New Zealand Diary - A Culture Trip to Dunedin For the Weekend

Dunedin is a small city (population 127,000), but it punches above its weight culturally, making it a fun place to visit for the weekend. There are plenty of galleries, including the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The Settlers Museum has impressive displays that take you through the development of both Māori and Pākehā culture through the history of Otago.

Everywhere you walk in the city you are likely to come across some fantastic and often enormous street art.

And if you get tired of walking around the city and the cultural sights, you can always stop for a drink.

New Zealand Diary: Summer, Camping and Caravans

Summer starts today, 1st December, in New Zealand. We are hoping to do a lot of camping this summer (last summer I got away twice, for 2 nights in total, as there was so much to do with the house and garden).

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I love camping in New Zealand, though the weather can never be relied on (see my post on Things That Will Kill You in New Zealand). At least usually there aren’t too many people, unless it is the first two weeks after Christmas Day, when campgrounds go a little nuts.

Arctic Circle cartoon about camping in the great outdoors

New Zealand Diary: Why Do Kiwis Make So Many Things Out of Corrugated Iron?

When we were in Oamaru recently, I noticed some nice old buildings near Friendly Bay that were mainly made from corrugated iron.

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Corrugated “iron” (usually steel) is used a lot more in New Zealand than in England. In England you tend to see it used for agricultural buildings, but here the use extends way beyond that. Our house has a roof made of it and so do many houses, even newbuilds. In fact you often see corrugated metal being used for cladding on building walls. Sometimes it is even used just to make things like this sheep in Tirau, New Zealand’s corrugated capital.

Te Ara states:

Corrugated iron has been one of the characteristic building materials in New Zealand for over 150 years. It is technically light steel sheet that has been galvanised (treated with a coating of zinc on both sides) to prevent rusting, then rolled into corrugations at either 3 or 5 inches (76 or 127 millimetres). First produced in English steel mills in the 1830s, it was regarded as suitable only for temporary buildings.

But it is still all over the shop, probably because construction is very expensive in NZ and Kiwis are used to building things with it.