Cruising on the Interislander

In February, my husband and I packed up the motorbike and headed out a road trip adventure around the South Island. I have been really looking forward to writing about this, but at the same time, putting it off a bit because I just don’t know where to start. It was such an epic trip, in such a beautiful part of the country; I want to make sure I do it justice!

Our trip began on the eve of Waitangi day, we were on a 5pm sailing and at 1pm, I still hadn’t packed. Packing for a motorbike trip can be quite quick, you don’t have a lot of luggage space so there isn’t actually that much to pack. On the other hand, it can be quite a challenge deciding what is really essential and deserves a space in the small side pannier.

Between us we have 1 set of panniers, a small backpack and a tank pack. Somehow, I managed to fit all of this:

Into this:

Packing completed. Time to head to the ferry.

While waiting to board, we got chatting to another motorcyclist. One of the things I love about travelling on a motorbike is that you are instantly in a club. When out on the road, other riders will give you a nod or a wave, and when you’re parked up, they will just start chatting to you, sharing stories of the adventures they have had on their bike.

Wellington had put on some nice weather for us, thankfully. I don’t really have an issue with motion sickness, but the cook straight can get pretty rough. I have been on one of those rough sailings and I don’t wish to do it again!

Beautiful day to set sail

The ferry ride is around 3.5 hours, about an hour of which is through the picturesque Marlborough sounds. We had a pretty smooth sailing, apart from a rough 30 minute patch after we left the shelter of Wellington harbour.  It was a full sailing and the motorbikers were last to board, so all the inside seats and the outside seats at the front were taken by the time we got on board. We ended up in the only available seats we could find, which happened to be outside in the smokers area, but also in the centre of the boat. Now here is a tip from my mum to you – ‘Stay in the centre of the boat, it’s more stable there’. Yes the boat was rocking and we watched the horizon going up and down, but neither of us had any sea sickness. When I went inside to get some food, I passed a lot of very ill looking passengers. Excellent advice mum!

It’s near impossible to get a photo of Daniel smiling. He pulls a face every time the camera comes out (unless he is standing next to a Super Car, then he will smile!)

We then entered the calm waters of the Marlborough sounds. It is so picturesque and beautiful. A flock of birds effortlessly glide through the air, following alongside the boat. The water is so still and the setting sun casts a golden glow across the hills. I watch as birds feed on schools of fish that have risen to the surface.

What a way to start our holiday.

We arrived in Picton, a quiet, peaceful town and drove a couple of minutes down the road to our accommodation. Tonight we are staying at Sequoia Lodge Backpackers,  a pretty place, with tropical looking plants, a spa pool and giant chess set. The rooms were simple but clean. All we needed.

We then decided to head across the road to a local pub, Crow Tavern, to grab some dinner and a wine. The pub has a bit of a kitch, kiwiana feel to it, the staff are friendly and there is a really chilled out atmosphere.  This  place feels  like it is a bit of a community hub, reading the notices on the board I learn that Kerri-oke is cancelled this Saturday as Kerri is away.  

That made me smile. 

But now it’s time to get some rest. We have a decent ride a head of us tomorrow we want to be feeling fresh for the next leg of the journey.

The Details

There are 2 ferry companies that operate between Wellington and Picton, The Interislander (which we traveled on) and Blue Bridge. Both companies have multiple sailing times during the day.

Our return trip for 2 adults and a motorbike cost us $336. (You need to take your own tie downs for the motorbike)

Sequoia Lodge Backpackers is in a convenient location and only a couple of minutes drive from the ferry terminal. Linen, towels and breakfast is included in the price. There are a variety of room types to suit all budgets. We stayed in a double room with shared bathroom for $76.

Cemetery Circuit

Boxing day.

In some families, there is a tradition of hitting the shops. Grabbing a bargain from the many sales, or picking up what you actually wanted for Christmas.

For others, its a day to relax and unwind from the hectic few weeks leading up to Christmas.

But in our family, Boxing day is race day.

Cemetery circuit, Whanganui.

For those not in the know, the Boxing Day races are a series of motorcycle races. You will see pre ’89 classics, super bikes and even sidecars racing around the circuit. I quite like the side cars.

Its always an early start, no sleep in, the post Christmas rest doesn’t start for another day for us. From Wellington, it takes about 2.5 hours to Whanganui. We have great weather so decide to take our motorbike up.

