New Zealand · 40 Days · 39 Moments · November 2017

New Zealand


16 December 2017

Woke up with the hope of taking a plane to Milford sounds. However, for the second time, the weather was too bad to fly. So we made the rash decision of driving, 4hrs each way. We wanted to catch the 1.30 ferry so made it a quick turn around. Stopped off for the most average breakfast in Te Anau before arriving at the Sounds. Took a 2hr cruise - cloudy but avoided rain. Looked like something out of King Kong - waterfalls, rainforests and mist. Bet it’s stunning on a sunny day. Slogged back via a couple of view points - the mirror lakes and the casam. Over driving and in desperate need of food so stopped off for dinner at a taco place in queenstown. Delicious.

15 December 2017

Slept through breakfast so onto lunch at the boatshed. Cute place looking over the lake. Drove up to the Remarkables ski base which is very weird without snow around. Great views. Chilled until dinner where we went back to Arrowtown. Drinks and live music at the post masters before tapas at la ramblas. Very chilled day.

14 December 2017

Sadly left the luxe life and waffle sheets behind us. Headed to Arrowtown to kill some time - a quick drink at ChopShop and a postcard writing session. Onto queenstown for a quick snack before the canyon swing/Fox. About 3.5hrs door to door. Started with a stride/run off the fox... a 5m drop before a straight strip across the canyon. Watched a couple of people do the canyon swing which looked a whole lot worse than the fox. 60m drop. Lily and I were first up. Started with a tandem step off the edge. Might as well have been a bungy jump. Don’t think my hands have ever been that clammy. Rivers flowing from them! Managed to sneak in a second jump but this time backwards. Defiantly worse as you can’t see when the free fall stops. Hilarious footage - we faffed a lot and asked far too many questions! Back in the bus and thought we could solve our headaches with an Oreo milkshake. Sat on the waterfront before drinks at dinner - cider and dumplings. Checked into air B and B and watch swing fo

13 December 2017

Surprisingly didn’t wake up too stiff this morning! Made a couple of phone calls for BH and locked in another couple of activities! Drove to QTown and took the gondola up followed by a couple of lugee rides. Quite funny really. Smashed my phone which bummed me out - but must remember “no one died”! Joined the queue for lunch at Fergburger - supposedly the best burger in NZ. It was pretty damn delicious but couldn’t finish it. Drove back to the house and sunbathed in the sun before packing our bags. Loving the luxe life so not too keen about leaving tomorrow.

12 December 2017

First earlier start in a while as we needed to be in Glenorchy for 8.45am. Signed up for a full day of horse ’trekking” and went in slightly naive. Not going to lie…really looked the part, whipped out the the low po, helmet and what might as well have been jodhpurs. My horse was almost too relaxed….lingered at the back for a while but got into the swing of things eventually. Incredible views - where lord of the rings/hobbit was filmed - glacier river crossings, snow capped mountains and lupins everywhere. Beaut day but lost my sunglasses (while cantering, a natural, I know) which wasn’t ideal. Lunch by a river before another 4hrs. Extreme pain by the end but worth it. Drove back home for a curry and an episode of the crown. Dreamy day.

11 December 2017

Went for brunch in QTown at a place called Bespoke Kitchen. 10/10 banana bread. Onto quad biking with Nomad Safaris. Got kitted up in the smelliest gear possible. Don’t think it had ever been washed. Signed our life and credit cards away before getting on the quad bike. 2hrs going through a lot of dust, farm land and saw some great views of QT from the top. Home for a quick packet baking session before heading to Fan-Tan in Arrowtown for dinner. Another classic NZ meal….aka surpassingly average.

9 December 2017

Nothing much to report. Making the most of being in a nice house so didn’t leave the house till lunchtime. Took the mountain bikes out and cycled around Lake Hayes. Just missed the rain. Made some packet brownies which we surprisingly delicious. Thought we should leave the house so went for a G&T at The Blue Door in Arrowtown. Dinner, film and bed.

