener.

How to make damson gin

It’s a funny-looking cousin of the plum, and it can tarten up your gin too.

Easy sauerkraut for beginners

Tip no. 4: You don't need fancy salt to make delicious kraut.


Editor's Picks

Plastic wrap on magazines: Take part in our home composting survey

We're looking at alternatives to soft plastic as part of a magazine industry initiative.


Exploring Mount Aspiring National Park in the all new Jeep Gladiator

The new Jeep Gladiator is put through its paces in scenic Central Otago.

A couple turns their berry-pickin' hobby into a 6-ha blueberry orchard

What was once a silly dream has been whipped into a business churning out refreshing blues.

Recipe: Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)

Elote (Spanish for ‘corn cob, ’ pronounced eh-loh-teh) is Mexican street food, usually served on a stick or skewer.

Be in to win a rejuvenating three-day stay at Resolution Retreats in Lake Karapiro, valued at $1440

Be in to win a rejuvenating three-day stay at Resolution Retreats in Lake Karapiro, valued at $1440.

Recipe: Gingerbread Kisses

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


Lucy Corry's Blog: Cooking for one

Ryvita and cream cheese, anyone? Lucy Corry attempts to swap her snacking ways for single-serving, homemade meals.

Ramshackle baches have been perched on this rocky bank for generations

Geologists have a saying — rocks remember. If Nelson’s Boulder Bank could talk, it would lay bare the goings-on that take place in the ramshackle baches on its stony shores.

New books to add to your reading list

These new release books are must-reads this summer.

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.

Off-grid in Nydia Bay: Meet the family behind a remote lodge and mussel farm

An adventurous farming family learns to cultivate tourists and mussels in a secluded Marlborough Sounds property.

Recipe: Chocolate Plum Slice

This dark chocolate brownie is topped with a baked plum purée filling.

What's On: Ruth Pretty's Don’t fry for me Argentina

Learn to cook the Argentinian way, at Ruth Pretty's Don’t fry for me Argentina cooking course, February 22 and March 14.

Polly Greeks' Blog: Embracing routine

Polly had long feared of a life built around routine. But just as seasons change and mountains rise, she realises that routines are a natural phase in life.

Michael Van de Elzen returns to his rural roots with a lifestyle block in Muriwai

Chef Michael Van de Elzen is creating a block where everything is grown and cooked from scratch.

How to explore the best bits of Auckland in less than 24 hours

Grab those walking shoes and set the alarm clock. The country's biggest city, home to aeons-old volcanoes and glitzy bars, is begging to be explored on foot.

A Greytown couple's sweet life making juice and cider

Mela has been keeping New Zealanders sweet since 2004. Now a second generation of makers is forecasting great things for the Wairarapa brand’s cider and single-variety apple juices.

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.

Send us your feedback on NZ Life & Leisure

Do you have feedback about a story in the latest issue of NZ Life & Leisure?  In every issue we publish the most interesting letters we’ve received and the writer of each wins a prize.

Inside a 1960s pinked-out retro caravan

Happy days are forecast when the owner of a rosy-hued vintage caravan takes to the road.

Inside a hut overlooking the Whanganui River

An architecture graduate put the theories learned in the classroom into practice and built her own tiny hut in the woods.

Growing asparagus and strawberries on a fourth generation farm

This farming family grows asparagus and strawberries — the food manifestations of spring and summer. But Horowhenua’s Lewis Farms is a year-round operation.

Recipe: Asparagus & Strawberry Salad with Feta

A simple five-ingredient salad to make fresh asparagus shine.

Kiwiana décor, homewares and art in a 1960s Fibrolite bach

It’s more than a storehouse of treasured family memories, more than a good example of 1960s bach architecture. It’s a museum of its era and now it has inspired a book.

11 refreshing salads to make over summer

These fresh salads will add colour, nutrition and flavour to any meal.

Recipe: Nadia Lim's Turkish Salad with Watermelon

Add pan-fried haloumi to make this fresh summer salad a meal.

Ōamaru: What to do, what to eat, and where to shop on Harbour Street

Don't just expect the unexpected in Ōamaru's Harbour Street. Expect the extraordinary.

A photographer's nomadic trek with a Mongolian reindeer tribe

Chris van Ryn faces cold, rain and bolshy animals when he visits the Valley of the Reindeer. But what he discovers is a fairy tale.

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Tarts with Walnut Pastry

Make the most of cherry season with these festive treats.

How to prevent burglars on your rural property

It’s time to have a rest and spend time enjoying the summer sun, but burglars love your beach holiday as much as you do.

Ruth Pretty's handy baking tips

Ever wondered why some people seem to have a knack for baking? Ruth Pretty shares some pro-tips.

