Asia, Australia and Oceania · 22 Days · 57 Moments · March 2017

Laura's adventure in New Zealand/Australia

3 April 2017

Day 23 Sun Woke up to sun again so finished my book by the pool and had my last swim with Carrie. Going to miss this part of the world; the laid back feeling!! Showered and packed then had some fab fish n chips en route to airport. Owner is from Cyprus and lived in London and Nottm . Sad to say bye to Carrie and Mark. Carrie bought me a lovely boomerang fridge magnet and book mark with Aussie sayings. Emirates flight to Dubai 380 plane, economy this time 😱

2 April 2017

Day 22 Sat Woke up to brilliant sun so sat by pool reading; heavenly. Went into Brisbane and went on a city cat to a lovely Greek seafood restaurant. The lobster thermidor was divine washed down with 2 glasses of wine. Shame London doesn't have these city cats as they are amazing and a great way to see the city. The conductor on my return was a character and didn't charge me. A breath of fresh air! wish the Brits were a bit more like that! Home vis Baskin Robbins ice cream for my favourite pralines n creams and Coles supermarket. Watched the 100 foot Journey movie with a glass of Baileys and ice. Bed 1000; lovely day.

1 April 2017

31 March 2017

Day 21 Fri Woke up to ☀️. After some toast sat by pool whilst Mark blew the leaves away and Carrie pottered. Beautiful. Lunch we drove to a shopping mall for coffee and muffin and look round lovely shops. Dinner at a Thai restaurant - curry puffs, green thai curry, beef massuma. lovely. Home but poor Chester could hardly walk with a sore paw. Watched Fantastic Beasts and bed by 1000. Relaxing day.

30 March 2017

Day 20 Thurs The heavy rain woke me up; never heard anything like it. Poor Carrie and Mark had not slept and Chester, their beautiful dog, had been upset too. Watched the devastation and the risk of flash flooding. I certainly have brought the weather with me!!!! Had a swim with Carrie in the rain. Amazing to see the volume of rain and high winds later. Watched a lovely movie, Me before You, dinner and watched Vicar of Dibley. Lovely relaxing day catching up with Carrie about the old days, both in Nottingham and Riyadh.
Day 19 Wed Said my farewells and Kitty drove me to Tauranga to meet Rita and Luke who were also flying to the UK so offered me a lift to airport. Sobbed saying bye to my buddy. Poured with rain all the way but checked in with Qantas and met Luke and Rita for a drink. Flight was good but as we approached Brisbane I could see thick clouds - Cyclone Debbie that had attacked North Queensland, was on its way to us 😱😱☔️☔️ Mark met me and arrived in their lovely home in Karana Downs. Carrie and I met at Arnold College when we were 17 years and ended up working together in Riyadh. Lovely to meet up and catch up with our news.

29 March 2017

Day 18 Tues Off to Rotorua at 11 and good to see the staff again at Best Western. The weather turned lovely so a good drive back through the gorge. Watched Dave the vet clean the horses teeth. Interesting. Finished my book to leave for Kitty then went doen to Te Puke to the Irish bar for dinner. Back for a few night caps with Kitty and Hayley Grace. Going to miss my NZ home 🥝🐴❤️

28 March 2017

27 March 2017

Day 17 Mon Tossed and turned all night, bitten and hot!!! Kitty made me coffee in bed at 5 am as they had been awake too! Heavy ☔️ Kitty took me round the farm to see the horses and then lunch down at Papamoea Beach. Lovely and sunny and dogs enjoyed the run. My Coco would love it here. Home to rest and conversation with the French couple Clemence and Remy. Good day. Bit nervous as a cyclone is. predicted tomorrow off the Gold Coast of Australia and I am supposed to be flying in 2 days there 😱😱✈️✈️

26 March 2017

Day 16 Sun Mother's Day UK so opened card from Hannah 😍 Lazy Sunday morning reading, watching the Voice UK TV and facetimed mum. Movies on TV as rainy day. Listened to yong Spencer's music he wrote 👍Spoke yo Hannah in Chang Mai ❤️ Dinner for ten - Rita and Luke, Brit couple, came over. French couple etc nice crowd. Bed by 900 all tired!! good relaxing day