8 December 2017

Left Wanaka and drove South to Sarah and David Kidds place in Arrowtown. Took the Crown Range route instead of the highway so very dramatic and windy. Stopped for a hot chocolate (yes, I know I’m 23) before getting to the house. Spent the afternoon calling BH opportunities, watching films and doing a food shop at our favourite place - pac n save. So nice being in a home.

7 December 2017

Originally planned to drive to Lake Tekapo and Pukaki but Peter and Kirsty thought we could something more intereseting. So changed our plan and drove to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Another great drive. Passed Lake Pukaki, so bright and blue and had a backdrop of Mt Cook, pretty cool. Walked to the Tasman glacier view point. The water was almost mint green and had a couple of icebergs floating around. Had lunch in the only cafe in Mount Cook Village. Filled with a lot of keen walkers. Drove 200+ km back to Wanaka for an ice cream and a chilled dinner at h

6 December 2017

Another day another hike. That’s what we do now. Went up Mount Iron with Kirsty and the dogs. A 25 mins incline for the most amazing view of Wanaka. Bright blue day. Had breakfast at Peter and Kirsty's cafe which is called The Federal Diner. A really cute place tucked away from the road. Spent the afternoon at a Lavender farm before exploring the shops of Wanaka. BBQ for dinner and then went rabbit shooting for the dogs dinner.

5 December 2017

Very relaxed morning. Went into town for a coffee/planning morning, before deciding to walk Rob Roy Glacier. Very naive of what was to come and extremely under prepared. Lils M & S Linen trousers featured. Pretty much a 2 hour incline but worth the views at the top. 100m waterfalls and overhanging glacier. Our moods lightened on the way back down and it almost felt ‘easy’. Back to the house before the cinema. The type of cinema you order pizza and freshly baked cookies to your seat. Dreamy evening.

4 December 2017

Survived the night for all those worried about me! Another day, another helicopter (BH). Flew over the Fox Glacier and landed on the Franz Jospeh Glacier. The most beautiful morning. Absolutely incredible and without a doubt, the highlight of the trip. Continued driving down the West Coast via Bruce Bay, awkwardly following the same people all the way along... even more awks.... our 60yr old hostel roomie. Onto the Knights Point, Ship Creek and the Blue Pools in Haast Pass. Watched a girl painfully jump of the bridge into the water while the crowd counted down. Embarrassed for her. Onto Wanaka via Lake Hawea/Wanaka and a whole lot of hitch hikers. The most beautiful drive of the trip. Incredible day for it. Headed to Kirsty and Peter Hewitts, 10 mins from the town. Lovely dinner, washing and bed.

3 December 2017

Spent 20 minutes talking our air band b host about her parrot than flew away into the forest. No jokes. We were howling. Drove to Dorothy Falls and Lake Maniere which were so av. But luckily en route to Hokatika gorge which was very cool. Bright blue from the glaciers. Ironically, we headed to a fish and chips shop back in Hokatika for lunch called porkies 😂😂. Continued to Franz Joesph without booking an air B and B (all $200+) so opted for our first hostel. Was feeling ok about the situation until a 60 yr old man walked into our room. Just the three of us tonight. Wish us luck.

2 December 2017

Usual morning of packing up (hate our clothes and bags now) and breakfast at the lodge. Drove from Murchison to Westport. Another classic NZ town of nothing. Swiftly moved onto the pancake rocks at Punakaiki. A geographers dream. Favourite drive so far, similar set up to Big Sur (sorry I’ve travelled before, multi cultured 😏). Detoured to Lake Brunner which was so av along with the walk we did. Kept driving to Greymouth but no air B and B so ended up in Hokatika. Got yet another charcuterie selection for the supermarket and watched the sunset by the beach. Waited till dark before heading the glow worm caves

1 December 2017

Dodgy night sleep in damp sheets... they honestly smelt like corn bread! Left swiftly and headed off to the next BH opportunity... heli-dining. No joke, the coolest thing I have ever done. Only four us... a pilot and a personal chef. Flew to a mountain top at 5,500 ft looking over the Marlborough region. The Mahana chef whipped up a 5 course meal looking over the clouds and cliff edge. Incredible, especially when using a BBQ on a mountain top! Felt very out of place but was a once in a life time experience. Explored Nelson and had a DC at the boathouse cafe before driving to BH opportunity number 2 - a fly fishing lodge Murchison. Owen River Lodge. Robins dream. Had a casting lesson before the thunder came in so headed to the Jacuzzi with a glass of wine instead. Living the luxe life today. Drinks and dinner with all the guests, 3 courses of more food. Over cooked it food wise today.