Its a beautiful day for a ride.

As we approach Whanganui the amount of motorbikes on the road increases. Everyone has had the same idea as us. We find a park (much easier on a motorbike), pick up a program and head in. Fumes, noise, engines revving seeking attention from the spectators. There is a buzz in the air, excitement for the days racing ahead.

Today we have tickets to the VIP section. Seating, shade, catering and a big screen so you don’t miss anything. What else could you ask for. Oh, and they even supply earplugs. Trust me, you want to have earplugs! You get so close to the track with street racing that the noise is quite intense.

We stay in the VIP section only long enough to say hi to a couple of people, grabs some drinks (and several chocolate brownies) and then we head out.

Daniel’s favourite spot to watch the race is the inside of turn 1 so this is where we go. It’s a difficult corner (sharp turn) and also exciting as it’s right after the start and the riders are still all bunched together. Often the winning riders will pull victory wheelies down this stretch of road too.

We may have left the comfort of our VIP stand, but we are where the action is and fortunately there are trees here to provide some shade. It’s a hot day. We spend most of our time here at turn 1, only popping back to the VIP section when we want food or drinks.

Speed. Adrenaline. The odd crash (These often happen at turn 1, I think that’s why Daniel likes that spot) A distant buzz gets louder and louder as the bikes approach the corner. You feel the rumble through the ground. The crowds heads all turned left, waiting, watching. Who will be in the lead? The motorcycles whip around the corner, and in synchronised fashion, all heads turn right following them.

Zoom.

They are gone. Blink and your will miss it. Wait a few minutes, then repeat.

And so the day goes on like this. Its a fun family event and a great day out. I have learnt to enjoy motorbikes and watching motorbike racing. There is something quite thrilling about it and Daniel is so enthusiastic and passionate, it’s hard not to like it too.

This is how we spend our Boxing Day. How do you spend yours?

The Details

The event traditionally happens on Boxing Day in Whanganui. Cemetery circuit is made up of 1.5km of closed off roads through the streets of Whanganui. The circuit passes the old town cemetery, which is how the track gets it’s name. This annual event has been happening since 1951 and hosts NZ and international riders.

There are different tiers of tickets, ranging from $25 for general admission to $275 for VIP tickets. For more information, you can check out the website here. Cemetery Circuit

Wharekauhau Country Estate

It was a wet stormy day. I’m talking rain so thick and heavy it was causing flooding and landslips. We were in the car, already running late, stuck in traffic, trying to make it to our special lunch reservation.

Wharekauhau Country Estate in the Wairarapa was on our radar today. It’s where Daniel and I got engaged and we decided to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this by returning there for lunch (not in a helicopter this time!)

We arrived at the lodge, late, and rushed in. Instantly the frantic hours of the morning left us as we were warmly welcomed by the staff, shown to the lounge room and served a glass of bubbles. The staff are wonderful. Warm, friendly and attentive – they are a real testament to the place.

The place was just as exquisite as I had remembered. Beautifully decorated and luxurious yet still retaining a casual air to it which instantly makes you feel relaxed and at home.  It was December, but not a warm balmy summer day. All the doors and windows were open though and they had the fires going. A beautiful warmth within the walls, while letting the wild mood of the outdoors in. So great!

We were shown to our dining room (you get the whole room to yourself) and introduced to our host Grant, who, throughout the afternoon, while serving our meals, shared proposal stories with us from his time at Wharekauhau. A nice personalised touch.

Our room contained a model of the Estate, being able to view the property from above gave me flash backs to that magical day when we arrived on the front lawn of the property by helicopter.

Guys, let me just say, if there is a special lady in your life that you are wanting to spoil (or propose to) Wharekauhau is the place to do it! The Helilunch is an awesome experience.

Wharekauhau operate a 5 course, ‘trust the chef’ menu. They will cater for dietary requirements, but other than that, what you eat is the chef’s choice.(For the main course you do get a couple of options to choose from.)

The menu packed a punch from the start; curry spiced carrot soup with coconut, macadamia, fennel and labneh. Full of flavour! ‘From the sea’ was next on the menu. Now I am a vegetarian and my husband is a big meat eater, so I was interested to see what they would do with this. Our meals came out looking identical, but Daniel’s was made with line caught trevally, and mine made from tofu. I was so impressed. I am sure it must take quite a lot of skill and creativity to do that. This was followed by 2 more delectable courses and finished off with my favourite, dessert. White chocolate and drunken nanny goats curd cheesecake with balsamic strawberries, pink peppercorn and garden mint. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Wharekauhau is not fine dining. It’s a step above. It’s luxurious dining.

