New Zealand · 115 Days · 105 Moments · January 2018

There and Back Again

27 April 2018

Today is my last day 😭I went to work with Si to spend as much time with him as I could. We got to take kids on the Weta with great wind. It went faster than we had taken it all season! We got absolutely soaked because of the waves but it was so worth it! It made it even more exciting. The kids loved it but didn't love the waves. Maria kinda made a disaster out of the day by not towing the kids off the beach but at least Si made my last day so special by taking me sailing 😍 Once all was packed up at the end of the day we went jandals shopping since Si broke 2 pairs in 3 days! Thankfully he found a great deal. We then headed to the airport reminiscing on the amazing 4 months we had together. I can't possibly put into words how amazing it was, how much fun I had, how amazing NZ is, or how wonderful Si is for showing me his country, putting up with my crazy, and supporting me in a foreign place. I truly had the time of my life. Thank you to all who hosted, you made the trip amazing!

26 April 2018

Simon went back to work today and I climbed a volcano! I took an Uber to the ferry that dropped me on the volcano island. I walked so fast up the volcano I felt as if I was the only one there. It was so cool seeing all the volcanic rock everywhere. Almost to the top there were lava caves. I was the only one around so it was very cool but also a bit creepy. I needed a torch to get through but it was magnificent seeing what lava formed. I proceeded up the mount to see the crater and the wonderful view. I even spotted Si and the kiddos!! I sat at the top for a bit and then walked down. Now I felt as if I were on a tourist island πŸ˜’ Since the whole adventure took less time than anticipated I joined Simon on the Weta for a short time and helped pack up boats. We then took the ferry to Auckland city, walked a bit, saw boats, and then came back for our last night dinner. Mother appealed so we ate take away burgers and watched a movie. How us πŸ™ƒ

25 April 2018

Disclaimer: My photos are still on my camera. We drove up to Auckland stopping in Raglan along the way to sit on a lovely beach. I was shocked because Si actually sat on the beach with me! I was so exhausted from not sleeping the night before so we skipped the other town and instead walked to a waterfall. It was 50m high and just poured over a cliff. It was so cool looking down over it. After a quick pie we continued our journey. Simon was so sweet and let me nap on the way. When I woke up he informed me he got bored and we went on a detour to someplace cool. We went to Mt. Victoria? to see old military tunnels and guns. It was fun exploring the tunnels and seeing the magnitude of the operations. The view was also spectacular (Si can I have this photo please?)! Now hungry we picked up pizza and went to the beach for a sunset picnic. We were greeted by a dog more hopeful for food than desirous of his owners attention. The sunset was beautiful and I was envious of the home owners there.

24 April 2018

We left the lake house by about 10am so we could adventure along the way to Simon's Auntie Vye's. we stopped at a dam to take a looksie and then later we stopped in to see Simon's grandma. She was so sweet and when Simon told her I sleep on sails in the Caribbean she said she did too. We decided since we had time to stretch or legs and walk (well I decided because I get antsy). This was a perfect Simon walk because there were activities along the way. First we stopped at the rings, we climbed a tree, played on what seemed like balance beams and had a race, played catch with a fijoa (we stopped before Simon had to tell my mom I got a concussion from a fijoa 🀣), and even saw the Anzac Day set up stuff. Once we made it to Auntie Vye's we were asked to go pick limes from her garden. Thankfully we didn't accidentally pick lemons! We also got to feed the chickens and gather their eggs. Vye made a delicious dinner and Si's Uncle Charlie even came round. All of Si's family was so kind to host

23 April 2018

We began our journey up to Auckland today. We figured since we had time we'd take a few days to get there. Our stop today was at Simon's Auntie Sherry and Phil's lake house on Lake Taupo. We left that afternoon and took the scenic route to see Mt. Doom. Since the weather was cold we figured we'd enjoy the hot pools more this time round. In January it was so hot it was almost unpleasant. With it being chilly the hot pools felt so nice! They were a great way for us to end the day. We arrived at the lake house after dark (not hard when the sun sets at 6pm), made some nachos, got the fire going, and watched Pirates of he Caribbean 2. Needless to say we laughed at Jacks jar of dirt far too hard and ate way too much of Simon's mums delicious cake!

22 April 2018

This morning we went down to the Wellington Market. I was amazed by how much fresh produce there was. Since we weren't in need of any we just grabbed food from the food trucks lining the street. That afternoon we decided to go out sailing. I'd never been on a mono haul so the lean was a bit unsettling at first. It was great fun and we even found a race and pretended to join. The weather was slightly chilly, not much wind, but it was nice and sunny! We spent the rest of the afternoon packing. Since it was our last night Will and Emily came by for dinner. We all laughed at the exchange of wines from the night before. We brought one bottle but they had one cold so they brought our bottle back to us πŸ˜†

21 April 2018

After spending much time talking through our options we decided to go play golf with Simon's dad. Along the way we stopped at the wind turbine. We were able to stand right underneath it and watch the blades rotate. It made you feel dizzy looking up at them as it almost seemed like it was falling over. We proceeded to golf but, it was closed. So we drove to the beach and did a short walk. This was a wild stone beach with a trail up to the top of the mountain (hill? I'm never sure). It was straight up and I felt at any point I'd be greeted by Aragorn, Jon Snow, or Aslan. At the top you could see over to the South Island. It was so windy I was almost worried about being blown off but, the view was gorgeous and I could have sat there half the day. As we walked back down the wind blew against us and Simon jumped and frolicked through the grass. We stopped for ice cream and I later went for a walk up the hill before dinner at Will's. Their homemade pizza was amazing.

20 April 2018

It was such a lovely day all I wanted was to be outside. I walked down the hill with Simon's Mum and Simon picked us up in the car. The three of us went to the warehouse to pick up some things. We ended up in (surprise surprise) Kathmandu. This needs to be the last time as we bought more things πŸ™ˆ We then went for a walk along the waterfront before driving to meet Craig for a walk. The walk was pretty steep but I've been needing the exercise so I didn't complain. We reached the top of the Mt and had about a 360 view of Wellington. It was a bit hazy but it was still gorgeous. The rest of our walk was mostly downhill which was nice. We rewarded ourselves with a cold drink and a good catch up with Craig. Then we went to pick up Simons parents to go to the noodle fest. There weren't as many noodles as expected but the food was still great. We met Will and Emily there and saw a penguin before driving them home. Now we're watching the rugby game under warm blankets.