Green update: NZ Life & Leisure's environmental footprint

Many readers have been showing interest in the environmental footprint of NZ Life & Leisure.

This couple's outdoor businesses are just as spontaneous as they are

Owning a collection of outdoorsy businesses means this Matakana couple are adept at adapting to the wind. But they are also proving pretty flexible when life’s personal challenges blow in.

What's On: Explore the Nelson and Abel Tasman coastline

Experience a unique holiday spent sailing the stunning coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park on the luxury and spacious catamaran Te Harinui, your home away from home this summer.

Kiwis need to be more adventurous with their campside cooking, say authors

Campside cooking shouldn’t be limited to scroggin and dehydrated meals. So say the authors of a new illustrated cookbook that encourages trampers to try more adventurous fireside recipes such as fondue and sangria.

Full menu: Ruth Pretty's traditional Christmas feast

Eat, drink and be merry with this show-stopping, fuss-free feast designed to delight family and friends.

Q&A: Michael Barker on making elderberry wine at age 11

The man behind Barker's of Geraldine reflects on five decades of being in the sticky business of syrups, preserves and savoury spreads.

Recipe: Constance Barker's Christmas Trifle

This showstopper celebrates the delicious union of sponge, homemade custard and fruit preserve.

8 Christmas favourites that can make your pet sick

The parties and chaos over summer are a lot of fun, but also include tempting danger foods for your pets.

Canapé cooking tips from the Akaroa Cooking School

Ant and Lou Bentley from the Akaroa Cooking School share tips on creating canapés for summer entertaining.

Three crowd-pleasing (and easy) canapés

Ant and Lou Bentley from the Akaroa Cooking School share three easy canapés to serve guests over the holidays.

One big reason not to touch your pōhutukawa this summer

Some of New Zealand’s most famous trees are at enormous risk but there’s one simple thing you can do to help them this summer.

On holiday in Venice with actress Alison Quigan

She may only be edging towards her 70s, but Alison Quigan can empathize with Gen, the character she will play in the Auckland Theatre Company’s new comedy.

What’s On: Winding Up by Roger Hall, presented by Auckland Theatre Company

Giltrap Audi season of Winding Up by Roger Hall, presented by Auckland Theatre Company. 11 February – 8 March, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland and touring to Hastings, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Tauranga in March.

What’s On: Black Lover, presented by Auckland Theatre Company

Black Lover by Stanley Makuwe, presented by Auckland Theatre Company. 6 March – 4 April, Q Theatre Loft, Auckland.

This mystery novelist has been trapping pests in the Waitākeres for a decade

Trapping rodents in the Waitākere Ranges is not as daunting as it seems, says bird-lover Jenny Wheeler.

Recipe: Broad Bean Falafel

Swap fresh broad beans for chickpeas for a garden-to-table version of this Middle Eastern staple.

Explore the sleepy Cambodian town that produces world-renowned pepper

New Zealanders Jon Lambert and Freya Horder are doing what they can to protect Cambodian pepper farms against European encroachment.

A Golden Bay mum's small business turns into a health product empire

In 1988, a solo mum living in the back of beyond launched a business selling health products. It now turns over $35 million a year.

Insider's Guide competition: Win a fly-and-stay romantic West Coast weekend valued at more than $3000

Win a romantic weekend for two valued at more than $3000, including flights to Hokitika with Air New Zealand, two nights accommodation at Canopy Camping’s Woodpecker Hut.

Meet the Ōtāhuhu artist who is hooked on crochet (and owns the word fat)

An artist has found joy after great heartbreak by connecting past and present with loops of hot-pink yarn.

Sausage-making 101

Homemade sausages will give you and your cooking credentials the wow-factor, as well as add plenty of savoire fair to your barbecue fare.

Explore a furniture designer's alpine home in the Queenstown Basin

This couple, one a furniture designer and the other a general practitioner, work in vastly different disciplines, but are aiming for precisely the same goal.

Recipe: Kindness Kisses

How to spread kindness, do good and eat well – all at the same time.

Recipe: Elderflower vinegar

Elderflower can be used to make vinegar, jelly and wine.

Recipe: Creamy Asparagus, Spinach, Herb and Goat's Cheese Tart

Pair this savoury meal with a dollop of tomato relish and a glass of pinot gris.

This vegan cheese brand crowd-funded $385,000 in nine days

An environmentalist's heavenly range of vegan dairy producers is flying off the shelves.

Recipe: Simon Gault's Christmas Berry Pudding

This scrumptious alternative to traditional trifle is made with mascarpone, limoncello, brandy sauce and heaps of berries.