After lunch we were shown a couple of the other rooms, one that was set up with a whisky bar another that was a games room. Board games, couches, a pool table, we were encourage to stay a while and use the facilities while we were there. The first time we were at Wharekauhau the weather was much more agreeable so we are able to have a wander around the extensive grounds. This time we chose to stay indoors and play a couple of games of pool. (And help myself to the lolly jars.)

The afternoon went way to quickly, but wow!

What a special place it is. When dining at Wharekauhau, you will relax, indulge your taste buds in an explosion of flavours and most import, leave with some special memories.

This place is quite dear to my heart and I am pretty certain we will return again.

The Details

Wharekauhau Country Estate is located in the Wairarapa, approximately 1.5 hours drive from Wellington. They provide luxurious accommodation and dining. A 5 course, Trust the Chef meal will cost you $165 per person. There is also the option to add on a 3 or 5 wine paring package to your meal if you wish.

The Northern Loop Walk

I love being in nature, surrounded by bush, listening to the birds or on a beach with the sound of the ocean, so on my second day on Waiheke Island I decided to get out to explore the island a bit.

Waiheke has a number of different walks suitable for a variety of fitness levels and ranging in length and time.

I chose the Northern Loop Walk, an 8.5km walk with difficulty level rated moderate. Usually you would start the track from the Matiatia Bay ferry terminal, but as it was a loop track, I started on the other side from Karora Road where my accommodation was located.

Very convenient!

The black dot is Matiatia Bay where the track starts

The first part of the walk led me twisting and turning along the hillside, around a vineyard and past olive trees. The whole time I kept thinking, I could be in Tuscany right now. It reminded me so much of Italy. I went to Tuscany mid last year in search of the romantic, dreamy, picture perfect shots I had seen. I never realised that it also existed here in New Zealand.

A little bit further and I came to a clearing offering the first of many spectacular views.  I am sure I added on at least an hour to my walk from all the stops. There were so many amazing photo opportunities. (And so hard to choose which shots to include in this post!)

The track lead me along the top of rugged cliffs and then down to a quiet, secluded bay. It was the perfect place to stop for a rest and a bite to eat. Continuing on I headed past flax bushes filled with Tui and reeds that were dancing in the breeze.  Cicadas were going about their day, their happy chirping filling the air.

Back into the forest, I was followed by curious Piwakawakas (Fantails) flittering around the trees. They like to follow humans as we disturb the leaf floor and stir up all the bugs and grubs for them to eat. There are lots of seats along the way to stop and rest and enjoy the view, to be still, listen to the birds and the ocean.

I decided to take a detour up a hill through the forest. With Tui’s darting overhead through the canopy, the cool walk was a welcomed change to the heat of the day. The 10 minute detour took me to Cable Bay vineyard. I arrived hot and sweaty wearing sneakers and active wear. I thought possibly they wouldn’t want to serve me – I certainly wasn’t dressed to match the beautiful setting, but I was quickly welcomed in.

Before long I was enjoying  a light lunch and (if I do say so myself) a well earnt glass of pinot gris. The Zucchini salad was creamy and delicious, I ate it slowly, savoring each mouthful. With Post Modern Jukebox playing in the background the atmosphere was chilled and relaxed.

Just what I needed.

Hydrated, refueled and legs nicely numbed after the pinot gris, I set off for the last leg of the walk towards home, but not without making one last detour to Oneroa village. Shopping isn’t really my thing, but if it’s your vibe, you will find some cute little boutique shops here well worth visiting. The draw card in Oneroa Village for me – Island Gelato Company . A funky little gelataria with a delicious and creative selection of flavours.

I was spoilt for choice.

Basil & lime, burnt caramel coconut, strawberry and balsamic – I sampled a few and I can assure you, whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. I settled on yogurt lemon thyme shortbread gelato – creamy with such intense flavour.

Oh my. It was amazing!

After a rest in my tent at Fossil Bay, I made my way back to the village to Too Fat Buns, to grab a take away burger for dinner. Fresh and tasty, they have a great menu catering for a range of dietary requirements including vegan and gluten free. 
I ate my burger on Oneroa Beach, watching dogs enjoy their salty playground and reminiscing about my time on Waiheke.

