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Tag: Outdoors

Reasons to head beachside

Psychologists and health researchers are constantly finding more science-backed reasons why we should spend time outside. As the temperatures heat up, we’ve found some of our own.


  1. Encourages exercise
    When you’re hanging out outside, chances are you’re going to be logging some exercise and we all know the benefits we can reap from even light exercise.

  2. Stress relief
    Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

  3. Vitamin D
    You can’t get the right amount of vitamin D your body needs from food. The most natural way to get vitamin D is by getting out in the sun, but make sure you do it safely and sensibly.

  4. Promotes better sleep
    Even light exercise helps people sleep better. Meanwhile, the natural light patterns strengthen the production of melatonin which is responsible for those feelings of sleepiness you get in the evening.

  5. Boosts brain health
    Research suggests that people who take walks in nature are also reaping mental health benefits like less depression and lower stress levels.

Enjoy the outdoors every day! We have two prize packs containing summer essentials to help with bites, bruises and burns. Each pack contains: Goodbye OUCH Sun Balm 80g, Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm 25g and Goodbye SANDFLY 50ml. All products are available in selected supermarkets, health food stores and pharmacies and online at






Rocking the stone look: Rocktops

Handcrafted stone specialist Rocktops has been delivering Christchurch homeowners their visions in granite, engineered stone and marble since 2001. Through smart design, the talented team can provide benchtops, fireplaces, stone panels, outdoor kitchens, stone hearths or that amazing vanity you’ve always wanted.



Photo courtesy of Arvida Group – Living Well Apartments, park Lane Retirement Village, Tower Junction, Christchurch

You could spend hours creating that outdoor BBQ area and, when it’s finished, it looks decidedly average, so why not take the stress out of it and get the team at Rocktops to create that ‘wow’ factor in your home? Matt Wilson has owned Rocktops since 2012 and has lived and breathed stonework his whole life. He is a true professional – talk to him and become inspired to create something special and unique for your home. Rocktops works with large companies and interior designers, right down to individual homeowners seeking a specific piece to suit any situation. You don’t have to be an artist to create your next feature – let Matt and his team design it for you!

With expert advice and the ability to service any part of New Zealand they will organise packing and freight to bring you a high quality, high finish product from a company that strives for perfection. From benchtops, shower walls, bath surrounds and table tops, to stairs, stairways and fire hearths – the options are endless. Email through your requirements and they can come to you with a multitude of different, marble, granite or quartz varieties for any need.


Visit or phone 03 348 9490.


Growing Places for Miriam

Great gardens: Growing Places for Miriam

For Adam Jaques, Growing Places for Miriam is not just a business, but a labour of love, after being established by his mother, who had a keen interest in gardening. “The business was started by my mother Miriam, who sadly passed away six years ago, after she got leukaemia,” Adam says.

Growing Places for Miriam

“I took it over from there. Six years later, it has grown considerably and still loving what we do.”
Pretty much anything gardening related, this company does it – bringing new soil in, pruning, new plant outs and hedge trimming are just some of the services Adam and his dedicated team provide.
Growing Places for Miriam can consult on your garden and works with some of Christchurch’s best landscape architects to maintain the quality and appearance of your garden. Plus, if your garden has seen better days, a Growing Places for Miriam full garden makeover could be just what is needed.
The Christchurch City Council’s Beautifying Association of Christchurch has also recognised the expertise of Adam and his team by giving them a spring time award for their gardening work on Pavilions Hotel.
Growing Places for Miriam lives and breathes the horticulture industry, you can be safe in the knowledge that at the helm is a team dedicated to giving your garden the best treatment possible.
For more information or to speak to Adam personally, call 022 066 1571 or visit their website

UPVC Windows and Doors

Powerful protection: UPVC Windows and Doors are keeping homes throughout Central Otago and the Southern Lakes safe from the extremes of climate

Central Otago and the Southern Lakes region are known for their extremes of climate – scorching hot 30+ degree days in the summer and temperatures plummeting well below zero in the winter. Such fluctuations call for building materials that perform at the highest level of efficiency, especially with respect to thermal insulation.