19 April 2018

We got distracted on our way to the waterfront and stopped at a WWI museum. The exhibit was a Peter Jackson exhibit and probably designed by Weta Workshop as everything was so lifelike. The scenes were all very interesting and there was even a real tanker with people inside. It was a really cool way to feel a part of it. We then wandered through town, went in more outdoor stores, and walked a bit along the waterfront. We retired home to take a much needed nap and awoke to a lovely dinner. We spent the remainder of our evening relaxing.

18 April 2018

With it being nice weather we decided to go to the beach and have a wander. It was all rocky and wildly beautiful. There were many crystal clear tide pools to gaze into housing many starfish, limpets, some crabs, and other cool things. We walked quite a long way finding many paua shells along the way. I came home with far too many. We then drove into town and walked into every outdoor shop we could find. Surprisingly we didn't go broke. That evening Simon found out how terrible I am with video games. Not sure he'll ever ask me to play again. I spent more time lost or crashing cars into things than playing the proper game.

17 April 2018

After such a long day we slept until about 11am. After having a wonderful breakfast (lunch?) of homemade soup we tackled cleaning Simons car. I did the vacuuming while Simon wiped down all the surfaces. It now looks like a new car. We then went to Te Papa (the museum) and wandered through the Maori culture section. We've been so exhausted but surprisingly productive.

16 April 2018

Today was a long day. We left Blenheim to pick up the trailer in Nelson. Simon needed to get a warrant done on the trailer and drop off the outboard for service. If things functioned that quickly in the US we'd all get so much more done in life. We then had to find things to do until we could put the trailer home for the season. I decided to go to the World of Wearable Art museum while Simon took a nap. I was more interested in watched the footage of the show than the actual costumes, but they were impressive. We then took the car to have a bath, get some snacks, and kill more time. Finally we were able to put the trailer in a guy's paddock next to a horse. We sped off to Picton to try to catch a ferry. Realizing we weren't going to make it we stopped in Blenheim for dinner. We managed to get on the 2:30am freight ferry. We were the only car amongst a bunch of trucks. They didn't seem to trust us and gave us baby step instructions. We did have the whole boat to ourselves which was cool

15 April 2018

Today we met Will and Emily in wine country. We were all picked up by the bike rentals and taken to our bikes. We each decided to get tandems and were told this would be a true test of our relationships. Emily and Will took off with such ease but Simon and I were a little less stable. This foreshadowed our fall later on. We managed to bike to 7 different vineyards stopping at one for a wonderful lunch. It was on our way to lunch where Simon and I had our fall. Simon overshot the trail, we ended up in the grass and I half fell half leaped off. Simon nearly lost his phone in a bush πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ Don't worry this was our only fall. We finished up on bean bags cuddling a cute dog before being taken back to our motel. For about the 4th night in a row I fell asleep during the show Simon and I were trying to watch. Spoiler alert: he eventually finishes it without me.

14 April 2018

Pohara πŸš— Blenheim Today we left Pohara and drove over the hill (this time is wasn't snowing) making our way towards Blenheim. We went to a lookout of Golden Bay before we took off. To get to it we had to drive through a hole in the rock. Once we dropped the trailer in Nelson we continued to Blenheim. Since we were in wine country we stopped at two vineyards before checking in to our motel. The first one was quite busy but the fun egg chairs in the cold was still fun. The second was much better. We were the only two in there and the guy was super chatty. He told us all about the wines and differences in how they were made. We then went to our motel before Simon could no longer drive. The guy at the front desk asked us if we'd like a bigger unit so we said sure. Thinking we were still getting a studio we were shocked by the house we received. We walked up stairs and were greeted by a living room with 2 beds, 2 couches, a separate dining area, a big bedroom, giant bathroom, & 2 porches.

13 April 2018

Today we started hauling everything out of the trailer so it could be inventoried, washed, and organized. While Simon got the kids ready I hosed down the inside of the trailer. It was so satisfying getting all the sand out. I got to go sailing ⛡️today. I took a few kiddos in the morning (neither of whom really listened to me). In the afternoon I went out on my own but the wind completely died which was sad. Simon ended up capsizing me and I didn't even have a water gun to get him back. We spent the rest of the afternoon washing down all the gear and boats and putting them back. It only took us a few hours though and now the trailer looks great!

12 April 2018

I helped Simon at work again today. At one point I jumped onto the rocks to look into the penguin nesting boxes where I found two little penguins!!! So cute! It was so cold and windy in the afternoon but Si and I decided to take the Weta trimaran out. Attempting to get it off the ramp was difficult. I ended up being pushed in the water having to swim. "Can you push it that way" -Simon "um I can't touch the bottom so no"-Me. Thanks to the two awesome helpers we had this week we managed to launch it. We went so fast! It was pretty wavy so Simon was trying not to tip it, but we definitely got it going. We got pretty wet with those waves (not that I could get much more wet). Feeling sleepy and cold we decided to stay in for the afternoon, nap, and have an early dinner.

11 April 2018

Looking across the bay at the freshly dusted hill tops, we knew today would be cold. The wind was coming right off the snow covered hill straight through the layers I had on. I still chose to go out on the water because it was a beautifully sunny day. The kids were out of control. They even capsized their teacher. It was all playful chaos though. Once the kiddos were on their way home we went to Te Waikoropupu Springs to see the second clearest water in the world. It was beautiful and peaceful. Although super clear I thought the blue pools in Wanaka more stunning. We then found a privately owned power station and had a look. But the best bit of the day was Wharariki beach. It was getting close to sunset so the light was stunning. The beach was huge, wild, covered in sand dunes, giant rocks in the water. Gorgeous. We wandered around the side and found a steep path up to the top of a cliff. The view was outstandingly breathtaking. Once safely down we sat and took it all in. 😍

10 April 2018

Kaiteriteri πŸš— ❄️ Pohara Simon had to cancel work today as the wind was intense. Even the water taxis weren't running. As we drove over the hill it started snowing!! Thankfully by the time we got down the hill it was warmer... and by that I mean still pretty freaking cold. We were wimps and hid inside from the cold and rain for the duration of the day.

