Amish in Florida – photos for Radio NZ talk

I’m talking about the ‘Amish in Florida’ on Radio NZ’s programme Nights (Our Own Odysseys) with Bryan Crump on Tuesday 24th Jan . Here’s a link to the audio and also to my blog about these photos and their pedal-powered buggiesweb3-wheeled-horse-and-buggy web84-years-old-and-still-working-long-hours webbird-houses-are-popular webonly-horse-and-buggy-in-town webquilt-is-are-a-tradition-among-plain-people

Listen in on Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 1910, or check the podcast later

Tips on how to be a good social media friend.

How to be a good Facebook, social media, friend, or blog follower is quite simple. It’s called ‘netiquette’ an online version of etiquette. Basically, it’s just being a good social networking friend to both the person blogging, or posting on Facebook, and to your other friends too.

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So how to be that good friend?

Just like all those funny, or cat video clips we watch and repost, it’s really helpful to your writing friend, or photographer, or artist, to repost their work too. Artists and writers need people to read their work or consider the artwork whether this is by pencil, paint or camera.

Another way is to comment on the piece, or ask a question, or tag a friend telling them, “hey Pat you will enjoy this” or “how about we go here on our next weekend break Peter”. Your other friends will value the fact you were thinking of them, and are introducing them to artists or writers or bloggers will no doubt trust your taste, after all you’re friends so will have much in common.

If you have read one of my books, could you also add a wee comment about it on Amazon. Links to my blogs, Facebook pages (four of them!) and other social media pages are on my webpage for easy access.

So see, it is really easy to be a good friend to your writing friend, your favourite photographer, or local artist – and that tiny commitment will make a huge difference to them. Sitting at home, creating without any feedback, can be difficult, and for travel writers like me, it’s often the interaction I have with my followers that shows tourist destinations or activities that yes, this is a person we should invite to our city, country, or event. The more they can see that people follow me and enjoy my writing the more likely I am to get invitations or commissions to write.

One word of warning though, if you are anything like me, you need to do this instantly you see the blog or Facebook post or it will be gone forever, lost in all the other daily activity and busy minds! This doesn’t have to be a big chore, once a day would be wonderful.

And, if you repost blog links (or posts) to my pages on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media like StumbleUpon or Instagram, add a hashtag # (eg #kiwitravelwriter or #travel or #goodblog) I’d be really grateful: so, ‘thank you’ in advance.



Why no posts kiwitravelwriter?

Sorry I’ve not been posting for last month. I fractured my right wrist nearly 4 weeks ago (right is my dominant arm) so finding one finger left hand writing difficult and slow. 

Also finding it hard to take photos which is a pain as I’m travelling in Oman and UAE right now. Still have few and will post after the cast is off on 10th November!  Unfortunately they just are not as good as I expect of myself!

In the meantime go back and check some old posts and pictures you haven’t seen … I’ve published some 1200 posts as I recall.


Leaving New Zealand with my silver fern on my cast – supporting our big love … the ALL BLACKS rugby team which we love win or loose. (All our sports team wear the silver fern – a native tree fern)

50 shades of green and blue in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji

‘They’ say, one picture is a thousand words: if this is so, sit back relax and enjoy this 2,800 word slideshow about the 50 shades of green and blue in the northern Fijian waters and the Yasawa islands.

Recently I was invited to cruise, for 4 nights, five days on the Fiji Princess – a boutique catamaran that can host a max of 64 guests – I loved the days of relaxing, sailing, eating, beach visits, snorkeling, visiting a village for dinner then the next day the only High School in the islands, eating Fijian food, and enjoying an eclectic group of fellow travellers from New Zealand, Australia, USA, Belgium, UK, Germany – and maybe others.

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To see more of my travels and lifestyles of the people of these remote island sign up to follow my blog (top right – no spam ever, only an email when I publish a new blog)


New ebook on green-eco travel. The Kiwitravelwriter explores Malaysian Borneo

The Kiwitravelwriter explores Malaysian Borneo in her new book … and uses her travels to consider how green she is, or isn’t: it’s a combination of essay and memoir. (Sorry, but no photos in the book – see my blog posts for them)


The long title says it all “A love letter to Malaysian Borneo. Or, can this travel writer be green?” 

The cover photo was taken in Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary by a young Italian man – who, incidentally, was the person who first spotted an endangered clouded leopard during a night safari we were on in the same area.




