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There is something very special about the strip of land separating terra firma from the open ocean. Dynamic, dramatic, wild and beautiful, New Zealand's long and varied coastline has a huge influence on our lifestyle and culture. COASTERS follows keen fisher, seafood chef and presenter, Al Brown, as he travels the coastline of New Zealand exploring the connection Kiwis have with their coast. There's plenty of fishing, fossicking, cooking and chatting to locals - people whose lives revolve around the tides, currents, wind and weather - who are strongly connected to their coast and share their love of it. From the mountainous coasts of Fiordland to the sandy bays of Northland, the incredible diversity ensures a wonderful variety to the episodes that collectively paint a picture of a very integral, influential and essential part of contemporary New Zealand.
|S01E01||Island Bay to Pencarrow Head||22/01/2011||In the first episode of Coasters, Al explores the connections Wellingtonian's have with their coast. Although Al has lived in Wellington most of his adult life, he's yet to make the journey around the capital coast, from the city's southern beaches to windswept Pencarrow Head. Setting off from Island Bay Al explores the newly created Tapu Te Ranga Marine Reserve. Once Al's regular go to spot for paua, fishing is now off-limits, and the sanctuary's many little rock pools are full of cockabullies and starfish. Further along at Lyall Bay Al meets Ray Ahipene-Mercer, who spearheaded the Clean Water Campaign at Moa Point back in 1986. Then it's on to Tarakena Bay, Ray's ancestral home, where he shares something of the special significance of the coast for his people. At Karaka Bay Al hooks up with a couple of friends who are fishing for mullet and after just fifteen minutes he has enough to make lunch for his next coaster, architect Ian Athfield. Ian's been involved with much of Wellington's waterfront development and has a huge interest in how communities interact with the coast. Al then heads into the heart of the city to meet writer and editor of New Zealand's online encyclopaedia, Te Ara, Jock Phillips. Al and Jock walk what was the old shoreline and Jock sheds light on how important land reclamation on the inner Wellington harbour was for settlement, right from the early days. With the end in sight Al has two more stops, the first Eastbourne's Lowry Bay, where he meets local fishermen Martin Hansen and Dan Dellarbarca who run a fish market off the back of their boat. Al checks in on the catch and mingles with the customers. Tempted to stay and chat, Al knows he has one last stop to complete his journey of the capital coast. He makes his way up the steep hills of Pencarrow Head and meets Anne Bennett, the great great grand daughter of the very first lighthouse keepers in Wellington - George and Mary Bennett|
|S01E02||Westport to Charleston||29/01/2011||This week Al starts his coastal journey at the mouth of the mighty Buller River with Westport fisherman Jack Devine. Al's a bit apprehensive about crossing the notorious Westport Bar which has claimed many ships and several lives through the years, but local harbour master Nico Weeda gives him the thumbs up for good weather conditions the next day. Next morning, as the sun rises over Westport, Al and Jack head off over the bar and after steaming for a couple of k's they reach the inshore trawling grounds where they set the net for one of Al's favourite fish, Turbot. Much to Al's delight they manage to catch a few and heading back to the wharf a whitebaiter provides them with a bucket of fresh whitebait, West Coast style. It's the icing on the cake for their breakfast - a Turbot and Whitebait Butty. Al continues his journey, heading along Carters Beach, where he drops in on the Holcim Concrete Works and chats to Brian Thomas, whose family has been working at the plant for three generations. Al crosses paths with his next coaster, DOC Officer John Green at Cape Foulwind, home to a large breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. It was seals that brought the first Europeans to the area and John gives Brownie an insight into the lives of the early settlers, before taking him to a tunnel through granite which was railed to Westport to construct the breakwater. Further south at Okari River Al meets whitebaiter Darryl Kerr who provides the perfect solution to crossing the river in the form of a punt. The final leg of Al's journey is the ninth mile of Nine-Mile Beach, which takes him all the way to historic Charleston, where he meets gold miner Val Currie. This remote coastal town was home to the largest gold rush on the Coast and Val shows Al how it was done at an old gold mining stamper.|