Tomorrow I must leave Island time behind and head back to my 9-5, but not without first promising myself that I will return.

On Waiheke, you truly feel a world away from everything.

What a little paradise I discovered

The Details

The Northern loop walk apparently takes around 2-3 hours. It took me about 5 hours. I did however make many stops for photos and took a detour to the winery. I also came across a couple of closed sections of track, but the detours are well marked.  I have a pretty poor sense of direction. If it’s possible to get lost then I will, however, I had no trouble navigating my way around the walk, even with the detours.

Make sure you check the tides. Part of the track is tidal (Matiatia Bay, where you actually walk along the beach) I didn’t realise this and had to take another detour (sign posted) up a rather steep hill which added more time to my walk. Best to try and time this for low tide!

My first time Glamping

Fossil Bay Lodge.

From the moment I arrived, I knew it was a place I was going to love.

Nature. Stillness. Tranquillity.

Perfect.

I was welcomed onto the property by doves and a sweet little chicken named Rosie.

I then met the owner and was lead past trees, reeds and a pond, then across a bridge to my generously sized canvas tent. The surrounding water was home to a Pukeko (a native New Zealand bird) and a mamma duck with her ducklings.

My room was beautifully presented; a super comfy looking bed covered with lots of pillows, a mirror and a couple of chairs. Freshly picked flowers sat in a vase on the table. Sometimes it’s the little details that make all the difference.

Camping with comfort. No foam mat on the floor for me.

There was a communal kitchen and a lovely dining room with a very homely feel to it. It looked like a converted glass house, light and bright, it let the outdoors in.

I had my own private outdoor bathroom fitted with a composting toilet, hand basin and hot water shower.  Tree stump stepping stones connected my tent to the bathroom. The child in me couldn’t resist hopping from one stump to the next. It had to be done.

While showing among the trees, I watched a Tui (another native NZ bird) dance around in a nearby eucalyptus tree.

No city noise, no traffic or hustle and bustle, just the sound of nature.

This is how you refuel your batteries.

As the day turned from dusk to night the sound of the birds was replaced with the chirping of insects.  Warm and snug in my bed, I feel asleep to the sound of nature, the soft pitter patter of rain on the tent canopy and then woke in the morning to dawn’s chorus.

It has been many years since I last went camping.

I had forgotten how much I love it.

The Details

Fossil Bay Lodge is a boutique accommodation providing cottages, glamping and a self contained apartment. Set amongst trees and surrounded with birds, it’s the perfect place to switch off and relax.

Located on the western side of Waiheke Island, it is in a great location, close to beaches, Oneroa village and walks. The standard tent like I stayed in will cost you $100 a night and sleeps 2 people.

Zip, Wine & Dine

For my first day on the island paradise of Waiheke Island I joined a day tour called Zip, Wine & Dine. As the name suggests, the day consisted of zip lining, wine, a vineyard lunch, wine, an olive grove, and, you guessed it, more wine.

My tour began in Auckland where I picked up my tour tickets and boarded the ferry for a short trip across the Hauraki Gulf. The scenic sailing offered great views looking back to the city, took me past golden sandy bays, islands and even Rangitoto, a volcanic island.

I had a beautiful sunny day for my crossing, but as we headed out from the shelter of Auckland harbour the wind picked up. As a Wellingtonian I am accustomed to wind, but let’s just say, on this day, it gave the windy capital some fierce competition.

We docked at Mataitai Bay and I was greeted by No’oroa, our driver for the morning. No’oroa is one of those people who is gifted at hospitality. Friendly and welcoming, he lost no time making jokes and sharing stories of the island with his new friends.

Waiheke Island is the second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf. With approximately 9000 people calling the place home, it is the most populated. The name Waiheke translates to cascading waters.

Our short drive to EcoZip Adventures saw our van winding up the hill through forest and blooming pohutakawa trees. The pohutakawa tree is fondly known in Aotearoa as the New Zealand Christmas tree as it is adorned with beautiful red blossoms around Christmas time. When the trees start to flower, you know that summer is on its way. Fun fact, there are also yellow Pohutakawa trees. I had never seen them before, or even heard of them until this trip but there were several lining the road to the entrance to EcoZip Adventures.