UPVC Windows and Doors

It is well known that the areas of a home from which heat escapes are around its windows and doors. Designing window and door frames to prevent heat escaping has reached the highest standard with the use of unplasticised polyvinyl chloride or UPVC. This material, when used in conjunction with low emissivity double glazing, achieves an R-value of .8 for insulating effectiveness and thermal performance. To interpret the jargon, that’s very high and will help you enjoy a perfectly comfortable atmosphere in your home, while also lowering power bills. It’s the ideal product for the southern environment.
UPVC Windows and Doors Ltd of Dunedin manufactures and installs these UPVC products using the Deceuninck Zendow profile, the world’s largest manufacturer of UPVC window and door systems. The frames come in a range of seven colours and have a fifteen-year guarantee. Once installed on a house, the frames look very similar to the beauty of timber frames but, unlike timber, they are virtually maintenance free. There are other benefits too, with high security locking features, high sound insulation and maximum water tightness for areas prone to driving rain and snow.
You can contact UPVC Windows and Door Ltd about UPVC frames on
0800 455 501.


Running rings around the city: running events to get you lacing up

Running is ever popular, as judged by the streets teeming with partakers at all hours of the day. Aside from the collection of events listed here, there are many weekly run clubs in suburbs all over the city and at Hagley Park every Saturday ‘Parkrun’ is a free 5km event (see


It doesn’t matter how far or fast you go – if you run, you are a runner. If you have not caught the run bug yet, it will likely get you in time and you’ll wish you started forever ago.

3 June: Christchurch Marathon, 42km, 21km, 10km, Kids Mara’Fun.

17 June: Sri Chinmoy Cross Country, 7.5km and Kids 2.5km, A +P Showgrounds.

5 August: South Island Half Marathon, Lake Hood Ashburton, 21km, 7km, Kids 1.5km

17 August: 10km Night Sand Run, New Brighton Beach

31 August: 10km Night Park Run, Hagley Park

14 September: 10km Night Trail Run, Christchurch Adventure Park

23 September: Sri Chinmoy Cherry Blossom Marathon, Hagley Park, 42km, 21km, 10km and Kids 2.5km

5 October: 10km Night Road Run, Sumner Esplanade

14 October: Crater Rim Trail Run, Hansen Park, Opawa, 52km (individual or 2-person relay), 30km, 21km, 10km, Kids 2km/1km

21 October: Cromwell Half Marathon, 21km, 21km relay, 10km

28 October: Boulder Bay Classic, Taylors Mistake Beach, 10.5km


A functional extension: adding to your home is one of Stratco’s specialty

Creating a striking addition to enhance your home, a veranda not only adds functional living space and value, but protection from the elements.

Whether you are building a new home or making extensions, the team at Stratco has the skills and expertise to assist from design to installation, with its own range of unique Stratco verandas and louvres. “Our fixed-roof verandas offer an affordable alternative to our louvres,” says Stratco General Manager, David Allingham.
“It’s a proven product with quality design – they’ve been around for years and there is no other product like this on the market.”
Letting light into your outdoor area while blocking out harmful rays and rain, homeowners can get so much more function from their home – an added value the real estate industry is well aware of. The company offers a bespoke veranda at the same price as a standard product, which can easily be custom-designed to suit your size, layout and attachment requirements.
The process is simple. Steve Cain, Outdoor Product Specialist at Stratco, will talk through the possibilities with you, then measure and quote, which is free with no obligation. Stratco then designs, manufactures and installs the verandas and louvres – making the entire experience hassle-free.
Based at 55 Hands Road, Middleton, contact the Stratco team on 03-338 9063 or visit for more information.

Artworks Landscape

Now’s the design time: making the most of Autumn with Artwork’s Landscape

Luke Robertson
Luke Robertson, Landscape Designer at Artworks Landscape Ltd

Luke Robertson, Landscape Designer at Christchurch’s celebrated Artworks Landscape Ltd, offers some advice for the enjoyment of spending Christmas and summer in your fabulous outdoor living space: “Just because it’s autumn, don’t put your plans on the back burner until spring – be smart, think ahead. Now is the perfect time to get your design completed so work can commence before the spring rush if you want to be able to enjoy your outside living over the summer.”

