30/11/2019 – 10/12/2019

Auckland > Whatipu > Tawharanui > Uretiti > Opononi > Kai Iwi Lakes > Muriwai > Auckland > Pauanui.

A stunning, relaxing and fabulously fun week and a half showing Tom what NZ is made of. We saw glow worms at Waipu, we tracked kiwis for my 30th, swum with phosphorescence at Tawharanui, checked out the incredible cars at Puhoi pub, spun a proper yarn with locals at Opononi Pub, smelt the intense stench of the Southern Gannets at Muriwai, went swimming bodyboarding, and cliff jumping into rivers, streams and oceans, ate more fish and chips than I care to admit, explored caves, listened to the Tui, and so much more.

The unique New Zealand brand of magic.

A special shout out goes to our friends Liz and Dave who made the trip possible by lending us their van and of course to Theresa for surprising me on my birthday <3

Awesome time spent down in Turangi, dog-sitting for my Aunty and Uncle (shout out to Heather + Peter, thanks for lending us your beautiful place!). Wow what a get away! From swimming in the freezing Tongariro river (my skin actually hurt) to hiking Tongariro Crossing, making friends with Piwakawakas (fantails) at Wairakei Hotsprings, exploring the bubbling sulfuric mud pools of Rotorua (and of course trying the mud face masks), checking out the breath taking Waihora Lagoon, jumping in to lake Taupo, biking through the local bush trails, staring in awe at Huka Falls and of course chilling with our best buds Zena and Jazz! I can’t wait to return!

We spent a relaxing 11 days house sitting for Heather and Peter in Turangi, 15/11/19 – 26/11/19

Spent the day at Karangahake Gorge with the wonderful Theresa Bridge. Exploring old gold mining tunnels where we found glow worms living, hiking, collecting leaves and even braving the waters for a fresh spring swim. Love an NZ summer I tell ya.

Karangahake Gorge Walk – 13/11/19

A short ferry from Central Auckland brings you to Rangitoto, a relatively young, dormant volcanic island you can easily  climb. You are walking on lava, surrounded by singing Tui and Piwakawaka and you feel like you are on another planet!

Rangitoto Island – 02/11/2019

Had to take Tom to Piha – without a doubt one of my very most favourite places on this planet. Piha is a beautiful and wild west-coast beach, nestled within the huge Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. A lot of the tracks I love were closed to help combat Kauri dieback disease, but we still managed to have an awesome day exploring the beach, visiting Kitekite Falls and climbing Lion Rock. All topped off with a cheeky Burgerfuel and a kiwi lager at my fav top secret Auckland City lookout spot!

Piha – 30/10/2019

We ticked off something that has been on my bucket list for ages – Tongariro Alpine Crossing! What an awesome day hiking in the cold sunshine, soaking up the gorgeous natural landscapes of New Zealand with the stunning backdrop of Mt Ngauruhoe.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – 19/11/19

In a small win for NZ, Whittakers takes out champion chocolate in the Humphreys-Carden household. Blind tested with a control chocolate (NZ Cadbury bar), Whittakers wins best and most creamy chocolate by far. Ash not surprised.

One second every day of October. Includes Peru, San Francisco and New Zealand! Featuring my beautiful family right at the end <3