A bonsai collector learns resilience from meticulously pruned trees

A bonsai collector shares the lesson of caring for artfully pruned trees.

Penguin playtime: How to make a felt rockhopper mask

Eastern rockhopper penguins might be declining in number, but they’re no less loved by  thisNZlife. The cute characters are our top pick for Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year competition and your kids can play along with this easy-to-make dress-up mask.


How to spot seabirds and penguins in New Zealand

This isn't your average bird-watching. From the Hauraki Gulf to Stewart Island, there are plenty of seabirds to be seen splashing around.

Lynda Hallinan's Guest Blog: Lambs (not) to the slaughter

Lynda insists on keeping her lambs as pets, even as they (predictably) wreak havoc on her home.

Ruth Pretty's: Rockhopper Rocky Road

Ruth Pretty's rocky road is a delicious way to celebrate Bird of the Year.

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.

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.

Mosaic shower

Polly Greeks' Blog: The Big Bang

An explosive moment makes Polly reflect on the enterprising wilderness women in the Far North.

How farm microbes may help children avoid asthma

These itty bitty organisms are big players in health and environmental issues.

Insiders Guide 2020

The Insider's Guide To New Zealand 2020 - special pre-order price $15

Pre-order The Insider’s Guide to New Zealand for the special price of $15* and save $4.90.

Yeshi Taye's homemade Ethiopian sauce is stirring up Wellington's food scene

A former refugee cooks up a taste of Sudanese culture in memory of her mum.

Are organic apples the secret to good gut health?

An apple carries about 100 million bacteria. Good luck washing them off.

House sale: A Taupo gem in an award-winning garden

A beautiful Taupo home and award-winning garden is available for sale.

Bumblebees have smelly feet: How a funny fact inspired a children's book

Discovering that bumblebees live in underground burrows sent the Bay of Plenty’s Rachel Weston on a hunt for knowledge. What she discovered is revealed in her first book.

Bluff oysters, blue cod, cheese rolls – Southland is foodie heaven

You can eat well Down South. Here’s a taster of five top local foods.

The Kiwi connection at Wardington Manor

Designing duo Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld are the pick of the bunch with their design and cut-flower company the Land Gardeners.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Chirashi-Sushi

This deconstructed sushi bowl tastes as good as it looks.

Gisborne: What to do, where to eat, and where to stay

Visitors flock for the sun, sea and surf — the Holy Trinity of Gisborne. But beyond the salty air and year-round good vibes, the soul of Gizzy begs for more in-depth exploration.

Great New Zealand Gardens to Visit

When exploring the country, put these spectacular gardens at the top of the must-visit list.

Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail

Video: Queensland’s Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail

Get a bird’s eye view of Queensland’s Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail in our exclusive video — featuring spectacular drone footage — by writer/photographer Don Fuchs.

Poet Amy Leigh Wicks on love, marriage and earthquakes

Amy Leigh Wicks’ second volume of poetry, The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage, looks back to her childhood in the United States, untangles her arrival in New Zealand, and charts the upheaval of her adopted hometown, Kaikōura.

Ruth Pretty's Ricotta and Pesto Torte

Impress your guests with this delicious dip from Ruth Pretty. One of the top cook’s most sought-after recipes, it’s great to have when entertaining.

Polly Greeks' Blog: All in a lather

Polly searches for the recipe for success when she gives soap making another shot.

Backstage at Six Degrees of Separation with costume designer Lucy Jane Senior

Costume Designer and stylist Lucy Jane Senior agonized over finding the perfect pair of jewelled block heels for the new Auckland Theatre Company show.

An upcycling couple's eco home next to a train track

Two bike-loving upcyclers have built an eco home that is off the rails in suburban Auckland — but only just.

Tasting the future of sausage...

Emma Rawson encounters a strange new world of flavours while dining on sausages of the future.

An Oamaru family breaking the mould with a very special blue cheese

Good things take time say the team behind the winner of this year’s NZ Life & Leisure spirit of New Zealand award.

Recipe: Cacao Almond and Fudge Slice

An easy no-bake slice that's a crowd favourite.

'Garden angels' transform cemetery into a blooming garden

An old cemetery — the final resting place of many notable Taranakians — is fully appreciated by the still (thankfully) alive and kicking due to the efforts of a bunch of hardworking volunteer gardeners.

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.

Brigit and David Kirk's Hawke's Bay retreat

David Kirk and his wife Brigit live in Sydney, but have established a part-time New Zealand base not far from where their shared story began.

Foxton's DIY queen creates upcycled treasures

Meet Foxton’s upcycling queen. Not only does she create stylish effects with masking tape and bright paint, she also redistributes any profits she earns from her clever crafting.

