I was 19 the first time I went abroad – to Spain, and now Tony and I have travelled approximately 86,500km the long way round, to get to New Zealand, the country my mum often spoke about, but never visited. I wish she could have seen this gorgeous country – it is astounding.
There is a huge contrast currently between the fire ravaged landscape of Australia’s NSW and Victoria and the lush green hills and valleys of Aotearoa. (Maori for NZ)
We spent a fab 2 days in Auckland with my beautiful friend Rosie, who I met in London in 1992 but haven’t seen for 20 years, and her equally beautiful daughter Stella. Then we drove to the Coromandel on winding, motion sickness inducing, narrow and often steep roads; the breathtaking views fortunately causing us to forget all the negative sensory overload.
We found New Chums Beach, where we didn’t make any new chums, but admired the camper vans, followed by the creatively named Hot Water Beach where we dug holes in the sand with our $10 hired spade to find springs of red hot water. From the stunning sunset at Thames beach to swimming in the surprisingly shallow but huge Rotorua lake – we have loved going round every hairpin bend to see what’s next.
The beach at Thames