Well hello there everyone! Sorry that it has been a little time between blog posts. I had planned to have all garments sewn during 2017 blogged during 2017 – but that just isn’t going to happen! You know, Christmas, life, and preparing for holidays!
As is very obvious from the title of this blog post, we are now in New Zealand! We arrived yesterday after a flight that involved some turbulence (with corresponding nausea and vomiting, especially from the poor teen. It’s almost inevitable nowadays that she will vomit during landing. That doesn’t put her off coming overseas though!) The flight from Melbourne takes less than four hours – around the same as a flight from Melbourne to many other parts of Australia.
Once we arrived we collected our hire car (only just fitting luggage for four people into the boot – thank goodness for my tetris packing skills) and headed off to our Auckland accommodation. We’re staying at an Air BnB in Lynfield. It’s a beautiful, peaceful location. We’re quickly realising that much of New Zealand is hilly, and that water views abound.
There’s a beautiful cliff top walk nearby – just the thing to soak in the air, admire the vegetation and listen to the birds. In our brief time here so far NZ is much like Australia in many ways (and let’s face it, most Australians have lots of Kiwi friends/relatives – the two countries and closely linked) yet there are also differences that become more and more apparent. And after all, don’t we go overseas to appreciate and learn from the differences?
Some of our more cynical friends laughed at us when we told them our next overseas holiday was NZ. “New Zealand – is that actually overseas”? Too right it is! International flight, passports, different money (fortunately the exchange rate is ever so slightly in our favour), international roaming on our phone, and Woolworths is called Countdown (much to Stella’s great entertainment). We must be overseas! But it’s so easy travelling in a country where everyone speaks English and the road rules are pretty much the same as at home too.
As I type this I’m trying to get the family up and moving. There’s a two hour time difference and although it’s nearly 9am here it’s not quite 7am in their minds. We need to adjust! There’s so much to see and to do!
Actually, we’re fairly realistic – we know that there is no way we can see and do everything. There are whole areas we had to cut from our itinerary because it’s just not possible to do this beautiful country complete justice in three and a half weeks. That’s okay – it leaves more places to explore for our next visit! In terms of our itinerary, this is how it looks:
- Auckland – 3 nights
- Rotorua – 4 nights
- Te Harato – 2 nights
- Wellington – 2 nights
- Nelson – 2 nights
- Greymouth – 1 night
- Franz Josef – 2 nights
- Wanaka – 1 night
- Queenstown – 2 nights
- Te Anau – 2 nights
- Dunedin – 2 nights
- Christchurch – 2 nights
We will definitely be visiting Hobbiton, Franz Josef Glacier and doing a cruise on Milford Sound. The rest of what we’re up to is flexible. There is so much on offer, but we endeavour to pick the most family friendly set of activities for our group (extended winery tours or four hour hikes won’t be happening). It means minimal (if any) fabric shopping but plenty of smiles from the 10 year old and almost 15 year old. Sadly Stella’s strong dislike of caves – especially those with water in them – means that Waitomo Caves and the gloworms are probably out of the question. Sob.
Accommodation wise we’re mixing it up between Air BnBs (including a farm stay) and cabins in holiday parks. Hopefully this will work out well for us.
So, if you’re reading my blog for the sewing – it’s now become a travel blog for the next three and a half weeks! I know that will keep my Mum and Dad happy – it is great that technology allows us to share what we are up to so easily.