Travel Highlights of 2022

Just looking at this title, I feel very lucky to be able to write this post. The fact that I have done enough travelling this year to have a post on highlights is a privilege. Even more so that I get to do it here in beautiful Aotearoa.

As I reflect on this year, a lot of my highlights as usual, have been moments – where time seems to stand still, where I am completely absorbed in what’s happening, right there and then and nothing else is important. Like watching brilliant red poppies dance in the breeze at Albert Park, having early morning snuggles in bed with my niece & nephew. Laughing so hard I’m crying with my mum and aunt. The gentle hum of honey bees on a warm Summer’s day at a lavender farm. These kinds of moments are precious and what I believe makes life so sweet.

But I have also done some amazing activities this year that I would like to recap with you. So here are my top 5 travel highlights of 2022.

Dolphin Cruise – Akaroa

There were lots of great things about this cruise. A family owned business in Akaroa, they took us out into Akaroa Harbour (with their dolphin spotting dog) for an afternoon of nature and history. There’s a lot of interesting local history in the area and the guides were very informative. That alone made a fascinating tour. But the highlight of course were the dolphins. The little endangered Hector’s Dolphins with their ‘Mickey Mouse’ fin and silver bodies. They were magnificent. So playful. We saw so many on this tour. Several small pods that came right up to the boat, following along at the bow. It was a very special and memorable afternoon.

Swimming at Anchorage Bay – Abel Tasman

The weather wasn’t particularly kind to us on this trip. I had been dreaming of glorious sunny days, sunbathing on golden sand and swimming in warm crystal clear waters. We got to see Abel Tasman National Park while a tropical cyclone was hitting the country. The trip was still amazing (in a different way to what I had expected) and although challenging at times, there were some beautiful experiences. Swimming at Anchorage, while having the whole bay to myself, after a day of walking, was bliss. The cool water eased the aches and pains in my muscles and I felt completely weightless. It also rained a little. Small drops of water creating ringed ripples on the flat sea surface all around me was so beautiful.

Dining at Ghost Street – Auckland

I think partly why I liked this place so much was because it wasn’t planned, we stumbled across it. An unexpected delight. We were out looking for a place to have dinner, tried a few places that were fully booked and then told to try next door. We wouldn’t have even known there was a restaurant there. Walking down the dark steps into an underground room, we still weren’t even sure what type of cuisine they served. What a treat. This place surprised and delighted, from the decor to the food preparation, the meals and even how you order. It was such an exciting dining experience.

Cycling Lake Dunstan Trail – Clyde/Cromwell

Ok, so this wasn’t technically 2022, I did this right at the end of 2021 so it didn’t get included last year. My brother and I hired e-bikes and cycled the 55km trail from Clyde to Cromwell. I love this part of the country, the lakes are simply stunning. They are so vibrantly coloured. We had perfect weather and enjoyed a day cycling past lakes, cliffs, fields and vineyards. The e-bike made it so easy and we got to enjoy the landscape of one of my favourite parts of the country. It was also really special being able to spend the day with my brother. Memories are made for sharing.

The People

There are lots of things I love about travel, one of them is the people you get to meet. Hands down the most memorable were the group of 8 senior women who did some of their Abel Tasman Kayaking trip with us. Although we were at quite different stages in life, I was drawn to them. They all had their own stories, life adventures to tell. But what stood out to me most, was their sense of adventure, their care for one another and that they had all been strangers, brought together by a love for travel. I really do hope that I am as outgoing and well connected when I am their age. They were quite inspiring.

So there you have it. What have been some memorable moments or activities you have done this year?

4 thoughts on “Travel Highlights of 2022

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