Investigation: Cardrona Hotel – South Island. {Interview with the Hotel Manager}

In April 2021, Haunted Auckland Researcher Mark Wallbank headed down to the lower South Island to spend a night investigating the Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels. Situated on the spectacular Crown Range Road, between Queenstown and Wanaka. The Cardrona Hotel is also allegedly the home of a few spectral… Continue reading Investigation: Cardrona Hotel – South Island. {Interview with the Hotel Manager}

Chalet Backpackers, Dunedin – Investigation

Earlier this month, Haunted Auckland were invited to investigate the ongoing activity at the 1904 built Chalet Backpackers hostel, a former Hospital, in the very historic South Island city of Dunedin. I jumped on a plane and headed down to document, or experience first-hand (hopefully both!) the claims. As there were a few people staying… Continue reading Chalet Backpackers, Dunedin – Investigation

McCaw Homestead – Matamata

From the www.heritage.org.nz website: The former McCaw Homestead stands on the site of an earlier dwelling, which formed the centrepiece of the Matamata Estate. The estate was established by Josiah Clifton Firth (1826-1897) in 1865 when he leased large areas of land from its Ngati Haua owners, through his friendly relationship with one of their… Continue reading McCaw Homestead – Matamata

Mysterious Occurrences in Butchers Gully

A few kilometers south of Alexandra, deep in the Central Otago region of the lower South Island, while travelling along Highway 8, (or Alexandra-Fruitlands Road as it is otherwise known), there is a place you will pass by called Butchers Gully. An isolated area that was used mainly for goldmining, until the diggings were swamped… Continue reading Mysterious Occurrences in Butchers Gully

Happy Birthday – Love, Grandma.

It is never easy losing a loved one. Grief hits us all in different ways, but for most of us the concept of continuing life without that person and achieving milestones in your life that they will not be there to witness if often the hardest pill to swallow. None of us would be alone… Continue reading Happy Birthday – Love, Grandma.

Otuataua Stonefields: 2nd research visit – Mangere, Auckland

The Ōtuataua Stonefields show how the early Maori adapted to their new environment. New Zealand’s shorter growing seasons and colder mean temperatures ruled out many Polynesian staples. The settlers salvaged only a few crops – kumara, taro, yams and gourds, all plants with short growing seasons and small or tough leaves. In the inland Bay… Continue reading Otuataua Stonefields: 2nd research visit – Mangere, Auckland

Brunner Mine Site – West Coast, South Island

Location Brunner Mine was a coalmine on the banks of the Grey River in an area known as Coal Gorge which is between the towns of Taylorsville and Stillwater and is an 11 km drive from Greymouth. Coal was discovered on the West Coast by Nelson surveyor Thomas Brunner while searching for land suitable for agriculture.… Continue reading Brunner Mine Site – West Coast, South Island

Fairy folk tales of the Maori – Book by James Cowan

Loving this old gem I dug out of an old South Island second hand bookstore while on a recent roadtrip. I’ve always been fascinated in Maori folklore and handed down true – life histories; especially when it involves mysterious creatures and ghosts. This book, written by the then Wellington based historian, James Cowan satisfies my… Continue reading Fairy folk tales of the Maori – Book by James Cowan

Patupaiarehe

In Māori tradition patupaiarehe, also known as tūrehu and pakepakehā, were fairy-like creatures of the forests and mountain tops. Although they had some human attributes, patupaiarehe were regarded not as people but as supernatural beings. They were seldom seen, and an air of mystery and secrecy still surrounds them. In most traditions, those who encountered… Continue reading Patupaiarehe

Getting Hairy with Rex Gilroy

Rex Gilroy, Director of the Australian Yowie Research Centre, Katoomba, NSW studying the Wadbilliga Dryopithecine fossil footprint. It is yet one more piece of evidence of an Australian primate presence in Pleistocene times and earlier. Photo copyright © Rex Gilroy 2013

I first heard about Rex Gilroy as a child. Perhaps about 1980, or thereabouts. I was a budding young cryptozoologist / paranormal researcher that would spend my time reading up every book or article I could find on the subjects. I also collected newspaper clippings. In my collection I have clippings that mention Rex Gilroy.… Continue reading Getting Hairy with Rex Gilroy

The New Zealand ‘UFO’ Wave of 1909 – By Tony Brunt

The New Zealand ‘UFO’ Wave of 1909 By Tony Brunt 1967 – Former convener of the Auckland University UFO Research Group (no longer in existence.) For a little over a month in the winter of 1909 hundreds of New Zealanders reported seeing “airships” of varying shapes and sizes moving about in the sky. Sighting reports… Continue reading The New Zealand ‘UFO’ Wave of 1909 – By Tony Brunt

