With The Hubbie travelling to New Zealand last week for work, it was the perfect opportunity to join him for a long weekend to experience another part of the world. It was also a chance to discover the country he fell in love with when he spent a year there aged eighteen – and to meet his cousins, who I had heard so much about! Having been there with work for several days already, I made the three-hour flight into Auckland late on Thursday evening to meet him.
Having recovered with a night’s sleep (me from the flight, him from the football), the next morning we headed straight to the city’s Sky Tower to take in the incredible sights. You can walk the whole way around for a 360 degree view, stepping onto the sheer glass panels if you dare!
You can even abseil down the side of the tower – a mere 328 metre drop onto the road below (gulp) – but after hearing the screams we both decided we were quite happy keeping our feet on solid ground! After taking in the views we wandered down to the marina to soak up the atmosphere, where the restaurants were buzzing with the lunchtime trade.
After a short pit stop in Auckland we jumped in our hire car to make our way south to the town of Pukekohe, where we had plans for the evening with family.
This was a typical view out of the car window: very rugged landscapes with green, rolling hills, trees and gorges. Thanks to our trusty friend Trip Advisor we discovered the Te Maketu waterfall was closeby, so we pulled over for a short walk through the forest to take a look…
After a lovely evening spent in Pukekohe, we were back on the road again to make our way to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui on the coast, where we had the second of our long-awaited family catch-ups planned.
The Mount is pretty spectacular! A huge, grassy mountain rising out of the sea, overlooking Pilot Bay.
We enjoyed drinks and nibbles at a bar overlooking the sea, with patio heaters keeping us cosy against the cool winter breeze.
The next morning the phone rang – IT WAS ADVENTURE CALLING (smirk)! In his ‘pre-Hubbie’ NZ days The Hubbie had had great fun at the Rotorua Skyline Gondola and Luge – whereby you travel up a mountain by cable car and whizz all the way down on speedy little go-karts – so he was keen to go back again and recreate the magic. Ever the dutiful wife, I got kitted up with a helmet and threw myself into the unknown down the windy track…
…and enjoyed it a little bit more than I should at 28 years old!
After whizzing down the mountain and riding back up again several times like excited children, we had to get back to the adult world and get into an actual car to head off again for the last leg of our trip.
Our final stop was Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove, a favourite spot of The Hubbie’s. When the tide is out, you can walk along the beach through a cavern that leads you through to a picturesque, secluded cove.
We just about caught the sunset with all of its glorious colours.
We stayed and admired the view until the tide came in and threatened our escape!
Before we knew it our last day in New Zealand had arrived. We were up to catch these early birds bathing in the first light of the sun, the sky streaked with pink and blue.
New Zealand – we’ll come back soon!