Why Survivor winner Avi Duckor-Jones considers his tiny house 'abundant'

New Zealand’s first Survivor winner is back-to-basics again in an Auckland tiny house, using lessons learned during his time in Nicaragua and Ghana.

How Kurow locals transformed a wasteland into a clean, green wonderland

North Otago locals transform a polluted river island into a community paradise.

Omaka marae 'aunties' say their preserves are 'Maori culture in a jar'

Manaaki condiments, made in Blenheim with traditional Māori ingredients, aren’t just delicious. They also spread hospitality and generosity.

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.

Recipe: Blackcurrant Muffins

Put a fresh and healthy twist on muffins by swapping out blueberries for antioxidant-rich blackcurrants.

Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success

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

The Catlins: What to do, where to eat, and where to stay

Rugged, dramatic, pristine... the Catlins are mesmerizing. They’re also comparatively under-explored. Pack those bags.

A couple's yacht voyage inspires safety device for boaties

A voyage on the high seas inspired an entrepreneurial couple to create a marine tracking system for boaties.

5 easy things to do to ensure a fruitful orchard

Your fruit trees will thank you (with fruit, of course).

Why every day is an open house at this Dunedin couple's gallery

A creative couple have established a gallery in their Dunedin home with everything for public view — even the art in the loo.

Polly Greeks' Blog: The rumpty retreat

Polly and co return to the rumpty caravan (and former tiny home), this time to test out their DIY fireplace.

Recipe: Lemon Meringue Cake

A cake on a grand scale that tastes as good as it looks. Make it from scratch or buy the best sponge cake, meringues and lemon curd you can and proceed to assembly. Use a cardboard cake round if possible. The cake is lovely to eat the day after making.

A midwinter Matariki road trip

As the Matariki star cluster emerges in the crisp mid-winter dawn sky, the time is right to jump into the new Holden Equinox for a trip on some of New Zealand’s oldest roads.

Two ways to get into a cauliflower pickle

If you are struggling to eat up your cauliflower, Kristina Jensen can get you into a pickle.

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.

Jim Kayes’ blog: The merits of exercise

Why does life sometimes make being active more difficult than it should be? asks sports-lover Jim.

Maximalism in tiny spaces: Inside a designer's bold 65sqm apartment

A top interior designer has a new London pied-à-terre and a modern side business — one that builds on the links between home, wellbeing and state-of-the-art technology.

How the eco-friendly commute is evolving in New Zealand

The race is on to get commuters out of their cars in favour of more sustainable ways of moving around.

3 warming apple recipes for a chilly day

A glut of apples is easily transformed with a little brown sugar and pinch of nutmeg.

Antibiotic resistance - what you need to know

Antibiotics were once touted as miracle cures. But their ongoing misuse may mean that even the most common operations won’t be available to future generations.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Winter Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

This hearty salad combines sweet, savoury and tangy flavours for a refreshing dinner accompaniment.

10 natives that like wet feet

If you have a wet or swampy area, fence it off, plant something that thrives on wet soils, and turn it into a thing of beauty.

The Wool Wagon Pathway packs a scenic punch in Western Australia

Australia’s iconic Wool Wagon Pathway — a 1100-kilometre route across the Western Australian outback - originally came into being thanks to profits made from wool.

Three zesty recipes to celebrate Meyer lemon season

It's lemon season, and in celebration of this New Zealand backyard stalwart we've created three tangy, citrus recipes to add some zest to your winter menu.

29 delicious NZ products that should be on every foodie's radar

Here’s a list of some fantastic New Zealand artisan food producers you should be adding to your shopping cart.

A Timaru roller-derby dame's colourful slice of life

The bright side of life isn’t half bright enough for a roller-derby dame feeling her groove in Timaru.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Lamb with Lemon & Oregano, Hummus & Lamb Jus

Make merry with this chill-beating med-inspired feast to warm a cold night.

A former movie exec creates a whimsical garden

Making movies in London one minute; growing grapes and welcoming guests to a rural garden the next. Life is full of surprises.

What's On: Winter Detox at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Winter is a wonderful time at Gwinganna With warm days and lovely evenings to help you sleep well, it is an ideal time to break from your routine, rest and refocus on your health and wellness.

Jim Kayes' Blog: School ball

Jim cruises down memory lane, recalling his Miami Vice-esque ball ensemble as his daughters get ready for school ball.

At home with Wellington oil painter Jane Blackmore

Jane Blackmore has been painting in oils for 25 years. Her work is well-known to fans of her landscapes, seascapes and florals, but Jane is anticipating a move.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Baked Chocolate and Amaretto Cheesecake

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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 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.


Jim Kayes' Blog: Forget me not

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


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.

plastic bag

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.

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.

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

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.

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