New Zealand Travel Wishlist

I’ve shared a travel wishlist recently about other countries I’d love to visit one day. In fact, I’m always thinking about travel and wanting to see something new, so why not make a list of some of the places I would like to see in my own backyard? It’s closer for one, and will fill that sense of wanderlust without requiring me to travel halfway across the world.


I don’t think I’ve ever been to Queenstown. Queenstown in general looks so beautiful, both in winter and summer. I’d love to experience both, and it’s only a one and a half hour flight away. It is super popular all the time though, and not that cheap. So this will take some extra planning, but you can bet I’ll get there.


(Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash)

Milford Sound is also in Queenstown. Mitre Peak is the highest point I think, and it has lots of waterfalls cascading and plummeting down. It’s meant to be very impressive. It’s also home to colonies of seals, penguins and dolphins. There’s lots of boat tours to do there and everyone who’s been says it’s amazing. So I need to go there.


(Photo by Anderson Aguirre on Unsplash)


Another spot I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s fairly close to Auckland, and while I’ve been there lots of times, we never got up to the Coromandel. It looks amazing! They have the aptly named Hot Water Beach. At low tide, it gets very crowded as everyone digs in the sand and finds bubbling, hot water. I don’t know how hot it gets, but the whole thing just sounds like a lot of fun, and it looks beautiful.


(Photo by Ivan Sanford on Unsplash)

The other main appeal is Cathedral  Cove (Te Whanganui – A – Hei). You can only get to it by foot, boat or kayak. The track is around 2 hours, and takes you past some amazing sights. The Cove itself is just stunning!


(Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash)

Abel Tasman National Park

Golden beaches, sculptured cliffs and a world-famous coastal track. Just looking at pictures of here make me want to go already. This is located on the north end of the South Island. The coastal track takes a few days, but there are huts along the way that you can book to stay in. You pass natural rock pools, suspension bridges, rivers and waterfalls…plus you may get to see some fur seals! I definitely hope to do this walk one day.


(Photo by Andrea Schaffer on DOC/Creative Commons)

Hokitika Gorge

Another beautiful little spot. Bright turquoise water, that apparently is even brighter in real life. This is home to another great track to wander in, or go for a scenic drive.


(Photo by Josquin Arts via Flickr on 100% Pure New Zealand)

There’s more places I want to see, but I now want to share some of my own photos from around this beautiful country. I’ve already been lucky enough to see lots of incredible places in New Zealand. Just to name a few, here are more places that you should check out if you ever have a chance to visit!

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

One of the great walks of New Zealand, but also one of the shortest taking just 5 hours to complete. Of course there’s extra parts to do if you want to push yourself, but for me, 5 hours was enough. What I got to see during my time there was amazing though!

Waiheke Island

I got to visit this beautiful island off Auckland for my sister’s wedding. They couldn’t have picked a more gorgeous spot!

Pancake Rocks

To be fair, my memories of this place are a little more vague. The last time I’ve been here was 2007, but look at those crazy rock formations!!


Again, I haven’t been here for a few years (not since 2011), but this coastal town is home to many fur seals. We often visited here for a day trip during our summer holidays down to the South Island.

Maybe I’m just showing off now on how incredibly pretty and diverse our country is, and there’s still so much to see! New Zealand is definitely a bucket-list worthy place to travel to! Even to us living in it, most of us probably haven’t seen half the wonder that’s here.

Is there somewhere in your own home country you’d love to visit?


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Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Crossing

As the title says, I did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing back in February. My partner, Rory, had done this before a fair few years ago, but I never have. As a native New Zealander, and a kind of fan of Lord of the Rings, it has been on my to-do list for a while. Now I’m not in the best shape, but this hike didn’t seem too daunting. At least not as bad as the Salkantay Trek up to Machu Picchu I did a few years back. So, a deal came up on TreatMe, we took it and went over Waitangi Weekend (February 6, a public holiday in NZ)

If anyone is interested, here’s a link to a map of the day hike: Tongariro Crossing


We stayed at a lodge in Owhango, and got dropped off at around 7am at the Mangatepopo carpark. Already at the beginning, there was a lot of people. This is a very popular day hike (one of the most popular), especially on a weekend in summer. The guide who dropped us off said there was likely 1200 people hiking on this day. This led to very long lines for the toilet, as they are far and few between on this hike. So after a not-so-quick rest stop, we set off at around 7.20am. This hike is said to take around 5 1/2 to 6 hours if you’re just doing the main walk, so we were looking at finishing at around 1-1.30pm.

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The theme of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Transient.

Another word that I wasn’t sure what the meaning was, but it’s good to learn these things. Transient is something that lasts for a short time, a brief, short-lived experience, or something that just passes by.

For my interpretation of the theme, I wanted to talk about a beach. Rarangi Beach.

For those who don’t know this is a small beach that can be reached from Blenheim. My regular readers may know that I frequently visited Blenheim when I was younger as part of our summer and Christmas holidays. Every two years we would come down for a week. One of our favourite activities was visiting Rarangi Beach. In later years, we began documenting our travels.

Every two years we returned, we remarked on how the place looked the same, but we ourselves were growing, and changing as a person.

Every time we return, I wonder what stories places like these can tell. So many people, animals, sticks, driftwood and seaweed pass through, from back to the time the beach itself was created.

Even footsteps on the beach don’t last. They fade as the waves wash over them, even while we watch. Not to get too morbid, but we ourselves are transient, we’re only here for a short time compared to the environment around us. I didn’t mean to end this on a somewhat dark note, so let’s end it here. Cherish these little moments, where you’re with your family, on a holiday, or just playing on a beach.