Turtles studied and protected in National Marine Park, Malaysia

I arrive on an island (Talang-Talang) to see where turtles are being studied and protected in the Tanjung Datu National Park,  Sarawak. Malaysia.

This is just a heads up to let you know I will write this story within the next 24 hours … it was a very special two days and included watching turtles laying eggs and releasing babies that hatched that evening.

Sign up (on the right) so you get an email of the latest blog. (NOTE: Your address will be used for NOTHING but emails alerting you to the blog)

The kiwitravelwriter, (Heather Hapeta) arrives on Talang-Taland Island, Sarwawak, Malaysian Borneo. photo by Gustino from Sarawak Tourism Board, who hotested me)
The kiwitravelwriter, (Heather Hapeta) arrives on Talang-Talang Island, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Photo by Gustino, from the Sarawak Tourism Board who hosted me.

Join the kiwi travel writer in Turkey?

Fancy joining the kiwi travel writer in Turkey – read on . . .

“I can’t wait to go back in May next year.  When I rave about this tour people ask me what I liked most, I think I exhaust them with so many highlights” so says Anna, director and owner of 50plustravel when talking about her recent trip to Turkey.

She continues. “We had lots of fun strolling around the Grand Bazaar, exploring many small and humble shops. It is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 5,000 shops – which is why we only visited a few! There are whole streets of shops specialising in jewellery, leather goods, ceramic and spices to list just a few. There are thousands of things you can find, bargain for, and then buy in the Grand Bazaar. It’s also an opportunity to discover the utterly fabulous Turkish hospitality and of course drink their sweet apple tea.”

Now I’m excited too … I am joining her New Zealand team for the 20-day tour of Turkey in May 2012.  As a travel writer it will be fun to be able to help anyone on the small group who wants to improve their writing about their travels by passing on some tips that I’ve learnt over the years of writing about travel for newspapers and magazines. (See my webpage for more information about my writing, my book, and some of the publications I’ve appeared in. Note: my book, Naked in Budapest, was read, in seven episodes, on Radio NZ National earlier this year and the book has a chapter of Turkey – it will be fabulous to get back there.)

One of my favourite photos from my last trip: taken in Safranbolu - home of the 'best Lokum (turkish delight) in Turkey

What I’m looking forward to see  again is Cappadocia, then Konya, home of the Whirling Dervishes; and Karavanserai where we will see a resting house used on the ancient Silk Road and having a Turkish Folklore evening with its “all you can eat and drink” Turkish meal, local folk dancers, and a belly dancer!

I’m particularly looking forward to watching the sunrise from our Hot Air Balloon ride – this will definitely be one of the highlights of the tour for me.

Anna’s newsletter saidWe did not want to leave Turkey! I can’t wait to take you there in May next year. I’d love you to have the same experience as we had and see for yourself this marvellous destination.  Please book NOW as our groups are small and places are limited.” (See the map here)

Discover Turkey Tour
Istanbul Gallipoli Selcuk Kusadasi Kas Antalya Cappadocia Ankara Bursa

20 outstanding days. Depart NZ 20th May 2012 – Originally $6,975 now $6,775

SAVE $200 … see the webpage for more goodies

Of course you don’t have to leave from New Zealand – I can meet you in Istanbul!

I need to loose weight … so doing it in public

I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes!

This means I need to get healthier and loose weight so have decided to blog about it .. ‘they’ tell me I’m as sick as my secrets so will let it all hang out so to speak, and hope that reporting on my successes and failures online will keep me on the straight and narrow.

Sign up to follow and support me here — my blogspot blog.

Kiwitravelwriter included on 101 Most Awesome Adventure & Travel Twitterers

heather on camel

Just had to pass this information on

(after all there are another 100 travel writers you need to know about, not just me):

Hi Heather,
Congrats! You’ve made our “101 Most Awesome Adventure & Travel Twitterers You Should Be Following” list!
You can see the list here:

We worked hard to compile a list of awesome people like you who embody passion, adventure, and share their best traveling tips via Twitter.

I love connecting with new globetrotting friends who love travel and adventure as much as I do, so connect with me at

(and if you’d like to share the 101 list on twitter, here’s a handy link:

Travel wide and live dangerously!

Markus Mindaugas

If you like my writing, my book is for sale HERE

Join me on my FACEBOOK PAGE The Kiwi Travel Writer

Heather (L) joins in the fun of Thai Buddhist new year festivities
Heather (L) joins in the fun of Thai Buddhist new year festivities

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