All posts tagged “New Zealand

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What’s Happening to New Zealand’s Haast Pass?

It was next morning that I heard the bridge had washed away. I had hammered over it during the night – back in the 90s – a time when you could do a tad over the speed limit on country roads, with reasonable confidence nobody… Read more

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Deciduous Conifers in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay

As you pull up in the car park above the fossil forest at Curio Bay (Pole 1999, 2001, 2004, 2009), there is a wonderful patch of living, native forest, just behind. Its conifers, like all New Zealand conifers today, are evergreen. But what of Curio… Read more

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How Tall were the trees in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay?

At Curio Bay near the southernmost point of New Zealand’’s South Island, you can walk around the remains of a Jurassic fossil forest. Tree stumps are still in their growth position, and fossilised logs criss-cross through the sandstone overlying them. So can we add these… Read more

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When Frequent-Flying Becomes Insane-Flying

I loved my Singapore Airlines ‘Elite Gold’ card. Suddenly, International airports transitioned from being places where food and drink were wildly overpriced, to …. free. When I stuffed-up and missed flights, or political rules changed and I couldn’t board an aircraft – instead of costing… Read more

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The Lost Forests of Southland, New Zealand

Forests that have disappeared so completely that you would hardly believe they really existed, have long fascinated me.  When I left my home in Alexandra for university in Dunedin, I took with me a facsimile map my mother had given me. It was a mid… Read more

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The Biggest Tree Stump in the Curio Bay Jurassic Forest

Back in the late 1980s I had the pleasure of meeting the English scientist David Bellamy. Bellamy was famous at the time as ‘The Botanic Man’, and he was in New Zealand to film for ‘Moa’s Ark’, a TV series and book about the development of… Read more

Miocene Lauraceae leaf fossil, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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The Amazing Miocene Fossil Leaf Pack of Mata Creek, New Zealand

I was crouched in a long boat somewhere up a rainforest-swathed river in Kalimatan, Borneo, when I saw it – a ‘living’ example of a fossil leaf pack I had once seen in New Zealand. Several years before, I had been exploring down a little… Read more

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Once a Vast Forest – Motatapu Track, New Zealand

Early on a cool Sunday morning I sipped my latte outside Relishes Cafe, Wanaka, and thought the immediate view could be better. In a somewhat typical urban New Zealand fashion, the lake is cut off from the cafe not just by a road, but a… Read more

Miocene Retrophyllum fossil, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Miocene Swamp Forests of St Bathans, New Zealand

The white sands and muds surrounding Blue and ‘Grey’ Lakes at St Bathans were laid down in a braided river (Manuherikia Group; Douglas 1986). About twenty million years ago, in the Miocene period, It was flowing from the New Zealand hinterland in the west to… Read more

Equisetum fossil New Zealand Jurassic
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Horsetail Marshes of the New Zealand Jurassic

In the Jurassic, New Zealand had ‘horsetails’ (Latin: Equisetum) – an odd-looking plant , a bit like a long brush with whorls of narrow leaves and are related to ferns. Apart from their shape some of the extinct forms had a strange ‘diaphram’ attached to their… Read more