Big Bird’s Last Stand

Cryptozoology can be separated into three classifications: Out of place animals – Alien Big Cats in Britain for example. Previously unknown species – for example Bigfoot and the Mongolian Death Worm. Paleocryptids – those species that once existed but though extinct still make appearances and leave evidence of their continued existence. Creatures like the Tasmanian… Continue reading Big Bird’s Last Stand

Larnach Castle, Dunedin

  Larnach Castle (also referred to as “Larnach’s Castle”), is an imposing mansion on the ridge of the Otago Peninsula within the limits of the city of Dunedin, close to the small settlement of Pukehiki. It is one of a few houses of this scale in New Zealand. The house and its grounds are regularly… Continue reading Larnach Castle, Dunedin

Prosaic Explanations: The Failure Of UFO Skepticism

Introduction “If I had found even a single case that defied prosaic explanation, I would have rushed to my typewriter (now my PC) to write the most exciting story ever published by Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine.” -in a letter from Philip J. Klass to Dr. Eugene Mallove Could some UFO sightings actually be… Continue reading Prosaic Explanations: The Failure Of UFO Skepticism

The Laughing Owl

Once the maniacal laugh like call of this bird rang through the night forests, then in just 40 years this call was heard no more. However, reports persist… The Laughing Owl was a moderate sized Owl 14 – 15” in height and with a wingspan of 10.4”. It had reddish brown plumage streaked with darker… Continue reading The Laughing Owl

New Zealand South Island Panther

Does a group of Large Mysterious Cats roam the wilds of Canterbury? A relatively unknown New Zealand cryptid is the South Island Panther. Sightings of these cats are confined mainly to the Canterbury area and have led to the suspicion that the animal or animals are escapees from a private collection. Sightings began in 1996… Continue reading New Zealand South Island Panther

New Zealand Moose

Moose – Alces alces andersoni, were imported from Saskatchewan Canada, into the South Island by the New Zealand Acclimatisation Society as a sporting animal along with red deer in the early 20th century. These animals supposedly failed to establish, and yet sightings persisted and evidence of their continued presence continued. The initial introduction occurred in… Continue reading New Zealand Moose

Kawekaweau – Giant New Zealand Gecko

In 1986 in the basement of the Marseille Museum of Natural History a primitive type specimen of a large gecko was found stuffed, unlabeled, lacking any record of its collection date or its point of origin and judging from the specimen must have been there for over a century. Once examination of this specimen was… Continue reading Kawekaweau – Giant New Zealand Gecko

Waitoreke – Giant Otter

Tales of strange Otter-like creatures have come from the South Island of New Zealand and persist to the present day. What is this strange creature? Is it an undiscovered remnant mammalian species or a stranded and forgotten link to New Zealand’s past. New Zealand is believed to have had no mammals when it separated from Gondwana, apart… Continue reading Waitoreke – Giant Otter

The Moa

Moa were large, flightless birds that lived in New Zealand until about 500 years ago. There were 10 species of these extinct birds. They belong to the ratite group of birds, in the order Dinornithiformes, which also includes ostriches, emus and kiwi. Moa were hunted to extinction by Māori, who found them easy targets. Their… Continue reading The Moa

Giant Moa wasn’t so robust

As reported in the NZHerald – 22nd December 2013 The South Island Giant Moa wasn’t quite as hefty as we had thought. A new study has found its bones were more slender than first believed, which has resulted in a recalculation of the birds’ size. Instead of studying just the birds’ leg bones to determine… Continue reading Giant Moa wasn’t so robust

Moehau Man – New Zealand’s Bigfoot

The Moehau Man There are legends and stories of huge bushmen that abound around the world. In North America there is the Sasquatch or Big Foot, Asia has the Yeti, and Australia the Yowie. And while they are geographically separated, in some case by vast distances and oceans, their descriptions are always somewhat similar. New… Continue reading Moehau Man – New Zealand’s Bigfoot

Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, Ihumātao

The Otuataua Stonefields, near Ihumātao, is one of the Auckland’s last volcanic areas where you can see the large-scale stonework and earthwork remains that show how people once lived and worked. A stark reminder of Auckland’s volcanic past. Location and History: 56 Ihumātao Quarry Road, Mangere. 21.1km – 27 minutes drive from Downtown Auckland. The… Continue reading Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, Ihumātao

The Siren of the Cardrona Hotel

My grand parents, two times removed on my mum’s side, used to own a hotel in the South Island which is now known as the Cardrona Speights Ale House. While my mum was growing up she would spend copious hours exploring said hotel with a fine toothed comb looking for weird and wonderful artefacts. She… Continue reading The Siren of the Cardrona Hotel