New Zealand 101

Hey guys. So this is slightly inspired by my dear friend Alli, who does a series where she researches places she doesn’t know much about, then enlightens us all on what she learnt. I’m taking a bit of a different route, and talking about a country I do know a lot about, and that I live in. It’s going to be slightly informative, but also poking fun a little at my lovely home country.

So, hey, where is New Zealand?

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Thanks Map of

Yes, there we are in the corner. We are often forgotten in most maps in a lot of forms of media, and other things. I have a game called Pandemic, and we like to point out that NZ is barely on the map. In fact, in many movies, if a map comes up, see if NZ is on there. Most times, it’s a no. Which means in all wars and zombie outbreaks, we must be safe and laughing at the rest of the world as it crashes and burns.

Image result for maps without new zealand pandemic

So, let’s learn more about this tiny country made up of a few islands at the bottom of the world.

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Walking up Mount Vic

Walking up Mount Vic

Hello! This week’s TBT, is actually just from this weekend! However, I have done this walk many times over the past few years. Most often with Rory, and in fact, he proposed to me during a picnic we were having up on Mt Vic, so it’s very special to me!

Last Sunday was sunny all day which is a miracle. So I finally decided to do the walk again (I haven’t done it since last December), and this time to take lots of photos as I did.

I put in my music and good walking shoes, and I headed out. We already live on a hill as you can see, but the street leading up to the Mount Victoria walkway is super steep.


I decided to stop for a selfie at the sign which shows you’ve literally just started the walk. I couldn’t see if it was good as it was super bright, but looking back at them all, this was the best one I took.


So, this is one minute in. The slope starts off nice and easy, and you already get a lovely view of the city.


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Songs From Work

So this post is a little random, the idea popped into my head because I was thinking about all the latest songs that the kids at my centre have been interested in. We love to sing songs. A lot. The songs often go in and out of popularity, but they’re all catchy, and I will come home inevitably singing or humming some earworm and getting it stuck in Rory’s head. So I thought I would share with you guys, the current popular songs going around my centre.

The Classics

As always, there are the usual songs that are popular.

Wheels on the Bus is great. There’s lots of actions, and recently, one of the 14 month old girls has worked out how to do the “Shh” noise, so she always wants us to do the song.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat. But with the crocodile ending of course, because what one year old doesn’t love screaming.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed is also huge right now. We love to do the actions, and the kids love wagging their finger as we say “No more monkeys jumping on the bed”

The Cultural

So New Zealand is a bicultural (or multicultural really) country. The Maori language, Te Reo is often used in the centre. We have lots of key phrases we use, and do our best to incorporate songs and prayers in Te Reo during out day to day activities. These include Tutira Mai, Ma is white (Colours), One Day a Taniwha, etc.

Currently, our toddlers are obsessed with Poi E. A kiwi classic, all in Te Reo. I recommend you guys watch the song. I have always loved it myself. Plus look at all the 80s fashion!

One particular little boy will swing his pois around like projectiles, and we have to move him to his own area so he doesn’t hit his friends as much. Our pois are soft, as they’re made from cotton and plastic, but he swings them fast enough that his friends get annoyed when he accidentally swings it into their face. For those wondering what a poi is, it’s featured a lot in the clip. It’s a small ball attached on the end of a string which is used a lot in Maori dance and culture.

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Golden Bay

Golden Bay

Welcome to another TBT! Today is about when we visited Golden Bay in Nelson. This was during our Christmas Holidays in the South Island back in 2009.

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Golden Bay is located around Nelson, a few hours drive from Blenheim (in the South Island) where we were spending Christmas with our extended family. We often went for little day trips, and one day Dad suggested this. The name alone sounded intriguing, and we were all keen to go out for a day trip.

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It was very pretty, and very busy! Especially since it was the summer holidays.

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Leisurely Drives #2

Hello friends! Remember Leisurely Drives, well you guys really liked it, which is great! Cause I loved making it 😀

Ready for some more pictures I took from the car while we were driving around on a sunny day? Yes?

Well then, let’s go!

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You made it to the end! I did take more pictures than this, but there was a lot of blurry ones. Maybe I should start editing my photos too, cause I never do. Except for on Instagram, but that’s cause they’re already on the app, I don’t have to open another program.

Anyway, you may have noticed a YouTube link underneath this paragraph. I have said that I’m interested in trying to do videos as well as blogs…Well this is my first real effort. I started videoing on another drive instead of just taking pictures. I downloaded a free video editing program, looked around online for songs that I could freely download and use without royalty costs. Then I spent way longer than I thought I would cutting together footage and trying to match it to the music. I also kept in random bits of audio which I thought were funny. But anyway, feel free to have a watch and let me know what you think 🙂 All constructive criticism welcome.

The music is Good Times by Podington Bear. I found it here. Also, this video is less than 2 minutes, but took me around 2 hours to make. Yikes, I feel for all those YouTubers.

Anyway, I am keeping in the back of my mind, other ideas that might work for videos. It may be a while before I do a talking one, cause it still feels awkward. That’s still a future goal though, cause this was fun 🙂


Makara Beach

Makara Beach

Hallo! Welcome to another little TBT post. Today’s is about a place I have very briefly mentioned before in the blog. It’s about Makara Beach. I had never heard of this place before, but Rory had frequented it with his family as they liked to walk there. So in 2015, on a Labour Day weekend, Rory drove us up there, so we could do this little walk up the hill.

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It was a very stony beach

As we made our way past the carpark, we came across this beach. It was very stony. To the left, there was a little path and a sign showing us more about the walk.

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A helpful little sign

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There were a few options we could take. We went with the ones that went up to the Fort Opau gun battlements. The full walk takes few hours, but we decided on just doing a small part (we got hungry).

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