Riding high with Highlander

Riding high with Highlander

Per­haps unex­pec­tedly, one of my most mem­or­able drives ever was in a Toyota High­lander. Giv­en that SUVs aren’t known for their driv­ing dynam­ics, I was a bit sur­prised at the time, too. It was late after­noon, and we were on a ski­ing hol­i­day in Queen­stown. Without bor­ing you unreas­on­ably with detail, our slope time had […]

Bon mot

Okay, okay, I admit it, I am guilty as charged. When it comes to the four-wheeled machine, I have always pre­ferred big over small. Sure, it’s a pre­ju­dice but one I have always been able to jus­ti­fy — com­fort, per­form­ance and prac­tic­al­ity… need I go on? Which is why I was strug­gling to get excited […]

Upwardly mobile

Upwardly mobile

It’s offi­cial. Wellington’s hot­test new res­id­ence of choice is undoubtedly Clyde Quay Wharf. For those of you a little out of the loop, that used to be known as the much less salu­bri­ous Over­seas Pas­sen­ger Ter­min­al. Rest assured, these days plenty of five-bed­­room places in Wadestown have gone under the ham­mer to exped­ite a purchase […]

A Tale of Two Jaguars

A Tale of Two Jaguars

 A lot can hap­pen in a dec­ade. Take the last ten years for example. We’ve col­lect­ively wit­nessed the rise and rise of social media; the inven­tion of the smart phone; and pretty much digit­al everything. Atti­tudes have changed too — Pres­id­ent Obama is liv­ing proof of that — while we also con­tend with the phenomenon […]

How the other half lives

How the other half lives

The pho­tos were beguil­ing. A large stone fire­place, com­fy loun­gers, a swim­ming pool and expans­ive views stretch­ing over Hawke’s Bay — the prom­ise of a per­fect week­end hol­i­day home, or anti­dote to the usu­al Wel­ling­ton week­end hum­drum, in oth­er words. No indul­gent week­end is com­plete without the appro­pri­ate wheels, and none of us was dis­ap­poin­ted to […]

Gently does it

Gently does it

I’m not a neur­os­cient­ist — this won’t come as a sur­prise to any­one who has read my columns I’m guess­ing — but I won­der if a chem­ic­al reac­tion occurs in the brain when you com­bine an enthu­si­ast­ic driver with both a fast car and a beguil­ing (read empty) stretch of tar­mac? On the basis of […]

King of the Road

King of the Road

As a youth, I liked noth­ing bet­ter than cruis­ing around in cars with my mates — usu­ally oth­er people’s cars back then, as we didn’t have the means to buy our own. Very rarely, one mate in par­tic­u­lar would get a loan of his dad’s Hold­en Cal­ais. With its flash ste­reo, plush leath­er seats and […]

Courtenay crawling

Courtenay crawling

It’s Sat­urday night — after mid­night, in fact, so tech­nic­ally Sunday morn­ing — and Wellington’s infam­ous strip, oth­er­wise known as Cour­tenay Place, is pump­ing. Teens and 20-somethings bounce off each oth­er on the packed pave­ments; taxi drivers play dodgems with drunk­en youths as they weave through slow-mov­ing traffic seem­ingly without pause for thought; and for […]

A clear case of one-upmanship

A clear case of one-upmanship

As luck would have it, it turns out that the Mar­tin­bor­ough Hotel has really good mid-week pizza. In my exper­i­ence though, pretty much any­thing will taste great when it’s 10pm and your stom­ach has been rum­bling for an hour or two. As I cruised into town, the lights of the hotel were a wel­come beacon. On […]

Getting under your skin

Getting under your skin

Believe it or not, many new European cars are get­ting cheap­er. There’s a good chance you haven’t noticed – espe­cially if a new car pur­chase in your house­hold is about as likely as a Lotto win. But, if you’re lucky enough to be shop­ping for new wheels, your dol­lar should be buy­ing you more Euro. The […]