With our harnesses on we were ready to begin zipping above the forests. You may recall from my last post that I don’t like heights. I don’t really know why some heights I am ok with and some I am not, but the zip lining turns out to be one of those heights that doesn’t give me the hibijibis. Nice.

There are 3 zip lines, beginning with the shortest and gentlest gradient to ease you into it. This one is known as the Vinyard Zipline as you soar above syrah vines. The second line, a little bit longer and a little bit steeper offers great views across the harbour and out to Auckland city. The last line is the main event, longer and steeper, you can reach up to speeds of 60Km/h. With wind rushing through my hair I experienced the thrill of speeding through the air and the chance to view the canopy from above.

A 20 minute walk back to the office lead us through beautiful native New Zealand bush. Along the way, our guides shared stories and facts about the flora and fauna. With the arrival of the first settlers, deforestation cleared a lot of the original forest to make way for farmlands.  However, part of the walk takes you through a section of ancient forest that has survived. It’s hard to describe how it was different, the look and feel of it, but it was, it was so unlike what I am used to. Large vines draped around huge old trees, place felt like it was bursting with ancient stories to be told.

With the adrenaline activities complete, it was now time to move onto the wine. There are around 30 wineries on Waiheke Island with their main produce being red wines. Our tour included visits to 3 of these boutique vineyards.

Our first stop was Stonyridge. A beautiful winery with a European feel, the building is covered in vines and overlooks rolling hills dotted with grapevines and olive trees. I felt like I was in Italy. They are best known for their cabernet blends but also produce olive oil. The wine tasting was done outside by the vines followed by a light lunch set up under a marquee.

Olive oil was next on the agenda at Rangihoua Estate where we heard a brief talk about the estate and the process involved in making olive oil. The olive grove has over 1000 trees and harvest is done by hand. It takes 7kgs of olives to produce just 1L of oil. Thinking back to my little olive tree at home, I think I would be lucky to get 100ml of olive oil from its crop!

We then tasted 4 olive oils, all delicious, (olive oil and fresh bread is one of my favourite things) and I left with a small bottle of their extra virgin ‘Koroneki’ oil to enjoy at home.

We then went onto Casita Miro, a Spanish styled winery that pairs tapas with its wine tastings. Perched up on a hill it had views over the vines and out towards the sea. My sweet tooth delighted in the “Madame Rouge’ a fortified wine beautifully paired with their Madame Rouge walnuts.

The tour didn’t finish here, our last stop was picture perfect Mud Brick. Our wine tastings were done amongst the vines as our guide shared a bit of the wineries history and process that goes into producing the wine. The tour concluded at the top of the vineyard which offered 360 views out across the ocean. With beanbags scattered amongst the lavender and olive trees, it was the perfect place to sit back and relax before the bus ride back. I ended the tour feeling relaxed and tingly after a day of sunshine and wines.

The Details

I booked my tour through EcoZip Adventures. It was a combo tour which pairs up with Fullers Ferries for the wine tasting component of the tour. It will set you back $294NZD and is a full day tour. The price includes a light lunch as well as return ferry tickets between Auckland and Waiheke. The return ticket is valid for 1 year, so you can return to Auckland after the tour or stay a bit longer and enjoy more of what the island has on offer. You can book this tour here.

The Sky Tower

Auckland.

The City of Sails.

A place that I have been many times, but never really as a tourist. My time there has always been short, in transit to an overseas country or a quick visit for a concert . My most recent trip was the same – an overnight stop on my way to an island paradise, also known as Waiheke Island.

Although  I only had an evening there, I made sure I ticked off the most  touristy thing I could do – The Sky Tower.  The needle point structure stands 328 meters tall and offers uninterrupted views  across the city and out to the Hauraki Gulf.  

The Sky Tower was certainly a trip worth making, but also a challenge. You see, I don’t like heights. I am fine with natural heights, but man made heights, like sky towers, that’s another story. My knees buckle, my heart starts racing and my body seizes up, refusing to move. But I’m all about giving things a go, so up I went. (Although I can assure you that swimming with sharks will not help you overcome your fear of them.)

I jumped in the elevator to take me to the top. The doors to the elevator were glass but I didn’t really notice as the lift shaft was dark and enclosed. But on my way up, without warning, I went from being in the safe little cocoon of the elevator to being able to see straight out (and down) across the city when I passed the section of the lift shaft that was also glass. The shock of it was responsible for the little scream I let out!

