Well, it’s true, the Kiwis did invent Lamingtons first.

Lamingtons 2The Lamington, Australia’s famed dessert, was actually invented in New Zealand and originally named a “Wellington”, according to new research published by the University of Auckland.
Fresh analysis of a collection of 19th-century watercolours by the New Zealand landscape artist JR Smythe, shows that in one portrait, “Summer Pantry” dated 1888, a partially eaten Lamington cake is clearly visible on the counter of a cottage overlooking Wellington Harbor.
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The first known reference to a Lamington before this was a recipe published in 1902 in the Queensland Country Life newspaper.
Historians had believed the Lamington was named after Lord Lamington who served as governor of Queensland between 1896-1901.
But experts at the University of Auckland have examined archives which show records of a visit Lamington undertook to Wellington in 1895, before beginning in his tenure as Queensland governor.
According to a New Zealand Herald news report of the visit, Lamington was “much taken with the local sweets provided him by local bakers A.R. Levin.”
Among those sweets, the article states, was a “Wellington – a double sponge dessert, dressed in shavings of coconut intended to imitate the snow capped mountains of New Zealand.”
Dr Arun Silva of the centre for academic knowledge, excellence and study at the University of Auckland, said the news clipping and Smythe watercolour made it “inconceivable” that the Lamington was an Australian invention.
“What we have here is conclusive evidence that the Lamington cake was in fact a product of New Zealand.
The documentation of Lamington’s visit and the pictorial evidence in the watercolour prove it without a doubt.
“I wouldn’t exactly say it was a rewriting of history, more a realisation that our culinary past is much more entangled than we’d previously believed,” Silva said.
Silva, an expert in food history, said the dramatic discovery was likely to blow debate around whether it was Australia or New Zealand who invented the Pavlova “out of the sky”.
via Lamington invented in New Zealand, new research proves ‘beyond doubt’ | World news | theguardian.com.

The Mythical Islands of New Zealand.

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New Zealand’s first sheep were set ashore by Captain James Cook in 1773.
At their peak in 1982, there were twenty-two sheep for every person in New Zealand.
Nowadays, the numbers have fallen by two thirds and are now estimated at just over seven sheep per person.
Photograph: Nick Easton/BBC

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See more images via New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Yellow TreeHouse Restaurant, north of Auckland.

1065305043These days, a tree house design is much more than just a playhouse in the backyard.
We’ve seen creative concepts from HemLoft, an egg-shaped tree house, to TreeHouse Point, a charming bed and breakfast nestled in the trees.
Another incredibly unique construction is this Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, developed by New Zealand based Pacific Environment Architects in collaboration with Yellow Pages.
Located north of Auckland, the unique concept is an eighteen seat cafe suspended around a large redwood tree and approximately 130 feet above the ground.
The entire structure spans more than 30 feet wide and almost 40 feet high, with kitchen and bathrooms located on the ground below.
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Timber trusses form the main structure, the curved fins are glue-laminated pine, and redwood milled from the site are used in the walkway balustrading.
Plantation poplar slats wrap around the tree and create interesting textured spaces that allow natural light to radiate throughout the interior.
The circular concept is also designed to be weather resistant, with acrylic sheeting fixed to the roof and vertical roll-down blinds on the interior.
Visitors are welcome to come and venture high up in the trees to enjoy a delicious meal.
via Stunning Tree House Restaurant Suspended 130-Feet Above Ground – My Modern Metropolis.

Descending into the “Lost World” Cave, North Island.

Image Credt: Photograph by © Ben Babusis. All rights reserved.
Descent into the Lost World
A group of rappellers descends into one of the most spectacular limestone caves on the North Island of New Zealand called the Lost World.
“Rappeller” – a person who descends down a nearly vertical face by using a doubled rope that is wrapped around the body and attached to some high point. Source: The Free Dictionary.
Source: Descent Into the Lost World | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

The Night Skies of Winter.

lighthouse2-58013ae2a525f__880by Jake Scott-
We are Jake and Jo – astrophotographers based in Queenstown, New Zealand who spent Winter photographing the night sky in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.
We are passionate about shooting the stars and often stay out till dawn in freezing temperatures to make the most of a clear night.

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On our adventures we have managed to capture meteors, the Aurora Australis, zodiacal light, air glow, satellites, shooting stars and of course the milky way.

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We are constantly trying to find new locations and planning our next adventure – we never thought that we could become obsessed with chasing the stars!
More info: Facebook
See more images via We Spent Winter In New Zealand Photographing The Incredible Night Sky | Bored Panda

Milford Sound, South Island.

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Milford Sound, perhaps New Zealand’s most famous scenic location, was long overlooked by early sailors and explorers, who didn’t realise the narrow entrance concealed an enormous and beautiful interior.
It wasn’t discovered by Europeans until 1812.
Named the eighth ‘wonder of the world’, its actually one of the wettest places on Earth, with rainfall creating cascades of waterfalls, some reaching a 1,000m in length.
Photograph by: Tom Walker/BBC
Source: New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian