Summer holidays!

Our Summer holiday was a new adventure for our family this  year.  Normally, we head north to the warmth of the Bay of Plenty to visit family and camp up there.  As our planned renovations aren’t quite at the point we had hoped, and we didn’t need to be slogging it out at home, we decided at the last minute to join some friends in Puponga (at the base of Farewell Spit).  Our friends invited us to join them in camping on a piece of land owned by one of their family members.  On the land are many fruit trees, fields of long grass and some very basic facilities (read long drop and an out door shower).  As we are more your glamping type and prefer a facility where we can have daily hot showers etc,  we decided we could survive up to four days and would have a few days in motels afterwards.  We had a fantastic time despite the random assortment of weather and thoroughly enjoyed exploring a part of New Zealand, we are unfamiliar with. Here’s a little of what we saw along the way.


Raindrops on the river at Pelorus Bridge. We were in search of the hobbit!


Split Apple Rock – what a lovely spot?

Amazing windswept undulating west coast beach of Farewell Spit.


The obligatory “rotting” car – Every exceptionally rural piece of land seems to have one of these!

Can you spot the face in the rock?


The very basic facilities are hidden in there.

Makara Wind Farm from the top of the Marlborough Sounds


Great Barrier Island


We have just come back from three magnificent days on the wonderful Great Barrier Island.  I was kind of dreading the trip…let’s be honest, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but who really wants to go away with the in laws and all the extended family!?! My darling husband’s Gran and Granddad have just celebrated their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary and decided they would like all the family to go for a holiday to Great Barrier Island. Quite an incredible feat in this day and age…I really do hope we get to celebrate ours too one day.

Great Barrier Island is straight off the top of the Coromandel Peninsula, about 5 hours ferry ride from Auckland.  We got to go on private charter flights, in what I would define as people movers with wings. Our flights up took about 35mins from Tauranga.

When we arrived we were met by our local tour guide Steve, who took us on just about every winding road on the island over the three days we were there and filled the trips with interesting stories about the history and locals of Great Barrier Island.  On arrival at Claris airport we boarded his bus and he took us across the Island to the spectacular Whangaparapara harbour, where we stayed at Great Barrier Lodge. On the front lawn of the lodge, a rope swing hung in a tree…the kids spent every possible minute and not enough if you ask them on the swing.  It was just  an idyllic location!

Enough words from me…here are a few more photos of what we saw and did!