Land of the Long White Cloud


When we were all keyed up and excited to leave for NZ on 1/1, the slight delay (30mins) was enough to provide a little sigh but little did we know, that it was a miniscule prelude to the incredibly long delay we were to encounter on our journey home, on 14/1. Sandwiched in between these faux pas however, was a wonderful holiday. Tress, Kiddo and I were immensely blessed to immerse ourselves in the beauty of NZ, and to experience this display as a family.

We got in at Auckland, went up to Mount Eden with an ex-colleague of Tress’ now working in Auckland, and then made our way towards Waitomo (the caves) and then to Mata Mata where we took in the magic of Hobbiton and The Shire. After that we headed towards Rotorua and took in the scenes and experience of the hot springs and geysers before driving to Wellington.

From Wellington we took the inter-islander to Picton, drove to Blenheim in the Marlborough region to enjoy the famous NZ Sauvignon Blanc, and then drove to the east coast town of Kaikoura. From there we pushed down to Christchurch and then to Twizel and relived the Pelennor Fields experiences. Then it was Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier before moving more southward to Queenstown for a few days.

From Queenstown the plan was to then go to the West Cost and see Fox Glacier but at Lake Hawea, we were told some roads had been washed out and that part of the west coast we were heading had become inaccessible. So we turned around and headed to Dunedin instead, after which it was back to Christchurch and back to Melbourne.

The whole trip was unforgettable for its beauty, majesty, purity and invigorating nature. The 10+ hours delay by Virgin Airlines at Christchurch only dampened the experience very slightly, such was the magnificence of Aotearoa.

I hope to return soon, as do Tress and Kiddo I’m sure.

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