Then the doors to the elevator opened, I had made it to the observation deck. Now the hard part, leaving the elevator and walking out towards the edge.  I forced myself to exit and headed straight to the railings. The place is completely enclosed and there is nowhere for you to actually fall, but still, I had to hold onto the railings. I am pleased they were there, completely unnecessary but very reassuring.  Slowly I was able to make my way around the observation deck and eventually, even let go of the railing to take some photos.

For those who are brave, there are sections of floor you can walk across that are just glass, giving you a perfect view of the city 220 meters below. I was not one of these people. Despite signs assuring me the glass was very think and just as safe and the rest of the floor, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t force my feet to stand on it.

With uninterrupted views, it was the perfect place to watch the sun setting behind the Waitakere Ranges. I watched the golden glow slowly slip behind the ranges, taking us from dusk to night.

Just beautiful.

It’s not often I find the time to watch a sunset. I need to do it more often.

From the observation deck I was able to spot my next stop, the Noodle Night Market. A pop up food festival that runs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Celebrating the tastes of Asia, there was a range of delicious food, lanterns and music to be enjoyed under the stars.

With my tofu pancake in hand, I sat down on the grass to enjoy my picnic dinner. Fresh and spicy (like, way spicier than I had expected) it was a memorable dish that left a zing in my mouth long after I had finished my meal.

All the food was served in packaging that was either compostable or recyclable.  It was refreshing to go to an event where there wasn’t a sea of plastic everywhere. We need more events like these.

I’m not really a city person, I would choose nature over a city centre any day, but my evening in Auckland made me realise there is much more for me to discover here. It’s a place that I’m sure will be calling me again, and next time I answer, I will be sure to stay for longer.

Details

The Sky Tower is open 365 days a year (weather permitting) and is located on the corner or Victoria and Federal Streets. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and will cost you $32NZD (adult ticket price) For an extra $4NZD you can upgrade to a Sun & Stars ticket which allows you a second entry within 24 hours so you can view the city by day and night. With 2 restaurants and a café, you can even enjoy the views with a glass of wine or a meal.

The Noodle Night Markets are pop up food festivals  operating in New Zealand’s 3 major cities; Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Visit their website for more information.

Where it all began

Aotearoa.

The Long White Cloud.

Spectacular.

Picturesque.

Home.

There’s an old saying, ‘don’t leave home till you’ve seen the country’ made famous in a NZ tourism commercial in the mid 1980’s.

I am fortunate enough to have spent a few weeks traveling around both the North and South Island on the back of our motorbike. It gave me a taste of this beautiful country and has left me wanting more.

In May 2019, my husband and I embarked on an adventure – a 6 week trip around Europe.

We ate our way around Italy – I may have over indulged on truffles in Tuscany (but oh so good.) We witnessed Petrucci winning his first MotoGP in Mugello and kayaked through the canals of Venice at sunset.

In Slovenia and Croatia we enjoyed the great outdoors, motorcycling some spectacular alpine passes. I experienced the magical Lake Bled from a paddleboard and walked the city walls of Dubrovnik.

Istanbul was exotic: a cruise down the Bosphorus Strait in a luxury yacht, eating our way across European and Asian Istanbul, visiting mosques and doing a terrible job at bartering at The Grand Bazaar.

My blog is called ‘Exploring the Long White Cloud’ so you may be wondering why I am mentioning my trip to Europe? Here’s the thing; while our trip was amazing (and yes I do mean this, it was wonderful), whenever I am overseas, my thoughts always come back to New Zealand. Why? Because it has stolen my heart. I feel so lucky to call this place home and that I want to experience more of it.

It truly is spectacular.

People travel 1000’s of kilometers to visit NZ and I have it right here on my back door. I want to take advantage of that. When we were in Europe, everywhere we went, the people we met – they all wanted to know about New Zealand. The best places to visit, our top tips and if there were any snakes. And fortunately, we had ‘seen the country’.

Such a diverse land; beautiful beaches, lush forests, spectacular glaciers, breathtaking mountain ranges. It has it all.

Although Slovenia comes in at a close second, I think New Zealand will always be my favourite place. With a desire to experience more of my beautiful homeland, I decided that 2020 will be a year of explorations and blogging.

So click ‘follow’ and come join me on my adventures. Let me show you this beautiful land. I am sure you will fall in love with Aotearoa, the Long White Cloud, just like I have.