I remember visiting Milford Sound many!! years ago and thinking wow, this is great. Way back then it was a bus trip from Te Anau and a small boat out to view Stirling Falls from the water.
But this morning I heard doors banging in the corridor, wondered what the time was and opened the curtains to see outside. Lo and behold a bloody great 2km high cliff with 3 million waterfalls cascading down!!! Yes, a little exaggerated but my first words were “KEMM - get up!!!!”

Early Morning Picton
Lunch with Arthur and Alison in Auckland

It is well known that the Cardrona Pub is a great stopping point on the road between Wanaka and Queenstown but have never actually been there.

As such, our goal for the day was to head over the Crown Range road  as it's called, stop at the Cardrona Pub for lunch then venture on to Arrowtown after lunch.

The pub is only about 25kms from Wanaka and all flat to get there. I had always thought it was up high on the range - wrong! Anyway, a gorgeous day in this neck of the woods, mid 20's and hardly a cloud in the sky so we had a drink before lunch out in the beer garden then the usual pub fare for lunch.

A train trip you need to do! The Taieri Gorge train is a return 4hr trip through an amazingly scenic gorge sparsely populated with high country sheep who haven't seen the inside of a shearing shed for a long time, the Taieri River all the way and steep walled hills with fossilized rock coverage.

You would love it, knowing how you love the hills so much. Running commentary all the way as well from a very well learned train manager.

A bunch of cruise ship passengers were meant to be on board as well but they had cancelled out for whatever reason so we had heaps of room to move around. I've taken heaps of photos so will link you to those when I've got them sorted..

After this we are off for a tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory!

It's been a big weekend here, arrived in Auckland on Wednesday night and had the night there to ourselves before driving down to New Plymouth on Thursday. It was a 'hot' day then, 30 in New Plymouth so the kiwis were all dying of heat stress! Very dry driving down as the country had had very little rain for months.

The first night is always the best they say and we did it well of course even though only a dozen of us around.

When we arrived in Auckland on Tuesday night the weather was horrendous and freezing! The weather news on TV wasn't much chop either with the forecast being ongoing cold weather.
However the next day we woke to not a cloud in the sky and although cold, was a beautiful day.
Our planning for what we are going to do has been sporadic to say the least - our only real plan was to head over to Massey somewhere the other side of Auckland and collect the magnum of Moet that Kemm won over the Anzac wkd when in NZ in April. PIcked that up then decided that rather than head north (as we thought we might at that point) we would just head south out of Auckland and over to Tauranga.



Kerikeri has a rich and colourful history. The Stone Store is New Zealand's oldest building. Rewa's Village will take you back to a time before European settlement. And a visit to the Kerikeri Mission Station and Pete's Pioneers Transport Museum is not to be missed.


Kerikeri is widely known for its successful horticulture, niche food products, fabulous chocolates, boutique vineyards, art galleries, cafes and crafts.

Foodies everywhere come to stock up on an abundance of fresh local foods at the Farmer's Market every Sunday morning.

18th August

Flew via Emirates into Auckland and had a driver take us to Lyn and Andrew's place at Bucklands Beach. Magic place which Lyn has had for years but it's right on "The Parade" and across the road from the water.

Sitting relaxing here just watching the water traffic out the window is delightful!

19th - Wednesday


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