9 April 2018

I helped Simon at work today by driving the second rescue boat. The kids were so great and had so much fun. The parents were so into it as well sailing and swimming. Apparently it was their Have a Go day as well! πŸ–β˜€οΈβ›΅οΈ

8 April 2018

After a much needed sleep in to rest our broken bodies we went out to a Sunday market in Motueka. I think this is the most people in NZ I've seen in one place. There were lots of cool vendors and food. I tried a traditional Baitfish Sammy... tiny fish and egg on white bread. After we looked at all we could we came home to the lovely beach πŸ– (which is where I headed off to). Simon did some paperwork. The weather was interesting today: hot sun β˜€οΈbut cool air. Sitting on the beach was pleasant but if the wind kicked up I got cold and windblownπŸ’¨

7 April 2018

We began our morning at a small island where we had a beach all to ourselves. It felt like surely I had entered Narnia with such beautiful sand and rock formations at which to marvel. We waved at our seal pup friends as we headed to Watering Cove. After pulling the dinghy high enough up the beach to avoid the incoming tide we scampered up the track. I felt like an Island child going barefoot with nothing more than water and chips. This part was just as beautiful as the other day. Our way back was a bit bumpy and we have the sore backs to prove it. We then went to hardwoods hole I wouldn't have been surprised if we got chased by orcs and saw Boromir struck down. Once at the hole I felt so tiny; looking down I would swear we found the entrance to the center of the earth. My stomach dropped as you couldn't see the bottom of the hole and would not have a pleasant fall. Perhaps you'd be swallowed by a dragon before finding the end. We also went to a lookout with the most fascinating rocks!

6 April 2018

Since it was such a beautiful day I went out with Simon on the rib. We watched the kiddos sail all the way to split apple rock where we had a picnic lunch. We had to go pick up simons trailer from Nelson where it was getting repaired. Since we're both fake adults we of course forgot our wallets so we weren't able to get groceries or (more importantly) ice cream. Actually this was good because we ended up going out in the rib to the park. On our way we saw a little Blue penguin swimming!! We made it to Adele Island where there are seals. THERE WERE SO MANY SEAL PUPS!!!! They were absolutely adorable and incredibly playful. They jumped around the rocks swam and twirled and played in the water. Some were very curious and came near the boat to say hello. We went around to a beach and watched two swim past! They weren't ready to say bye. Driving home we say 5 more playing by some rocks! Ahh! Don't worry we eventually got groceries.

5 April 2018

Although I woke up far to early I had a lovely me day. I caught up on some Netflix and then after sending Simon to work I walked around and found a spa. I decided to have a massage, sit in a sauna, and then read by the beach. Since we hadn't been shopping I ended up at the beach with a lunch of noodles. It's been such lovely weather I figured I'd take advantage of it and get some sunshine. Sadly it is NZ and when the wind kicks in you end up sitting on a gorgeous beach that looks warm.... in a jacket. Still beautiful.

4 April 2018

I woke up early to make it to the sea shuttle that would take me into Abel Tasman National Park. I took a water taxi past Adele island to see seal pups playing on the rocks like puppy dogs, past split apple rock, and on to Bark Bay. It was such a beautiful beach; the ones you dream about being abandoned on. There was a lagoon on one side and all the water everywhere was so clear. I began walking along the track and made a friend from Switzerland. We walked part of the track together and parted ways only to meet up later. It was so gorgeous. So many beautiful lookouts of the ocean, many lagoons, a house with a private beach and lagoon, and even a river with a little pool. The trail was definitely unique and beautiful. I loved it so much. I ate lunch on a beach and ended on a beach even more beautiful: Anchorage Bay. At the end I went for a chilly swim and explored a rocky cave area. I then rested my tired feet waiting for my taxi. The spa pool was much needed after 7.7 miles walk

3 April 2018

After having a lovely morning to myself Simon arrived on his ferry. I was greeted with an enormous chocolate bunny. We went to get his car and trailer but were made to wait for the opti nats to return his dinghy. Finally we were on our way to Kaiteriteri. It wasn't too long of a drive but with daylight savings it gets dark quite early. We walked along the beach and back along a trail catching a beautiful glimpse of the sunset!

2 April 2018

7am I woke up to Hannah playing "Showers of Blessing" our song from our first summer working together. I dropped her at her ferry and waved goodbye. I'm so glad she invited me to journey with her. I filled the car up on petrol, found simons car, and got some breakfast. I sat by the water for a bit contemplating my adventure. I spoke to the hostel but they weren't super helpful. So I adventured around getting info. I really wanted to kayak so I went to a taxi out to Lachmara bay where I could kayak on my own. I wandered around the area finding pigs, alpacas, and cute hammocks. I took my kayak out and wandered around a bit. NZ is super windy and I was alone so I didn't go too far. I relaxed with a smoothie feeling super touristy but then I went to feed a stingray. Once back to picton I hiked along the water finding beaches to myself. I hiked up to the top of a hill and was met with the most beautiful view as the sun started setting. Not a bad day adventuring alone.

1 April 2018

Happy Easter! We drove from Renwick to Nelson to attend mass. It was disappointing because they hardly spoke about the resurrection and the music was depressing. But Hannah was so sweet to come with me! We then drove a bit further to Mapua to meet up with Morgan and attend an easter fair. It was so great to catch up with Morgan and roam around all the market vendors. Real fruit ice cream was a highlight. Once tired of shopping we had a cuppa tea and said our farewells as we drove to picton. Along the way Simon informed me he was not arriving in Picton on the day planned but did give us good insight into a pretty driving route. It was the windiest road I've been on. Sometimes it felt like we turned completely around. We got tired so we pulled over, had a pee break, Hannah had a smoke, and then we proceeded to have a roadside dance party. Upon arriving in Picton we met our nutty backpacker host and then walked along the waterfront until we found a penguin! He was in the bush and hung out

31 March 2018

Today was wine country day! We started in Kaikoura with a beautiful sunrise over the ocean and lighting up the mountains behind. The road north was still under construction from the earthquake but we were lucky in getting through quickly. Once there, we rented bikes and road through some beautiful wine country. It was great fun! We visited 5 vineyards and a brewery. We'd have gone to more but some were closed due to easter weekend.

30 March 2018

WHALES 🐳 Giving ourselves plenty of time to get there we ended up arriving quite early. This allowed us to check into our hotel, find the whale watch center, have a wander, grab lunch, and still be early. We took a bus to our boat and took a seat at the front. It seemed silly that we had to sit while the boat was moving... until it moved. It went roughly 25 knots and we traveled about 10 miles to the coordinates of the last whale sighting. Once there they put a microphone in the water to listen for the echolocation to be sure there was a whale. We heard it and waited for him to surface. They record the time of the dive and they dive for 45-60 minutes so we knew he'd be up soon. We saw him! He was so big and so beautiful. He chilled at the surface and dove quickly. But there was another one near another boat we rushed to! He was their favorite bc he did nice tail flips. Once he dove the other was up again. He spent 15+ minutes with us at the surface!! They chill before diving to feed.