Artworks Landscape

Artworks Landscape Ltd has been in Canterbury for 31 years and offers the full service of design, build and maintenance, so can complete your whole project. “Communication flow between our departments means it’s a streamlined process, ensuring continuity between design, construction and maintenance,” Luke says.
Every client has different outdoor space requirements and Luke is driven by the challenge of variety. While he has some favourite design concepts, your outdoor space will be unique to you.
From the sculptural lines of a symmetrical formal garden, to a more relaxed free-form outdoor space, you’ll receive a distinctive, well-serving design and completed product that works for you.
Artworks Landscape Ltd has a reputation for quality landscapes on time and to any budget. The benefits in using Artworks, is that it offers the full package. Whether you need a paved area, or an integrated design complete with swimming pool, Artworks can help. Phone 03-387 0673 or enquire through

Rock Solid Fencing

Contemporary fencing solutions: talk to Rock Solid Fencing for your next project

When it comes to fencing, there are choices about heights, colours and materials. Whether you choose panel, wood, glass or metal, the number of individual looks and styles is huge – and that’s after you consider whether you want a vertical or horizontal look.

Rock Solid Fencing

No two days are the same for Rock Solid Fencing, a company with more than 15 years’ experience based in North Canterbury, working throughout the Canterbury region.
Each material has its own benefits; glass makes a great barrier without blocking any visuals; colour panel is very contemporary and can be matched to most colour steel roof colours; traditional pool fencing is no longer just for pools – it can be used to take advantage of a vista like a river or park at the edge of a property; and by choosing something that is not the standard black, you can create a unique look, such as white tubular, which offers a cutting-edge contemporary style.
Older pillar style fences can be modernised by reviving the fence panels between, capitalising on a base that is already there. Fencing can also provide solutions in areas not normally considered. “We recently fenced a small concrete area beside a house to keep children safe,” says Amy Collins of Rock Solid Fencing.
“It was not a boundary fence, but it was a fantastic solution for the family – keeping the young ones where they should be and tidying up the surrounding area, all the while adding value to the property in the long term.”


Style & protection: women’s clothing should do both says active lifestyle brand Merrell

Embrace nature without sacrificing style in women’s clothing from Merrell. It can be challenging to find women’s clothing with the right balance of comfort, style and protection when facing competing elements outside – and of course style also matters when it comes to women’s lifestyle and active wear.


“That’s why we make sure you’ll still look good while you brave the elements of the rugby side line, netball courts, or yourself out there working up a sweat, by providing an array of protective women’s outdoor clothing, featuring modern and athletic designs made with premium materials,” says Retail and Apparel Co-ordinator Clare Schrader.
Whether you need pants or shorts, shirts, jackets or accessories, Merrell has all the layers of women’s clothing needed to stay strong and productive on any path.
With a new footwear line also heading into store, there are many different options available. “If you’re jet-setting off away from the approaching winter, we have the Zoe Sojourn range which allows you to ‘pack light and live big’. Or perhaps you’re ready to hit the tracks in our Siren Hex Q2 Engineered mesh hiker, offering gender-specific stability, alignment and support.
“Women can accomplish great things in nature, and our gear can help. Enjoy the journey, but make sure the right gear from Merrell comes along too.”
For a walk through the latest ranges visit or Merrell Level 2 of Westfield Mall, Riccarton, and also Let’s Get Outside, 11 the Mall, Queenstown

North Loburn School

From Garden to Table: food education for young people

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be”. While some people are quite content to maintain the status quo, others see opportunities for improvement.

North Loburn School
North Loburn School

This is certainly the case for a Christchurch food technology teacher who is putting her heart and soul into improving food education programmes and resources for local schools.
Casebrook Intermediate’s Lauren Dick-McCann has made it her mission to teach her Year 7 and 8 students how to grow, harvest, prepare and share good food through a nationwide food education and literacy programme Garden to Table. Now she has become known for her thriving garden which she refers to as her ‘outside classroom’.
“Food education goes beyond the ability to identify a fruit or vegetable,” Lauren says.
“It’s about giving our younger generations the tools to develop this necessary life-skill and the knowledge of how to feed themselves well.”
A collaborative and hands-on programme which aims to change the way children approach and think about food, Garden to Table has armed Casebrook’s students with the resources they need to make better food choices. The programme operates as part of a core specialist course at Casebrook and works in conjunction with the school’s Food Technology curriculum.
Casebrook Intermediate Principal Sharon Keen is supportive of the approach, crediting it with improvements in other facets of school life, such as better attentiveness, socialisation and class attendance.
Locally, Diamond Harbour Primary, St Martin’s Primary School, North Loburn School, Kaiapoi Borough School, Riccarton Primary School (in partnership with T&G Global), Victory School Nelson (in partnership with T&G Global) and Casebrook Intermediate have all been benefiting from the programme.
For more information, visit