|S01E03||Cape Brett to Russell||05/02/2011||This week Al's coastal journey begins at Cape Brett at the entrance to the Bay of Islands. It's an early start for Al as he teams up with Blandy Witehira who has ancestral connections to the peninsula. Blandy was instrumental in turning the old tribal walkways along the Cape into a stunning hiking trail. Along with maintaining the track Blandy manages a team of workers who are ridding the forests of introduced pests. The walk ends at Oke Bay, near Rawhiti Marae, and from here Blandy takes Al across to Urupukapuka Island where they sample the some of the local seafood and make a Mussel and Pupu boil-up. For centuries coastal people have been travelling to the islands just off Rawhiti to gather kaimoana, and these days they're also a great place to take a holiday. At the DOC campground Al meets Andy Blanshard who is the Department's archaeologist and historian. Andy gives Al a tour of Urupukapuka Island before they board a gaff-rigged schooner, the R Tucker Thompson, and haul sail to Russell. A replica of the schooners that worked as coastal traders all around New Zealand in the nineteenth century, the Tucker's taking a history tour in the Bay. Al learns the ropes from skipper Russell Harris and his crew in preparation for the annual Tall Ships Race, which is taking place the next day. Sailing lesson over, Al explores historic Russell, and pops into the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, the first licensed premise in the country. The next morning he heads down to the Russell Boat Club and hooks up with Anthony and Nicole George who are in charge of preparing the hangi, a wonderful race day tradition that relies on huge community effort to cater for over 1000 guests. Al receives the race details, then heads to the R. Tucker Thompson to take part in the Tall Ships Race. It's a fun day and as they line up towards the finish line, seeing these boats under full sail is an unforgettable spectacle. Al ends this coastal journey with the celebratio|
|S01E04||Doubtful Sound||11/02/2011||This week Al travels to Fiordland's Doubtful Sound, known for its pristine beauty and amazing wildlife. Al enters the Sound from the Tasman Sea on board Department of Conservation's Southern Winds with skipper and long time crayfisherman Mark Peychers. Mark helped set up the Fiordland Marine Guardians in 1995 to protect this unique marine environment and having spent most of his working life in Fiordland, he knows it like the back of his hand. On their way into the Sound they pull up a couple of crays before stopping off at Secretary Island. Here Al meets Peter McMurtrie, field manager for DOC's pest eradication programme to rid the island of red deer and stoats and provide a sanctuary for endangered birds. After checking a few traps, Al and Pete rejoin Mark for a lunch of Crayfish Omelettes with Tomato Coriander Salsa and Cumin Sour Cream. Al's next ride is further up the sound at Crooked Arm with dolphin researcher Shaun Henderson. Doubtful Sound is home to one of the southernmost populations of Bottlenose Dolphins in the world, and the pod of just 52 individuals appears to be in decline. Shaun is passionate about these dolphins and travels to Doubtful Sound every month to track down and observe the behaviour of the pod. Both above and below the water, Doubtful Sound is renowned for it incredible marine environment and Al takes a closer look with diver and DOC officer Kath Blakemore who is carrying out an ongoing underwater survey of the area. After forty odd k's through some of New Zealand's most spectacular coastline the end is in sight. Al's final leg of this journey is on board the beautiful ketch Breaksea Girl. Ruth Dalley and Lance Shaw have been running eco-tours out of Doubtful Sound for the past 16 years, and before hopping off at Deep Cove, they take Al to visit some of the Sound's permanent residents, the Fiordland Crested penguins.|
|S01E05||Hot Water Beach to Ferry Landing||19/02/2011||Al heads to the Coromandel, to travel along what today is the classic Kiwi holiday destination. His journey begins at popular Hot Water Beach with long time resident Gordon Pye, whose family was farming here over a hundred years ago, their dairy herd grazing right down to the beach. Gordon was responsible for opening the Hot Water Beach Campground in the mid 1960s, providing seasonal holiday-makers with access to this beautiful stretch of coastline. After a soak in the warm water, Al runs into the local surf club as they set up for the day and meets his next coaster, Gary Hinds. Known as the pied piper of Hot Water Beach, Gary and his team are carrying on the great tradition of voluntary service that's at the heart of New Zealand's lifesaving movement. Next stop for Al is beautiful Cathedral Cove and he decides to explore it with the help of Mike Grogan who runs Cathedral Cove Kayaks. They paddle across Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, established in 1992 to protect the surrounding waters. Further north Al drops in on Susan Grierson and partner Rod McLaren, custodians of 38 hectares of land that make up the Stella Evered Memorial Park. Together they gather cockles for lunch of Oven Roasted Snapper Fillets with Clam Stuffing Crust. Al continues his journey, crossing the Purangi River, and a little further round the coast is historic Cooks Beach. Al catches up with local farmer, Toby Morcom, who has a passion for this area's rich past and discovers why Captain Cook stopped here to observe the Transit of Mercury.|