29 March 2018

We woke up in Arthur's Pass and drove on until we found a cool side street to explore. We found a beautiful campsite near the river. Waking down to the river we felt like the only people in the country. We decided to sit for a bit and take in the beauty of being surrounded my mountains. We then continued until we found a gorgeous lake. It was so flat the mountains were mirrored. It was so peaceful. We decided to have a picnic lunch at a different campsite sitting in the grass surrounded by only trees listening to birds. Next was a look at cave stream before castle hill which was the coolest thing! It was so unique and so much fun. I climbed around the giant rocks and through some tunnels. I felt like a kid playing hobbit. I could have stayed hours. I felt so small, the weather was perfect, and the rocks towered over us like an even bigger and cooler Stonehenge. We finally made it to Christchurch, ate some tacos, and Hannah showed me photos from her pacific crossing.

28 March 2018

Today Hannah and i embarked on our adventure together. Saying goodbye to Simon was sad and I already miss him. However, it's been such a good day taking charge and it's hard to explain how something as simple as driving yourself somewhere is so liberating. We ended up lost in no time at all, but we found a super beautiful walk where we crossed a super sketchy swing bridge and went through a tunnel. We tried to continue down the road but when we saw part of it rock sliding and the rocks getting bigger we decided to turn around a go a different route. Don't worry we managed to find the proper roads and ended up at Lake Brunner. I wish Simon would have worked here as it was my favorite yacht club. So pretty and there were some lovely walks nearby. We had a wonderful picnic, made friends with a dog, and made our way to Arthur's Pass. A kea tried to steal my keys and another hid under the car and bit the door to prevent us from leaving. Our hostel is so cute and has such a beautiful view.

27 March 2018

The weather was getting bad and Simon had to cancel work because of the wind. So the three of us went to pack up Simons trailer in the rain because the lake was rising. It even rose a bit while we worked on pouring the water out of the boats. With the trailer safely rescued from the impending water doom we headed to Greymouth for Hannah and into pick up our rental car. We decided to chill and watch movies for the rest of the day to avoid the wind and rain. However, it cleared up in the evening just enough for us to see a gorgeous sunset. We played in the sand and as we posed for a photo Simon and I ended up thigh deep in a rogue wave. It was so beautiful and definitely worth getting wet. I definitely wouldn't change anything. The night was so perfect all spending the evening in the first good sunset we've seen.

26 March 2018

As Simon and Hannah went to work, I had a lovely morning to myself catching up with friends and family. It because quite sunny so I decided to go for a walk on my favorite beach. I was in the middle of my walk having a lovely chat to a friend and suddenly it began pouring on me. I made for town and just when I thought it couldn't rain harder... it did. I was now soaking wet and cold hiding under an awning πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ thankfully it stopped raining and I ended up being picked up by Simon. I finally got to do some laundry and we later went to get groceries for a quesadilla dinner.

25 March 2018

We had a lovely sleep in this morning. Hannah cooked a lovely breakfast and then the two is us went for a walk on the beach while Simon napped. We then politely asked Simon (or maybe jumped on the bed) if we could go to Punakaiki. So we took the beautiful road to the pancake rocks. The drive was a bit winding right next to the ocean but through the beautiful bush. We arrived at Punakaiki where there was a peaceful walk. The rocks were stacked like pancakes looking like someone plopped a wet piece of clay (though they aren't clay... in need a better word) on top of another and it dried stuck together. It was so unique and quite the site. On a rough day there are some blow holes (Hannah tried to summon them). The whole area was randomly there and in a fairly small area. I marvel at how nature does this!

24 March 2018

We started our morning with a beautiful drive to Franz Josef Glacier. The trees and bush were spectacularly green and lush. The weather was pretty poor so we just went on a walked to the glacier. It was such a pretty walk to trek through what used to be glacier. The boulders were covered in moss and lichen appearing similar to the trolls in Frozen. We crossed a few streams and some spectacular waterfalls. The glacier was stunning. Giant ice shards protruded at the top appearing quite vicious. It stepped its way down as well as wound around the mountain. It would be so cool to see what the whole thing looked like. We then had a nice cup of tea at a nearby cafe. The cold and rain made this even more pleasant of an activity reminding me of a ski town. I napped the whole way home and later had a lovely sit/walk on the beach. I love having a beach so close especially one with such beautiful waves, wondrous rocks, and drift wood all over. Today I sat on a tree that had drifted in.

23 March 2018

Well all pretty much did our own thing this morning. I had a leisurely morning then walked to town. I got to see people carving greenstone and then blowing glass. The glass was so incredible! I could have stayed all day watching them make penguins. I then found a cute bakery and got an amazing lemon muffin. I started getting rained on so I quickly walked home and waited for it to pass. Once it did I went out searching for greenstone on the beach again. This time I was successful! I finished my lovely walk and morning on my own and met up with Hannah and Sophie for a cup of tea. Once Simon was finished with work we jumped in the car and headed to Hokitika Gorge. The water was so blue and beautiful. I've never seen more "Gorge"ous 🀣 blue water than in NZ. We finished out day off with a traditional Kiwi breakfast for dinner.

22 March 2018

We started off at the Lake Mahinapua yacht club. It is probably the most beautiful yacht club we've been to. Hannah arrived today!! So I caught up with her all morning. In the afternoon I went for a walk among the beautiful overhanging trees and had a chat with my mom. I almost got left behind but thankfully I timed it quite well and ran into the crew before they left me. We didn't really do much with the rest of our day so I decided to go for a lovely walk along the beach. It's always so peaceful and it was fun looking for greenstone. I managed to find a spec of gold though!

21 March 2018

We started our morning by walking to a waterfall. I'm amazing at the number of waterfalls in NZ. It looked like a great place to slide down. We then found an old coal mine. It was really cool to see all the history there. I really wanted to walk into the mine but obviously not a good idea. It was also the site of one of the biggest mining accidents. We ended our day in Hokitika.

