A new year and can you believe we are already well in to February? I am loving 2017 so far as we have been busy travelling and visiting family and there is still more to come! We’ve been to Adelaide and Melbourne, have had visitors and are expecting more soon and we are even having a bit of a mini holiday in Hobart as I was lucky enough to win a prize of 2 nights’ accommodation at Somerset on the Pier right here in Hobart. How cool is that!? We are also making plans to do a bit more travel here in Tasmania as well so I will keep you posted on our travels. While I am at home I plan to do some recipe writing (I have to tie my mum down and get her to help me with her recipes as most of them are not written down anywhere) and do a bit more work on that elusive memoir/recipe book I am in the process of writing..
So today I am giving you a quick teaser of what to look out for in the coming weeks/months as I share our New Zealand stories with you. I think I may have mentioned previously Wayne and I did some travel in New Zealand late last year. When we were planning this trip I decided to create a spreadsheet (yes I know that sounds so geeky!) of the areas and the places we wanted to see. We read books, watched shows, browsed through brochures and filled in the spreadsheet with all the things we wanted to do and see and thought we covered just about everything . WRONG! We soon came to realise with so much to see and do we would never fit it in on this one trip so now there are plans afoot for at least a few more.
We have decided to call this trip our reconnaissance mission! We have had a taste and learned more about this beautiful country and now we have to start planning for the next trip. Lucky we live so close I say!
We spent just under four weeks traveling around both the North and South Islands, starting in Auckland on the North Island and finishing in Queenstown on the South Island. I found through many conversations that most people seem to enjoy the South Island more, with its soaring mountains, glaciers, well known cities and snowfields but I have to say I was more impressed with the North Island. The North Island seems to be more natural, you meet more locals and the scenery is just as good with plenty of waterfalls, bush walks and natural bubbling pools of mud.
Now, to me a city is a city no matter where in the world you go so I like that fact that after arriving in Auckland in the evening and having a good sleep and yummy breakfast we took off in our rental car to head north. Unfortunately we didn’t get as far north as we would have liked due to time constraints but we did manage to get to Paihia and what a wonderful spot it is! We visited Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, Napier and Wellington before heading across on the ferry to Picton, Nelson, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Lake Tekapo and Queenstown. We had other plans for our last few days but due to an earthquake (in the Kaikoura area) we ended up cutting our trip short and missed out on the Glaciers. Next time!
We saw so much, took over a thousand photos, laughed a lot and as with most travel learned so much. I find I always learn something new each time I travel, little titbits which come in handy and help when organising the next trip. I learned on this trip that the least expensive hotels are usually the better places to stay. The small concerns run by people who take pride in what they do and are interested in their guests. The large and expensive hotels give you nothing. They are rarely clean, the service is non-existent and the maintenance is very lack-lustre. This goes for restaurants and even tourist attractions. We found so many lovely places, nice people and good food just by driving around with a map and a sense of humour!
All of these stories I will share with you but for now I will share just a couple of photos to whet your appetite. That is what it is all about. And rest assured I will be expanding on this and sharing all the wonderful places we visited on our travels. Enjoy!