30 November 2017

Woke up at 5.15am for the sunrise. Real let down due to cloud coverage. Headed back to bed for a couple of hours before ‘optional meditation’. It’s a brain entrainment method using sound frequencies so you just lie down with some headphones on. Actually loved it. Apparently I activated my chakra 😂😂 as felt lots of pressure. Sounds ridiculous but far less sceptical about it now. Although an hour later I had a raging headache and felt a little queasy. Delicious breakfast before heading down to split apple rock. Took a few photos, said goodbye and drove to Kaiteriteri. Was meant to go kayaking (another BH thing) but was told the wrong time. So ditched that and drove to Neudorf Vineyard...(it’s either walking or drinking in NZ😂). Made our own charcuterie board and sat with a bottle of Pinot Gris in the garden. Dreamy. Drove past PYO strawberries and fresh soft serve ice cream. More unnessecary food for us. Booked an air B and B in Richmond (near Nelson) - quite the contrast!

29 November 2017

Made it to Marahau (the start of the Abel Tasman National Park) by 9.30am. Opted for the ‘4hr walk’ to Anchorage Bay. Pretty flat so finished in about 3hrs. Sunbathed and swam for a couple of hours before taking the boat taxi back to the start. Sorted out a night with Boss Hunting at this place called Split Apple Retreat. Unreal. Normally $2,200 a night but free in exchange for an article and a couple of IG stories! It’s a health retreat so all about the food, wellness and exclusivity 😏. Only the best. Jumped between the infinity pool and the hot tub before drinks in the evening. Beautiful dinner, 4 courses ... featuring a lot of coconut and chia. Super healthy and surprisingly delicious. Walking around in Kiminos and slippers all night #slummingit. Incredible place and could spend much longer there!

28 November 2017

Caught the first ferry of the day from Wellington to Picton. About 3.5hrs in total but the last 1.5 hrs was beautiful.... all through the Marlborough Sounds. Wanted to swing by Blenheim for the wine so booked a lunch at Brancott Estate. Very modern restaurant looking over the vineyards. Delicious food and surprisingly cheap. Found and Air B and B in Motueka and drove for another 2hrs. Dumped our things before driving to Mapua for drinks... which turned into food. No surprises there. Amazing day, one of my favourites so far.

27 November 2017

A late start before heading to the cities view point -Mount Victoria. A lot less windy today and blue sky’s = burn weather. Got the full works for brunch at Floriditas, another good spot on Cuba street. Drove out to Red Rocks for a 1.5 hr coastal walk. Really nice but we were very unprepared for the heat. When back to Maranui for a milkshake before meeting Rosie at the harbour. Cute place called Poneke right on the waterfront. Rory joined after work and then we walked to Noble Rot for dinner. Delicious lamb but not quite Doeys.

26 November 2017

Met Sue Elliot for brunch at Maranui Cafe in Lyall Bay. Delicious food and right on the water. Thought we needed to do some culture so ticked of Te Papa Museum. Spent about 10 minutes there before walking along waterfront past Sunday markets. Wrote a couple of post cards in the afternoon before picking Rosie and Rory up from the airport. Dinner at The Botanist, a vegetarian place meaning 95% of the menu had nuts in. Only option was a vegetarian burger which was dull as.