20 March 2018

Departing early for Arthur's Pass we gazed out the window in anticipation for beauty. The glacial carved Valley was incredible. It was like being in LOTR waiting for Orcs to run down the hills. We passed by the rocks the hobbits hid in and ended up at cave stream. This is an underground tunnel with a stream running through. We walked upstream in ankle to waist deep water for 40 minutes. It was narrow enough to hold both sides of the walls most of the way. The footing wasn't bad as it was mostly big rocks. We climbed over some mini waterfalls and a boulder or two. It was so cool not knowing what was around the next corner. It was pitch black and all you could hear was the sound of the stream. We then went to a big water fall. We also found Kea at an overlook. They didn't destroy anything as I've been told they do but they're like Kaka when they run πŸ˜‚ We ended the day walking along the beach at sunset looking for greenstone. Simon found an amazing piece and I may have found a small piec

19 March 2018

I helped Simon at work today by driving a second rescue boat and towing some boats. We then went out to Peel Forest for a two hour horse ride. The woman running it let us in the field of free range horses to help wrangle our horse. One ran from me so I ended up with Woody. He was such a sweetie! He was a beautiful mahogany with black mane and so well trained. I got to saddle him up bringing back many childhood memories. Before embarking I made friends with a huge, sweet cat that felt like a bunny. The trek went through forest, across streams, through ponds with overhanging trees, down to the river, over big rocks, along a dirt road, through some thick forest, and ended with a canter along a paddock of dear on one side and stag on the other. The funniest moment was cantering up a hill. I looked behind me to see Simon walking and Sophie stopped. At the end Simon had to tell me I couldn't take Woody home as I wouldn't leave his side. We saw a penguin at the beach on the way home.

18 March 2018

I woke up early to go to mass in one of the prettiest churches I've seen. So much stained glass and beautiful domes. Simon and Sophie picked me up and we decided to go play golf. We were given a key to the storage shed by the bar tender and sorted out which clubs we wanted. "I’m not sure if this is right. Giving us the key to the shed with all the golf equipment. Not to three idiots like us." -Simon. Simon started us off by hitting a lot of grass in the air. This was quickly repeated by me. We didn't do so well at gold and I'm so glad we were the only ones there. Simon tried to kill some cars and even hit a tree sending his ball in the wrong direction. I hit the ball about 10-16 times each round πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ But hey we had fun! Then we went on to do a random walk we found and ended in a paddock of cows. In the evening we met up with Cassie and attempted to see the penguins but didn't succeed. Simon licked my face while trying to take photos which is what happened in photo 3 πŸ™„

17 March 2018

Simon and I both slept about 12 hours so we obviously needed to catch up on sleep πŸ˜‚ We then dressed up warmly to go sailing with the yacht club. It was a bit dreary so there was only 4 boats total and 2 wetas. It was so much. I feel like I found a passion I didn't realize I had πŸ˜‚ I seriously had so much fun even though I also felt so lost. Thankfully Simon was amazing and gave me all kinds of directions without ever getting frustrated. We came in second overall and first of the wetas! The wind filled in nicely and we decided to go for a 3rd fun lap. We then all headed upstairs to hang out for a bit and warm up. Simon and I then headed to get some dinner, warm showers, and watch rugby. It's been such a great day!

16 March 2018

Determined to see dolphins I bundled up in a merino top, two Patagonia fleeces, and full sailing gear to protect myself from the southerly that blew in. The wind is so biting if it weren't for dolphins I would have been curled up in bed still. I jumped in Simon's rib and set out. After a bit we came a bit out of the bay and as I was leaning on the side of the boat holding on to one of the kids sail boats a dolphin came to bow ride! My face was probably a foot from it! It was so small, so cute, so beautiful and it was so cool being so close. I couldn't believe how lucky we were to see such a beautiful animal so close. There were 2-3 around coming between the boats. They weren't super playful but they were awesome! After lunch I decided to go out sailing and went over some of the waves until I decided I'd rather not tip in both my fleeces. We had an easy afternoon, went to the store with only $10 to budget. We bought all junk πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ but had fun watching rugby. Oh and we saw a penguin 😍

15 March 2018

Today hoping for wind I went sailing with Simon. Sadly, like most days, there was no wind when I tried to sail πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ but I got it going a bit and it's always fun to be on the water. Then I chatted with Ben about GV and summer management. I told him if I missed dolphins we'd have to reassess our friendship... awkward I missed dolphins. If I see them tomorrow we'll still be friends haha. We then jumped in the car to drive through farmland to the middle of nowhere where we saw some Maori rock art. Honestly it wasn't exciting. They were pretty faded and unfortunately graffitied. However, we did find some cows that decided to follow us for a bit and two jumped the fence to avoid us. Thank goodness... I thought the bull might charge. The rocks were also cool as they towered over us and made me feel so small. We continued to another one which was basically the same as the last minus the cows. Sophie decided to use the map to navigate us back and definitely took us the longest way home possi

14 March 2018

This was the third time we drove into mount cook and it doesn't get old. Driving the length of Lake Pukaki is probably the prettiest drive there is. With the turquoise lake on one side, snow covered mountains in front of you, and hardly anyone on the road it is so peaceful. We climbed 80000000 stairs to get to the glacier overlook. It was cool but there were so many people. The first time we saw the Tasman Glacier was definitely more special sitting on top of a mound of dirt watching the rocks slide into the lake and feeling like the only people in the world. We then did the hooker Valley Track again for Sophie in cold wind instead of brutal heat. I chose not to swim to the iceberg this time ❄️ We then drove through Tekapo on our way to Timaru. We didn't do much but look in the church. Arriving in Timaru we bought groceries and made ourselves at home.

13 March 2018

Because we're leaving Wanaka today we packed up and headed to the yacht club. I got to work with such an amazing view of the mountains towering over the lake. It was so beautiful mom joked that I photoshopped myself in! The only downside was it was so winding it made me so much colder than I'd like to have been. After lunch I drove Simons rescue boat so he could take the kids on the weta. The kids had so much fun being in the rescue boat. I hope they had just as much fun on the weta haha. I then went on a short walk along the lake. Because I can't manage to go for a walk here without some adventure I ended up in the middle of an obstacle course. I almost got hit by a biker and then I had runners coming from behind me! It was some sort of race. We then drove to Twizel for the night and are staying in a holiday park out of town. If it rains I might have to wet the bed as I'm not walking outside to the public toilets in the cold rain.

12 March 2018

This morning I worked, Simon took kiddos sailing, and Sophie went to a lavender farm. In the afternoon Sophie and I walked to a pie shop and then met up with Simon to drive to the blue pools. The drive was gorgeous! We drove past both Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea (which was bright turquoise). It was so beautiful. Though the blue pools definitely did not disappoint! We walked to a bridge and saw the clearest water I've ever seen. We rushed on to the next bridge that over looked the even bluer one. It was so clear and so blue it is hard to describe. The water was dew but didn't seem so due to the clarity. There was a bit of shallow water that you had to look at twice to realize there was actually water there. The color made me feel as though I was on another planet. It left me breathless gazing at water that is so clean it appears that blue. Definitely one of those moments where I know I'm blessed and spoiled to be here.