25 March 2017

Day 15 Sat Woken up at 7 to take Jay to find his phone he dropped last night; kids eh? Home to a few chores to help Kitty whilst she gardened. Washing, vacuumed and made potato salad for bbq tonight. Spencer, youngest son, and his lovely girlfriend Lisa went off with the French Wwofa couple to the Mount so quiet day in the farm. Bbq done by the kids but felt drained so went to bed at 800 pm. Just fancied a quiet night with my book whilst the thump of music from the kids thuds in the background. Am I showing my age? No just missing my little home and family after 2 weeks away ❤️
Day 14 Fri Up and out with Kitty to do chores. Met an estate agent for a P testing on their new house to rent. In NZ it is common practice to test for Methanphetamine traces in homes as, if found in walls, sometimes homes have had to be burnt down. Carpet shopping and collected a settee for the hotel. Quick walk round the Kuira Park to see the thermal area bubbling mud from the centre of the earth. Only Rotorua and Yellowstone have these. Quiche for breakfast and coffee with the lovely staff at Best Western. Walked to the beach on the Blue Lake with the dogs. so peaceful. Home to the farm and watched a rather slow movie Gosford Park. Enis, the Argentinian, left so sad. Jay came home for the weekend but sadly didappeared in the family car. We ate a lovely dinner of homemade quiche and salad. Their other som Spencer arrived later so a full house. Known these kids since babies from Riyadh!

24 March 2017

Day 13 Thurs Sad to wake up to the tragic news of the Westminster Bridge shooting. Left Te Puke with John into Rotorua for doctor appointments, shopping with Kitty and passed by to see Shirley and Geoff Aplin, Tim's parents from Nottingham. Shirley was in Dad's class at Pokytechnic so she gave me an old photo of their class. They live in a lovely retirement Village. Lovely to see them as always. Back to the Best Western Hotel that Kitty and John own and attended a Skall AGM meeting. This is an international Tourism network Group. Fantastic food and interesting people. Bed by 10.00 in their spare room.

23 March 2017

Day 12 Wed After breakfast departed back to Te Puke. Stopped in Taupo for coffee; weather had changed so glad we came the day before with the sun. After a quick food shop in Rotorua arrived home. Good to see Jay there on a visit home from hospital. The French wwofa couple cooked ratatouille and chicken with crepes for dinner. After a few nightcaps on the patio with John retired to bed. (Wwofas, (work on organic farms) are any age international people who come and work on farms for free accommodation, food and awareness of the local culture , ie volunteers. )

22 March 2017

Day 11 Tues Left Te Puke at 1100 for Rotorua Best Western to do a few jobs. Lovely sunny day for a car journey. Left Rotorua and had lunch at the Prawn Farm on the bankd of Waikato river. Visited the beautiful Huka Falls and continued to Lake Taupo. Stunning scenery and perfect weather. Onward journey through Turangi onto the Chateau in Tongariro National Park. One of the main two ski resorts in the Northern Island. The elegant Chateau Tongariro is located within Whakapapa Village - in the heart of Tongariro National Park and was constructed during the 'roaring twenties' and was also the year that was the beginning of the world's great depression, 1929. Built by NZ company Fletchers. Chateau was designed by Timaru-based architect Herbert Hall , who based his design on the Canadian Resort of Lake Louise in Canada. Fabulous dinner, chateaubriand, and great company with the judge, Gerard Lynch. Bed at 1000. Perfect day ☀☀

21 March 2017

Day 10 Mon A lazy day, cloudy. After some cleaning to help out, John and I went into Te Puke for some shopping and devoured a Subway. Home for a lazy afternoon on the settee with TV. Some new Wwofa's arrived, French couple.These people from overseas sign up for free food and accommodation in turn for work on farms and the get to know the local culture. Great idea. Dinner, chat and bed for 830.

20 March 2017

Day 9 Sun Another lovely hot day. Prepared veggies for dinner tonight and waited for Janice to arrive. Lovely to see her and we chatted to her best friend, my sister in law little Sue. She certainly has settled into NZ life since emigrating last year. Swam and chatted by the pool for a few hours and then toured the farm. As Jsnice left John's sister Robyn and her husband arrived. Lovely evening after dinner with 9'of us ending up attempting to do some Argentinian moves with Ines, the Argentinian Wwofa staying. Great night

19 March 2017

18 March 2017

Day 8 Sat Up early to butter the bread ready for the horse sale. Helped out doing small chores and meeting people. Such an idyllic life on the farm. Watched TV with John and relaxed. dinner, drinks by the chimnea. Lovely day ending with a brief chat with my Hannah in Bangkok. On her own touring. Abs in Bahrain, woke him up!!!!!

