Family holidays in a way, are the best type of holidays! You and I both know that friends come and go, but family always stays. So I’m glad to say that our last holiday of the year was wonderfully spent with the ones we love most, with memories to be forever remembered and cherished.
No matter which country I’m in, there’s never a place like home – Christchurch. A city which is hard to miss, Lonely Planet even voted us as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2013!We landed in Christchurch Airport at around 2am, my beautiful Mother Dearest welcomed us both with arms wide open. The last time I saw her was a few months prior to this trip, meaning I was well due for a mum hug! When we arrived home she had a box of fire works ready for us to light, a chilled glass of wine and the electric blanket on high!
Driving around near and far, showing Mitch what Christchurch has to offer. Exploring the beaches where I grew up at, my old primary school and where we used to live. Walks through the ‘quake city’ and the botanical gardens, punting on the Avon River and eating ridiculous amounts of hot chippies.Next up to Keri Keri!!! Located in the Bay of Islands, which is where we met up with Mitch’s family to not only finish, but to start the rest of our holiday. Only four hours and a bit of a bus drive, woohoo sounds like fun right, (just being a little sarcastic haha, because who loves being stuck on a bus ughhh) but I do agree this is the best way to travel!
Bay of Islands is made up of 144 different islands! Every little town delivers a vibrant culture filled with friendly people, delicious food and a never ending treasure of natural wonders unlike anywhere else.The Avalon Eco Resort that we stayed at was just beautiful!
Secluded cottages with your own private deck overlooking the peaceful valley and the golf course, a large paddock with chickens and pigs, complementary kayaks, a natural spring watered pool and spa, plus loads more!The amount of amazing waterfalls we saw were just ridiculous, they were all so magical in their own magical way! If only it wasn’t freezing cold as a swim would have just been splendid. Keeping it short with just a few photos as they’re really are way to many to post.
Haruru FallsRainbow FallsWhangarei FallsDay trips were the highlight of our trip in Keri Keri, almost every day consisted of finding beautiful hidden gems. One of my favourites was definitely driving up to the very tip top of the North Island – Cape Reinga. A place where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean dance! When the wind and salt levels are just right, you can watch the two seas clash which create stunning whirlpools.On our way back to the resort, we took a detour and stopped in at Giant Te Paki Sand Dunes and Ngawha Hot Spring Pools.
Sand Dunes: Photos do not do this place justice, it was frekken massive! I imagine this is what the Sahara Desert looks like… Tourists hired body boards and surfed their way down the dunes, we rolled down instead haha.Hot Pools: Man made and freshly pumped with hot mineral water! If you want a spotless and a tiled facility this isn’t the place for you. But if you’re happy with rustic, back to back basics and no frills then welcome! Theres about 12 different types of pools ranging from cold to over 40 degrees and the best of all, its only a $4 entry!Setting off on a full day cruise in search for dolphins and other marine life as we admire this crystal clear water!
Enjoying the stunning views while exploring many islands and the famous Hole in the Rock (the one that no ones ever heard of haha). Wining and dining at its finest, ending our night with a sunset dinner under Haruru Falls.Coming to the end of our family vay cay, heading down south to Auckland where we will arrive to a 104 year old house.
Braemar Bed & Breakfast is located bang smack right in the middle of the city! Three stories high and perfectly styled with a mixture of old and new! I will admit I did have some pretty wild dreams that still to this day freaks me out.The best way to travel across the country is to hire your own vehicle. To truly enjoy what New Zealand has to offer, do not rush. While road tripping, allow yourself plenty of time for delays and unexpected stops as you will find some beautiful spots.
It really is all about the journey.
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Much love, K x