11 March 2018

We had a little sleep in and quickly headed out to trap breakfast and snacks for our hike. We drove through some farm land and picked up some German hitchhikers. Funny thing was they decided to do the hike with us πŸ˜‚ guess we're better at making friends than we thought. We hiked up a mountain? Hill? I'm never sure. It was quite pretty but it definitely wasn't the prettiest hikes we've done. I think we're spoiled 😜 At the end of the hike was a massive mountain with a huge glacier on it. It was stunning and you could tell where the glacier had carved out land years and years ago. This hike was about 3-4 hours so after a short break marveling at the beauty, watching waterfalls fall down the mountain, and seeing the rainbow around the sun phenomenon we made our way back. We hit several sheep jams along the way which still tickles me! I love watching the sheep run along the road and cause havoc! They're so cute! We ended our day making friend with a guy from the Netherlands at our backpack

10 March 2018

We left Dunedin and headed to Queenstown to pick up Sophie Bernstein!! Poor thing was questioned for almost an hour because she'd been in Indonesia for 6 months. Finally we got her and headed to Wanaka. We went over the crown range and hiked a mountain to see a beautiful mountain range view. We also found the bra fence where people leave their bras in support of breast cancer. There were SO many! Once we got to Wanaka we sat by the lake waiting for our pizza and attempting to get away from the massive crowds from the A&P show. It was such a lovely evening and we made friends with a woman and her dog. I think the funniest moment of the night was Simon telling Sophie we'd go get drinks, watching her ready herself, and ending up at he grocery store instead of a bar πŸ˜‚ I definitely would have stopped her if I knew his plan! Lol

9 March 2018

Took the car in for a tire change early in the morning. They told us it would only take 1-2 hours so we found a cute cafe and got a delicious egg breakfast. I then did my taxes like the responsible adult that I am (🀣) while Si napped. In the evening we had dinner with Simon's mom's friend where we had amazing Turkish food. I'm pretty sure I ate for 2 people it was so good. We then headed off to Rugby where Simon was so kind to explain everything to me. We even got to see some of the all blacks players.

8 March 2018

Adulted hard this morning. I rewarded myself with a bit of sailing ⛡️ sadly there was no wind, but a nice sit on the water is quite relaxing. It was also nice to finally be feeling well enough to do something! (Not 100% but definitely improving.) we then went to Baldwin street which is the steepest street in the world. Didn't look that bad at first but once you start you feel like you could easily topple over backwards and roll to the bottom if you lean back too far. Exhausted by the time we reached the top we turned around to notice just how steep it actually was. Pretty much walked strait up a mountain (or hill to NZ standards).

6 March 2018

Went to the store to buy more water guns... ended up with Waddles. Impulse buy because he's so cute. Look out for more ridiculous photos to come. He's our new mascot. My mom: "well if that doesn't make you feel better nothing will" πŸ˜‚

4 March 2018

As per typical adventure we made a stop on our way to a castle. We were hoping to find yellow eyed penguins but it really wasn't the right time of day. We decided to run down the sand dunes and explore the beach anyway. It was so worth it! Not only was it absolutely gorgeous but we found several sea lions and fur seals. The first sea lion we came across was quite small but very cute! She seemed curious but this one didn't charge us. We passed another as we walked to the end of the beach where we found some adorable fur seals. They have such great camouflage it can be difficult to spot but we found at least five, 3 of which were quite close. I could have stood there all day watching them sleep. We climbed our way back up the sand dunes and drove to the castle. It was somewhere between a big house and a small castle. In the evening as per typical me I decided I needed to check out a NZ hospital. Don't worry I'm fine but we were there all night trying to determine if I had appendicitis.

3 March 2018

On our way to the Royal Albatross center we drove through a cloud and we weren't even in the mountains. It was absolutely gorgeous and so surreal. Although we both agreed the albatross we saw on Stewart island was a cooler experience, we did get to see a few chicks! And by chicks... they were huge babies! In the afternoon Simon took a nap and I explored the botanical gardens. Somehow on 85% of my walks I end up somewhere odd (usually a golf course). This time I took a trail that ended on a back street. Seems like a weird way to enter and exit a botanical garden but hey it was interesting and beautiful.

2 March 2018

What do you do when you get the car back? Go buy a lot of water guns of course. Simons kids should have a good week!

1 March 2018

Getting the car πŸš— serviced and doing some work. Adulting awfully hard today 😜 πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ

28 February 2018

The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and it was warm today! We walked to two different water falls feeling the nice crisp morning air and feeling some mist of a beautiful waterfall. We then started driving to Dunedin where, along the way, we stopped at tunnel beach. As we walked down the steep trek to the site Simon asked if I saw the tunnel. Thinking it was giant and obvious I said yes and couldn't figure out why he didn't believe me. Once we got there he turned a corner to a small tunnel that went down to a rocky beach. It was so wild and so beautiful watching he giant waves crashing against the enormous rock faces. We then climbed above to feel so small surrounded by such beautiful landscape. The walk back was quite the workout but well worth it. We made it to Dunedin where we finally got to properly grocery shop for fresh food. Yay!

27 February 2018

We woke up early to make our ferry back to the South Island. We waited at Bluff until the trailer made it then drove to the Catlins for a little more exploring. We were lucky enough to be staying right next to Cathedral Caves which you can only reach at low tide. The caves were far more breath taking than I expected. Towering high above us we walked in to explore the epic darkness. We took a flash light to be sure no seals were hiding ready to charge. Though they were tall they weren't very deep. I was fully expecting there to be only one cave but there were many giant caves. One we went into had rotting kelp which smelled as though something died. We left walking along a beautiful beach and through a gorgeous forest.

26 February 2018

Went out on the rescue boat with Simon to explore some of the island from the water. I would have sailed but it was so cold I had no interest in getting wet. The beaches we saw were beautiful golden sand beaches. After the kids ran around to warm up we went back out and found an albatross! It followed the kids for a bit before taking off. It looked like it was running on water! The kids were definitely tougher than me. I'd have been miserable tipping my boat in the water but they loved it. We had our last dinner with Heath and Fiona. They are seriously some of the nicest people ever. We went Kiwi hunting for the last time and spotted one! They are sooo cute and walk so funny! Simon had to say goodbye to his Kaka friends (though I might should check his bags before we leave).