17 March 2017

Day 7 Fri Up to lovely sunny weather. After cutting 2 bags of onions ready for tomorrow's horse sale in the Wake Field Equestrian, I sunbathed and swam in the peace. Kitty and I then headed off to Rotorua to Kitty's other business, Best Western Hotel, when I got to see Karen, the manager and a few familiar faces from 2 years ago at Hayley's wedding held there. Helped Kitty cut back the dead roses, go to tip, shopping. Pulled in an hour's massage as it's been non stop with farm life and chores but such a great experience and happy I could be here to support my dearest Kitty as John had his fourth operation on his knee last week! Headed home through the most beautiful countryside and back to the Bay of Plenty. I LOVE this part of NZ so much, such beauty surrounded by the kiwi fruit farms and the beautiful beaches ten minutes away. After unloading it was time for our evening drink and homemade burgers by the chimnea. John sang and played his guitar. John and Hayley read poetry. ❤️❤

16 March 2017

Day 6 Thurs Woke up with headache and feeling sick - jetlag? Watched a bit of UK tv then up to sit in sun after a few paracetamol. Quick trip into Te Puke for bank etc then home. Kitty did lots of baking: tried to help out with some chores. Christa, an Aussie/German friend we met on our Scandinavian tour last year, visited with her friend Maggie. Lovely to see her. Took them to the Mount for a wine and drink to my favourite haunt on the ocean. Home for dinner, ham salad, and drinks by the chimnea. Great night.

15 March 2017

Day 5 Wed Good night sleep and watched live UK Tv in bed Eastenders. brilliant. Sat outside sunbathing and watched final episode of BBC 1 Replacement in the sun - in heaven!!! Went with Kitty into Tauranga and lovely salad lunch at the Mount Was just about to walk round it when Kitty received a call to say one of their foals was found hanging down being caught in some vines. Sad. Rushed home so the foal could be cut down and buried. Relaxed in amongst some visitors and dinner of corned beef, ie brisket and mashed potato with cheese sauce. Tired so bed at 830.

14 March 2017

Day 4 Tues Woke at 4.00 am jetlagged! coffee at 6.00 am and sat with Kitty and John in bed chatting. Kitty drove me round the farm. After a few hours taking Jay back to his clinic Kitty and I had lunch at Mount Hope; lovely beach. reminded me of the Gold Coast near Brisbane. Shopping and home for dinner and drinks on the patio. Kitty drove by one of the many kiwi farms; Te Puke is one of the largest exporters of kiwifruit. Green ones are furry and golden are smooth skinned and all patches are protected with high hedges. Bed by 9.00 pm exhausted. Lovely day on the Wakefield Farm.
Day 3 Mon Totally confusing as NZ time is 13 hours on so literally lost 2 nights but arrived after watching 4 movies and cat naps. New Zealand - felt like my second home greeted by Kitty. ❤️ Went looking for boats and a gentle drive to the Davies' new farm in Te Puke near Tauranga, South Auckland. This area is famous for kiwi fruit. Tranquil home surrounded by beautiful greenery. Drinks on the patio followed by a hot, naked relax in the tub! Heaven
Day 1 Sat Abs drove me to Birmingham for the Emirates flight to Dubai. Was a last minute decision to go and see Kitty as John had his knee operation so support would be nice from her buddy. After all the nerves and hesitations, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it all was. Coming from a frequent world traveller this sounds rather bizarre but, with the recent hip operation and maybe age, I had been lacking the usual confidence for any long haul solo travel. Sun Day 2 Arrived Dubai welcomed with a wheelchair as the transfer was, what seemed, miles away (slight exaggeration). Felt a little homesick for the Middle East passing through; nostalgia from my 34 years Arabic memories. Duty free and on my way business class on the 380 Airbus. Well, what can I say, pure luxury and far excels even first class BA!!! Fantastic bed, TV, food and the bar. Met a friend of Janice Edland's from Mansfield. Small world. 16 hours to Auckland!!!

13 March 2017

12 March 2017