NZ, you little beauty!

My father just turned 70, and we came back to NZ to celebrate this milestone with Family and Friends.

The trip had us arrive in Auckland, travel to rural Te Awamutu and then on to Whitianga for the weekend.img_9757

I think I have been in Melbourne just long enough that on this visit it was like I was seeing all these places for the first time – and the tourists to NZ are right – this is an amazingly beautiful country!  Just driving from Te Awamutu to Whitianga had me wanting to stop at every corner to take a photo of the lush landscape and awesome vistas (as each corner was almost an Instagram moment, I was pretty active on my postings, so check out my Instagram for the trip in pictures).

The birthday was a relaxed affair, with close friends and Family, and provided an excellent opportunity to catch up with the nieces and nephews. Whitianga has to be on your “must do” list of NZ – it’s hard to believe that this is where I spent most of my childhood, I truly had a charmed life!

Whitianga is a small town of about 30,000 people that during summer grows to nearly 300,000 people. It is central to many of the peninsulas sites, which in my opinion are best seen by boat. While in Whitianga, I do recommend checking out the Lost Springs, a beautiful experience which will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Before we knew it, the weekend was done, and it’s time to get back to Melbourne and back to work. Normally, we rely on family or friends to get us to Auckland for our flight, however on this occasion the timing was not good for anyone – so a quick search of the net found us a Intercity bus direct from Hamilton to Auckland International Airport for $20 NZD per person … Great value!

It’s not often that I miss NZ when we are surrounded with the lifestyle we have in Melbourne, but each time I leave NZ to go back “home”, I realise that I miss it more than I thought.  Thankfully we are back in November for my NZ 40th birthday celebration.

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