25 February 2018

It was freezing and pouring all day but we eventually braved it and drove around til we found a walk. Simon is allergic to rain so he waited while I walked the beautiful path. At the end was a look out to the ocean and the other small islands. The rest of our time was spent watching the Olympics. Though Simon did drag me out to go Kiwi hunting in the rain. Kiwis apparently don't like rain either

24 February 2018

After a much needed sleep in we jumped in the car to explore the island. We ended up very lost down a road that ended in some heavy machinery. Deciding to head back the way we came we found several beautiful beaches and the Rakiura Track. We did about an hour and a half walking through it finding many different sceneries as we went. It started off chaotic with trees and bush and vines everywhere. It soon turned to white trees towering over us and eventually we even crossed a large beach. Along the way we found several beautiful birds but none as friendly as our Kaka. On our way back we found a look out of the town and a beautiful beach we had to ourselves. I got super excited because I found a beautiful shell just laying in the sand. We surprisingly avoided the rain and ended up back home just in time for a visit from our Kaka friends. They are just so friendly... except that time one bit us.... today they were even daring and followed us back into our room! πŸ˜‚

23 February 2018

Yep these are the photos I took today. Simon and I both worked all day. We went to observation rock to look over a beautiful bay getting a bit of a glimpse at how big the island actually is. So pretty, so wild. Since we were freezing we decided to watch some Olympics wrapped in a blanket. Our Kaka friend came back and we got him to jump on our arms again. Then after dinner we went Kiwi hunting and found our Kiwi friend again. It's so cool watching them run about.

22 February 2018

Wow. Today 😍 we jumped on the ferry to Stewart Island which was a bit rougher than I expected. We were a little worried we'd end up on a different island from the trailer but thankfully it made it... looking quite hilarious hanging a bit off the freight boat. Watching it lifted by the crane was quite the nerve racking sight but all was fine. We're staying with the couple who manages many places here as got a hilarious tour of the tiny town (population 350: 1% of the island). The house has the most beautiful view overlooking a small cove we can watch the tide come in and out. After an excursion to the beach we heard something land on the roof. Turns out it was one of the few Kaka that frequents the house for apples. We managed to get them to land on our arms to feed!! After much excitement and some dinner we took some red lights to go search for Kiwi. We found one!!!!! Turns out Kiwi are quick! They are so rare this was such a special experience. Birds here are amazing!

21 February 2018

Te Anau πŸš— Invercargill β˜”οΈ

20 February 2018

We adventured around the area today driving anticipating it to rain any moment. We found many cows, sheep, and some horses. I jumped out to pet the horses of course. Simon found a boat club so we of course went to check it out. Finally we found ourselves at the other side of the Kepler Track so we decided to walk part of it. Again so beautiful. There were more ferns than I have ever seen in one place. It felt like we were the only people there it was so peaceful and quiet.

19 February 2018

Simon's school canceled for the next two days due to weather so we took the opportunity to go hike a bit of the Kepler track. The forest was so green and covered with so much moss. It was absolutely gorgeous and felt other worldly. (Aunt Betty, I found what looked like a fairy house and immediately thought of Squirrel Island!) After burning our lunch because the backpackers oven is terrible we went to a bird sanctuary to see many of NZ native birds.

18 February 2018

Leaving at 6:30 am we found a hitchhiker from California and took him with us to Milford Sound. Seeing as I was on the phone with my mom at the time I had to reassure her he didn't have an axe with which to murder us. The drive into Milford was absolutely beautiful. It started raining as we got into the sound which was fine because it creates waterfalls. We were brave enough to stand outside and be pelted with the wind and rain. We reached a big waterfall (one of the 1000s only there when it rains) and stood under it. I don't think we laughed that hard in awhile. Pretty much right after that we were out of the rain and it started clearing. The clouds were still low creating an eerie look to the vertical cliffs and mountains towering over us. Words and photos really can't describe how epic it is. We met up with Simon's dad and wandered around the area. We hiked to a waterfall (because we hadn't seen enough haha) that was one of the taller ones we'd seen.

17 February 2018

I really wouldn't have been surprised if we saw pterodactyls fly over our heads. So untouched by humans. So beautiful. I really felt I was in a different world. We spent so much time in the sound and stuck out the cold wind! Thankfully it rained last night giving us tons of waterfalls that aren't there when it doesnt rain. Our journey: A car to a boat to a bus to another boat to a bus back to the first boat and a final boat ride to the car.

15 February 2018

Simon did some sailing. I did a beautiful walk around Lake Wakatipu. In the evening we went to the ice bar. It's was so cool.... no pun intended. Ok pun intended. I'm pretty sure my fingers were close to frost bite. We concluded the night with a Fergburger because you c ant leave Queenstown without one.

14 February 2018

Simon worked on Lake Wakatipu this morning so I stole a boat and pretended to be an 8 year old for the afternoon. Nice Ash Wednesday/Valentines Day... still confused am I allowed to eat chocolate today?

13 February 2018

Decided to do a hike today. We drove to the ski field on a mountain. Winding our way up the mountain was a bit scary not gonna lie. The air thinned quickly and became chilly. We hiked through some bush and over the ski hill. Nearly reaching the top of the chair lift we saw the lake.... on the other side. Thankfully it wasn't far and we just made our own trail along the side of the mountain. It was so unique and so beautiful. The water was incredible clear! It was so peaceful being on a mountain and sitting by a lake. Queenstown altitude: 300m Lake Alta altitude: 1800m

12 February 2018

Owaka πŸš—Queenstown and lived vicariously through the olympians πŸ₯‡β›ΈπŸ₯ˆπŸŽΏπŸ₯‰

10 February 2018

We drove out to Curio bay to see if we could find some dolphins. Although unsuccessful we still got to see some beautiful scenery. The drive itself was gorgeous going through rainforest. Then to stand on the rocks and see the magnificence of the ocean was incredible. We finished our trip off with a beautiful waterfall.

9 February 2018

Went out on the boat with Si again. Sooooooo glad I did because we found sea lions SWIMMING!! It was so cool and they were so curious. They followed the boats with engines around turning and twirling underwater. Every time they popped their heads up they looked around at us. They came right up to our boat showing us they were as long as the rib. They came right along some of the sail boats but were not nearly as interested in them. As if this wasn't exciting enough for one day we went out to Nugget Point Lighthouse. Along the way I pulled out binoculars and got to see so many fur seals. There were several babies swimming and playing in the rock pools way down below us. The view from the lighthouse was breathtaking. We then went to the penguin blind in hopes we'd spot some yellow eyed penguins. We were so lucky and got to see one waddle up the beach, hop across some rocks, and then screech at a youngster who still had his fluffy feathers. Three amazing things in one day. WOW.

8 February 2018

Went to work with Simon today. Got to sail the Weta (trimaran) with a few kiddos. We sailed to the other side of the lake to eat our lunch. I then rode in Simon's rib to let the principal do some sailing. Kids were good fun.