25 November 2017

Spent a good 30 minutes looking up cafe menus and referring to IG. Decided on a place Ohene’s which was right on the waterfront. Great food. Walked through the city and took to cable car up to the botanical gardens. Abundance of rare and native flora and fauna #Attenborough. Popped into a couple of shops before moving onto the more affordable charity shops. As we hadn’t eaten for about 1 hr we decided it was time for more food. ... Shared an Oreo milkshake at fidels because why not. Chilled at home before heading out to drinks. A cool place called CRG Merchant where they specialise in infusing rums and gins. Asian dinner at Mr Go’s. Wellington vibe picked up on a Saturday night.

24 November 2017

Breakfast in a cute shipping container near craggy range called Red Bridge. Sat on the grass drinking a beetroot late #alternative. Churned out 3hrs driving while I DJ’ed... whipping out some classic tunes. Really amazing scenery, driving through a lot of farm land. Until somehow we got lured into a cheesecake shop in a tiny town...regret of the day. Arrived in Martinborough and had lunch at a cute cafe. (Bacon and Egg Pie #dualnationality 😂). Aimed to stay the night here but there were no rooms or air b and bs available. So we continued onto Rosie Foxes in Wellington. Drinks at a place called the Library and dinner at Five and Dime. Most incredible Coca Cola lamb ribs and blue cod.

23 November 2017

Went out for breakfast in Havelock North before driving onto Ocean Beach. Beautiful beach with no one on it. Drove past all the vineyards till we hit Cape Kidnappers/Te Awanga. Went back to the Air B and B and biked into town to get more food... Oreo and brownie ice cream. 😜. Taxi came to drop us off at Craggy Range. Really cool vineyard and delicious wines. Long session in the sun before the most amazing dinner. Things like whipped butter infused with Camembert and drizzled with honey. 10/10.

22 November 2017

Had a quick breakfast in Taupo Air B and B before going for a coffee at a place called Spoon and Paddle. Strictly average...classic Taupo. Drove one road for 2hrs to Napier, the Art Deco town and wander around. Surprisingly cute and seriously blue water. Went to Bluff Hill for some views before moving onto Hastings. Looked for some lunch but obviously everywhere is NZ shuts at 2.30pm so ended up having sushi. Kept driving to Havelock North and scouted out a place for dinner before checking into Air B and B. Watched the sunset at Te Mata... absolutely amazing, best yet. Back into town for dinner before bed. Obviously food is top of our minds

21 November 2017

Woke up at 4.45 and joined a bus full of keen trampers (😜). Camel backs (v jealous tbh), hiking boots and poles galore. Arrived at the base as the sun began to rise. We were the first bus on the mountain so nice and quiet. Started off with 5 layers (cashmere roll neck made an appearance) before striping on and off throughout. Two big inclines which were seriously hard. Obviously a lot of “photo opportunities”! The views at the top were incredible - especially the emerald lakes. A couple of hairy moments on the descent, my 5 year old Nike trainers were basically sliders - 0 grip! So lucky with the weather as not a cloud in sight for majority of walk. Ended up finished 19.4km in 5hrs 50 mins. Quicker than we thought. Drove back to Taupo and did our washing/showered before heading out to the local Thai for dinner.

20 November 2017

Headed to Acacia Bay for a coffee with Lily’s family friend. Obviously everyone knows everyone in NZ so found a connection of some sort. Went for a walk along the waterfront/bush (that’s what they call a forest in NZ Ellie 😂). Coffee at the one good cafe - the storehouse - which actually turned out to be over rated. Nothing to do in Taupo so drove down to Turnagi. Stopped off by the water and killed some time and obviously pulled over at a lot of scenic views. Arrived at motel which couldn’t have been more D of E. All quite hilarious but packed and had an early night.

19 November 2017

Left Rotoiti around 11 and drove past the Whakarewarewa. (For those non natives - it’s pronounced fuck-oh-way-ra-way-ra) 😜The plan was to go in but it was $40 for some steam so we thought not. Went shopping in Rotarura for walking gear and continued driving to Taupo. Stopped off at Huka Falls, a classic A level Geographical feature. Found a last minute Air B and B. Dropped our things of before watching the sunset. Overall Taupo is so av. Not much to do and one nice coffee shop in the whole town.

