• Tuhura New Zealand – discover your world.

    Tuhura is a mobile app for smartphones, ipads and tablets. Designed for anyone touring New Zealand or with an interest in the country, Tuhura contains an extensive library of 90 second film clips that relate to New Zealand history, culture, famous people, and attractions. Read more on our About Tuhura page.

Back From the Dead! The Takahē

Between 1800 and 1900 there were only four sightings of the Takahē.  For that reason, by the 1910s, the Takahē was thought to be extinct. There was one man who refused to believe it, however.  Geoffery Orbell, and ornithologist, was convinced the bird survived.  He spent 15 years scouring the mountains and fiords of Fiordland … Continue reading


Jack’s Point – not your usual town

The Queenstown Trail is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) system in Otago, New Zealand. This cycle/walking trail links Queenstown, Arrowtown and the area known as Gibbston. At least 110km long, the trail follows rivers and lakes to link key places in a series of tracks that also access public land. Parts of … Continue reading

Middlemarch, Otago, South Island, New Zealand.

Middlemarch and George Eliot

At the foot of the Rock and Pillar Range of hills in the Strath-Taieri valley sits the town of Middlemarch, a town whose name has been long debated. Some claim the name originated from the word “march” which was once an English term meaning, “a boundary.” Indeed, the Tairei River flows through Middlemarch and creates … Continue reading

Dashing Rocks, Timaru, South Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand.

The Danger of Dashing Rocks, Timaru

At the northern end of Timaru’s Caroline Bay are Benvenue Cliffs and Dashing Rocks, named after the Benvenue, one of many ships to have been wrecked at Dashing Rocks. On May 14, 1882, a clear Sunday evening, with absolutely no wind, but a mountainous sea, two ships, the Ben Venue and City of Perth were … Continue reading

Kahurangi National Park - Tasman

Southern Hemisphere’s deepest cave found in New Zealand

If you Google “deepest cave in New Zealand” you’ll find a brand new entry… there is: #1 Nettlebed/Stormy Pot system Mt Arthur 1174m discovered in January 2014 Not only is it New Zealand’s deepest cave, this link between the Stormy Pot and Nettlebed cave systems, is the deepest cave in the Southern Hemisphere. The cave … Continue reading

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A Statue to a True Kiwi Champion – Phar Lap

In our last post we talked about the race horse New Zealand shares with Australia. In November 2009, Phar Lap was honoured with the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue at Phar Lap Raceway, Timaru, the town where Phar Lap was born. Sculpted by Auckland-based sculptor, Joanne Sullivan-Gessler, the statue shows Phar Lap in full … Continue reading

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A Race Horse and a Sugary Dessert?

What do a race horse and a sugary dessert have in common? Well, in the case of Phar Lap and Pavlova, it’s that New Zealanders and Australians continue to argue over who really owns them! Phar Lap was a champion race horse, born in Timaru, South Canterbury, New Zealand, and raced in Australia, where he … Continue reading

Mount Cook - Aoraki; West Coast, South Island, New Zealand.

Sorry Aoraki/Mount Cook – you just got shorter!

We began a previous Tuhura blog-post on Aoraki/Mt Cook with these words: The tallest mountain in New Zealand-Aotearoa is Mount Cook. It stands 3,754 metres high but it used to be even taller! It used to be 3,765 metres tall—which was a lot easier for New Zealand geography students to remember in exams—before an avalanche … Continue reading

SC Monarh Butterfly on Lavendar

The (almost) Native Monarch Butterfly

You may wonder why there is a butterfly in the middle of a tourist blog!? The thing is, New Zealanders love the Monarch Butterfly so much that many of us think of it as a native – but it’s not.  Many of us even plant Milkweed in our gardens to attract the butterflies. Milkweed is … Continue reading

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The Untimely End of Timaru’s Captain Cain

Sitting outside Timaru’s Tourist Information Centre is a bronze sculpture of Captain Henry Cain (1816 – 1886) who was an early settler of Timaru, having arrived in 1857. The story of Henry Cain is an interesting one; the story of a self-made man who met an untimely end. At just 13 years old, Henry Cain … Continue reading


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