7 February 2018

Went for a walk and met Simon on his way home so we went to find more sea lions. There were 4 laying in the middle of the beach. After watching them shift their sleeping positions and throwing sand on themselves we adventured on the rocks a bit. On our way back we had a NZ moment of sheep in the road

6 February 2018

We made it to the Catlins and decided to go find some seals. Starting at Surat bay we didn't find any and couldn't make it all the way around because of the tide. We moved on to cannibal bay. We found 3 sea lions (2 sleeping in the sand and one in the bush). We accidentally woke the female and she decided to charge us. Thankfully the male didn't bother! We then went to check out Jack's blow hole which was quite and interesting nature thing.

3 February 2018

Drove to Glenorchy which was super beautiful drive through forests, along lake wakatipu. We then walked part of the Routeburn Track which was absolutely gorgeous. Soooooo much green. You could see giant rock formations in the distance which were very impressive. Along the way Simon thought he made a bird friend but it decided to attack and bite us both. We escaped and made it to a waterfall that was crystal clear. I'm still not sure how it can be that clear. Later that night Simon surprised me with a late birthday present: the paddlesteamer. We rode the coal powered steamer from 1912 across lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. There we had a lovely dinner, got to see a sheep shorn, and seem some sheep dogs at work. On the way back we looked at the engine and explored the boat a bit. Such a wonderful bday present.

2 February 2018

Went to Arrowtown to see some Chinese history and some cool shops.

1 February 2018

Drove to Cromwell to take the trailer in. Jumped out in the pouring rain in sailing gear to assist the move.

31 January 2018

Started off with luge! 3:3 then went to the Jetboat! It was soooo epic and cool going so fast and seeming to nearly run into walls.

30 January 2018

Started our day off with this view of central otago vineyards πŸ™ƒ

29 January 2018

Hiked the hooker Valley Track. Made a friend and decided to be crazy and swim to the ice berg. Still unsure how I managed that. It was so beautiful! But more crowded than I'd hoped but still so pretty seeing the glacial area. We then went swimming in Lake Pukaki which was so clear and one of the prettiest lakes I've seen.

28 January 2018

Went to Mount Cook National Park. Drove down Ball Pass for a bit then walked the rest of the way. We then climbed a big hill to see the Tasman Glacier. The lake and glacier were sooo cool! It was amazing to see it so close.

27 January 2018

Saw some hectors dolphins, drove down a scary road that could drop to death to see a price cove, found a seal Simon almost stepped on it. It jumped in the water looked at us and swam away.

25 January 2018

Worked at the yacht club for the day then went to the wildlife center. A deer stole all my food which was actually quite hilarious. We saw wallabies and native birds and even Kiwi!! We were in this super dark enclosure and got to see one about a meter away from us!

24 January 2018

Got to go out on the boat with Simon and help a little. Then we went to rock cave beach. The rock cave was super cool but the beach was gross so we didn't stay long. We had grocery shopping to do anyway.

22 January 2018

We explored Christchurch today. Walked around the city center, saw the container mall, and then drove to a mountain to see the whole of Christchurch. We explored what looked like an old spy center

21 January 2018

Saw the Moeraki boulders and felt like the mother of Dragons. The rest of the day was spent driving to Christchurch. I started off by going to mass. The parish was so small the priest came to say hello knowing I was a visitor. Once we got to Christchurch I was appalled by the exterior of our motel but the inside was the nicest we'd be in thus far. We went shopping for the week and had an early night.

20 January 2018

We left Riverton and began our journey to Dunedin. However partly there we got a transmission warning on the car. Upon calling Volvo we were instructed to stop immediately get out of the car and lock it for 5 minutes. So we sat on the side of the road for a bit. The message went away so we drove on. Once we got to Dunedin we stopped at the train station and Cadbury world. We may have spent $15 on chocolate. Then we went out to eat at a lovely Italian restaurant recommended by Emily.

18 January 2018

Such a good birthday waking up and chatting with my parents. Then I joined Simon on his rescue boat for an excellent day on the water. Then we went to a rock beach and saw the beautiful ocean and rocky views. I was nearly blown away it was so windy. Then we went home and Simon put the finishing touches on my Pavlova bday cake.

16 January 2018

We drove from Tekapo to Cromwell passing. Through Lindis Pass. It was so beautiful and we stopped a a look out. I wasn't anticipating climbing a mountain but that was our look out. It was so impressive being at a tiny summit and overlooking incredible mountains. Once we got to Cromwell Simon surprised me with cherry picking! It was quite exciting and I spent the rest of my afternoon resting in my hammock looking at beautiful mountains.

15 January 2018

Tekapo! So BLUE!!! Simon drove just to find me a lupin! And then we found some sheep.

14 January 2018

PENGUINS!!! We made it to the South Island and this was our first activity!!!

13 January 2018

Went to the BBQ then tried surfing then hiked up Mt. Maunganui and went for a swim

12 January 2018

Beautiful wedding

11 January 2018

Rotorua! Went to Kerosene creek for a hot swim in a waterfall, explored redwood forest, walked around Mt. Maunganui

10 January 2018

Saw the glow worms today and the literally looked like the night sky. Absolutely beautiful. Met Simons nana and walked a bit in the gardens.

9 January 2018

Drove to Taupo and swam in a geothermal river where the hot and cold met, saw huka falls, drove to Hamilton

8 January 2018

Climbed on a volcano, found a waterfall, explored some geothermal pools and boiling mud, swam in a man made hot pool

7 January 2018

Moved some bulls in the morning then began our drive to whareroa. Stopped at a beautiful farmland lookout, drove across the winding roads of NZ, through the Mount Doom Volcanic region, and passed by many tall pine trees. The lake is gorgeous and we decided to spend our afternoon chilling at the beach in hammocks and air seats. NZ magic moment #1: floating rocks.

6 January 2018

Fed the calves, pet a giant cow in a field of scared cows, moved some cows off a hill, moved a few bulls, moved calves to the drenching area and gave them meds. After lunch we caused a traffic hazard moving all the calves to their new home by walking them down the street using our 4 wheelers. It was a bit chilly today but mostly the wind was cold.

5 January 2018

Went to the Wera Cave in the morning to kill and orc and learn about chain mail, then drove through beautiful mountains and pouring rain, made it to the farm and pet some cows and a pig

4 January 2018

Went on the cable car to the top of the hill, walked around the botanical gardens which was beautiful, walked along Cuba street, went to a grocery, attempted to go to the weta cave but it was sold out so we relaxed at home instead.

3 January 2018

First day in NZ. Simon showing me his home town. Walked along the waterfront, went to TePapa and saw a colossal squid, walked through the Forrest and climbed a mountain, went to the top of mount Victoria to see amazing views