|S01E06||Birdlings Flat to Le Bons Bay||26/02/2011||This week's coastal journey begins at Birdlings Flat on the south coast of Banks Peninsula. The long stretch of gravel that makes up Kaitorete Spit was a major highway for the people of Ngai Tahu, and at its end is Lake Forsyth or Te Roto o Wairewa. Al meets up with Robyn Wybrow of the Wairewa Runanga who explains to Al the huge significance the lake has to Ngai Tahu. Al continues along the spectacular and exposed southern coast to Akaroa where he meets historian Steve Lowndes. Akaroa is known for its French influence and Steve tells a few stories from this era in its history. Akaroa has over 200 colonial houses and Al's next stop is with Josie Martin, the proud owner of the Giant's House. Josie's passion for colour, mosaic and large-scale objects is reflected in her beautiful sculpture garden. Al continues his coastal journey at Onuku, where he puts on his walking shoes and hits the spectacular Banks Peninsula Track. First stop is Flea Bay where he joins farmers and conservationists Francis and Shireen Helps who have been hand-raising an orphaned white-flippered penguin. Further around the coast Al descends the track at Stony Bay, home to Sonia and Mark Armstrong who offer an oasis for travellers overnighting on the walkway, featuring the creative use of old objects in its design. Reaching the end of his walk, he joins resident writer Fiona Farrell who shares a poem on the shore of Otanerito or Long Bay. Then it's a short hop to Le Bons Bay on the eastern tip of Banks Peninsula with Garry Brittenden who takes Al out in his tinny to see some of the stunning wildlife that Banks Peninsula offers, Hector dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. Along the way they pull up a few cray pots and are lucky enough to catch some great kaimoana for a meal of Crayfish, Crab and Tuatua Spaghetti with Arabiatta Sauce.|
|S01E07||Tongaporutu to New Plymouth||05/03/2011||This week's coastal journey is along the energy coast, beginning at Tongaparutu, famous for its rock formation, "The Three Sisters", reduced to two by a powerful storm in 2003. Taranaki is often called the Texas of New Zealand, and geologist Vince Neall explains how the region's underground reservoirs of crude oil and natural gas came about. Al heads south, following the coastal edge of the Taranaki Basin. For centuries, this stunning low tide route provided the main access for people travelling into this part of Taranaki. At White Cliffs Al meets up with local coaster and farmer John Cawley who is gathering mussels. Before long they've filled a bag, then it's off to John's favourite fishing ledge. Further south at Mimi River, Al drops in on local artist John McLean whose love for the coast is reflected in his latest series of 19 paintings called "The Abandoned Farmer". Al joins John down in the lagoon to drag for flounder, then gathers greens in the house garden before preparing a meal of Mussel Fritters with Sautéed Whole Flounder & Herb Butter Sauce. Refreshed and refuelled Al makes his way to Fitzroy Beach and to meet surf photographer Daisy Day and her husband Arch Arthur, who together they have the local surf scene covered - running the local surf shop, printing the local surf paper and Arch was instrumental in forming the local surf club. After a quick surfing lesson with Daisy, Al gets out into the water to try out his newly acquired skills. From Fitzroy Beach, Al travels along New Plymouth's coastal walkway and at its centre the magnificent Len Lye wind wand. Len Lye was one of our most influential modern artists, widely known for his kinetic sculptures. Local engineer John Matthews from the Govett-Brewster Gallery collaborated with Lye to build many of them, and is spearheading a move to realise more of Lye's un-constructed designs. Before completing his journey along the energy coast, ther|
|S02E01||Farewell Spit||00/00/0000||Steve Logan picks up the journey around New Zealand, exploring the unique connection that Kiwis have with their coasts.|
|S02E02||Auckland West Coast||00/00/0000||Steve meets a colourful artist in Karekare, drops in on the 'camp mother' in Piha, and tunes in to some local musicians at Bethells beach.|
|S02E03||Turakirae Head||00/00/0000||Steve bikes the rugged coast of Palliser Bay from the rock climbing haunt of Turakirae Head to the bulldozer capital of the country – the fishing village of Ngawi.|
|S02E04||South Westland||00/00/0000||On South Westland's remote and rugged coast Steve drops in on a pioneering cattle farming family, then meets a local chopper pilot who flies him to Gorge River.|
|S02E05||Hicks Bay To East Cape||00/00/0000||Steve's on the East Cape and meets up with an old school mate, gets the good oil on a business that's thriving and hooks up with some locals turning East Island into a wildlife sanctuary.|
|S02E06||Cloudy Bay||00/00/0000||Steve explores the Southern side of Cook Strait. He discovers the source of our table salt, drops in on a coastal winery and uncovers New Zealand's early human history at Wairau Bar.|
|S02E07||Waitemata||00/00/0000||Steve's in the City of Sails exploring the Waitemata harbour. He heads out on a coastguard patrol, catches up with a family of boat builders, and drops in on the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.|
|S02E08||North Otago||00/00/0000||Steve checks out the local paua re-seeding project at Karitane's Huriawa Peninsula, then uncovers an ancient ocean dweller embedded in rock, and dines out with Fleur at her Moeraki seafood restaurant.|
|S02E09||Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers||00/00/0000||Travelling the Hawkes Bay coast, Steve learns about the early whalers at Mahia, meets a surfing lawyer, and takes a ride on a tug at Port Napier.|
|S02E10||Whananaki To Poor Knights Islands||26/07/2014||On the Tutukaka Coast, Steve walks the longest footbridge in the Southern hemisphere, meets an artist at Whale Bay and joins legendary diver Wade Doak to snorkel at the Poor Knights.|