18 November 2017

Got up, on the boat and went straight to the hot pools across the lake. Really nice and warm but sulphur heavy smells. Finished of with a dip in the lake before heading back. Very chilled day playing boggle and reading about things to do in NZ. Drinks with the neighbours, BBQ sausages and a film for dinner.

17 November 2017

Left Whangapou in the morning and headed to cathedral cove. Didn’t realise it was a 40 minute walk from the car to the beach (each way) so was not prepared. Walk down was beautiful but beach was v overcrowded. Sweated back up to the car and drove past hot water beach. Continued for 4hrs to Lake Rotoiti and arrived by late afternoon. Doey took us straight out onto the boat fishing with some wine and crisps. Incredible evening.

16 November 2017

- chilled morning. Listened to music on the beach and headed to the dairy for food while we waited for washing to finish. - walked to New Chums beach, only accessible by foot. Beautiful and so secluded. - back to dairy for an ice cream and an afternoon cider. - played catch on the beach before a nap -bbq steak and veg for dinner. Beaut day.

15 November 2017

Drove from David’s to the coromandel today. About a three hour drive, amazing views. Stopped off in the town of coromandel and had lunch at wharf road. Headed to the Margots batch on Mangakahia road in Whangapoua. Planned to go to the diary to buy food but it was shut so ended up going to a locals house to buy some eggs. Had a couple of drinks and listened to some music on the beach before a BBQ dinner.

14 November 2017

A super sunny day in Russel today. Headed up to Flagstaff, a look out point which was beaut. Had breakfast at a place called hell hole - a phenomenal breaky bagel which I won’t stop talking about. Big car journey back to Auckland via Bethalls Beach. V lucky as we missed a storm and got sun for the beach. Weather is so temperamental. Sand was bloody hot and we were in bare feet so kept it quick. Drove to Auckland via Margot Bowes house. A friend of mums who is kindly letting us use her batch in the Coromandel. Dinner at Doeys before bed.

13 November 2017

Headed out fishing in the morning to catch some snapper. About 7 of us on the boat, a really cool way of seeing the islands. We avoided the cruises as they just looked too tourist. Was so much fun but we weren’t too successful. We caught about 5 each but could only keep one as they had to reach 32cm in length. V chilled afternoon. Headed to a pub called the swordfish for a drink before bed.

12 November 2017

Headed to our skydive in KeriKeri which was 2 hrs from Pukenui. Chose to do the 16,000ft skydive which has a 70 second and reaches speeds of 200km/hr. I managed to get a nose bleed on the way down. Classic. We then headed to Paihia, seems like the more touristy spot in the BOI. Had a lunch before catching the car ferry to Russell. It is the oldest town in New Zealand. It’s so beautiful and right on the water. Had dinner at the Duke of Marlborough which was delicious.

11 November 2017

Left Air B and B and drove to Kaitaia for the weekend market. A real flop. Not quite what we were expecting. Only white people around 😂. Drove to Waiharara to check out 90 mile beach which looked so cool. Our insurance didn’t allow us to drive along it but took highway 1 up to Cape Reinga instead. Scenery looked a bit like Scotland. CR was beautiful, incredible views. Then went dune boarding on Te Paki dunes - so much fun just a real bitch to get to the top! Night in a motel in Pukenui - wouldn’t be surprised if we got murdered tonight. Love all my fans.

10 November 2017

Picked up the car and drove North. Stopped off at the Tane Mahuta tree in the Waipoua forest....v windy roads and fairly av. Originally meant to stop in Rawene in the Hokinaga harbour but a seriously empty place so kept driving to Ahipara at a super cute Air B and B. Tomorrow heading Cape Reinga

9 November 2017

Lunch at Mudbrick. Amazing view and delicious charcuterie board. Wine tasting - mixture from Waiheke and Marlborough. Ferry back and dinner with David.

8 November 2017

Walked Onetangi Beach Lunch at The Boathouse Evening drinks on lawn

7 November 2017

Waiheke: 10km Vineyard Walk Drink at Stoneyridge