Family-Friendly Wineries on Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island, a short ferry ride away from Auckland City, makes an excellent day trip or even better a weekend getaway destination.   The island is a perfect retreat with picturesque beaches and wineries galore. We selected Waiheke Island as our Christmas Holiday getaway despite it being the island’s busiest time. The laid back vibe was exactly what we were looking for after a full on year.  Our original plan of lounging on the beach…

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Hakarimata Summit Climb

There I stood looking out across the Waikato for miles admiring the beauty of our new home.   Sometimes the simple moments create the biggest impact in our lives.  My 1st trip up New Zealand’s Hakarimata Summit made me want to challenge myself outside my comfort zone and later inspired me to share these experiences through my blog. My 1st Climb A little background… It was June of 2015 and our family had recently moved…

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Aboriginal Art Light Show

The Sydney Opera House recently unveiled a new light show starting at sunset and 7pm each night. The eastern sails feature artwork from 5 Aboriginal Artists during the 7 minute presentation.  The display known as ‘Badu Gili’, translating to water light in the language of Gadigal people. Our 1st attempt to catch the show was a failure due to anticipating the artwork to be displayed on the Opera House sails facing the Harbour Bridge.   We waited…

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Australia’s Symbio Wildlife Park

The Symbio Wildlife Park is located about 45 minutes South Sydney in Helensburgh, Australia. We are currently living on the South part of Sydney so a quicker trip for us. Our family are annual pass holders for the Taronga Zoo and consider it one of the best in the World. The smaller wildlife parks are often more interactive though and we found this to be true of the Symbio Wildlife Park. The girls and I visited…

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5 Action-Packed Bucket List Experiences

Calling All Thrill-Seekers (New Zealand’s North Island) New Zealand has a well-deserved reputation for adventure tourism.  It would take weeks and large sums of $$ to try all the action-packed experiences this country has to offer.  Most adrenaline junkie posts I read are young travelers off for a year abroad and good on them for living life. I am here to tell you that people of all ages can enjoy New Zealand’s thrilling side.  This…

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Three Sisters and Elephant Rock

The Three Sisters and Elephant Rock visit happened as an unplanned detour following our long weekend in New Plymouth. We learned early on that you should always stop for green Department of Conservation signs or brown arrow signs while driving around New Zealand. These signs never disappoint! The Three Sisters (though only two originals left) are rock formations standing 25 meters tall along the North Taranaki coast. Their third sister was swept away to sea…

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Whale Watching Sydney Cruise

Previous whale watching excursions I had seen in New Zealand ranged from around $200 – $250 per person for a 3-4 hour tour.  The 3 hour Whale Watching Sydney Cruise out of Darling Harbor would be available for $99 for 1 adult and 2 kids (Ella was free).  I could not turn down this chance to see whales up close. We arrived at Darling Harbour 15 minutes prior to our 12:45 boarding time.  Here we selected…

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Karangahake Gorge – Windows Walk

The Karangahake Gorge can be found on the southern section of New Zealand’s Coromandel region between Paeroa and Waihi. The drive alone presents breathtaking views but I highly recommend doing one (or all) of the trails. The Karangahake Reserve car park is situated directly off State Highway 2 for added convenience. The Windows Walks is a 2.5 km loop along the Karangahake Gorge where the path leads directly through a historic gold mine tunnel. All along…

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Owharoa Falls

The Owharoa Falls is an easy detour and only a couple of kilometers away from the scenic Karangahake Gorge between Paeroa and Waihi – New Zealand. My suggestion would be to travel to the Karanghake Gorge 1st for an afternoon walk through the old gold mines.  Then after working up an appetite, I would recommend The Bistro Falls Retreat for lunch, located across the street from the Owharoa Falls. Here you can sit outside and…

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Da Nang – Vietnam

Other than the shuttle ride from the airport, my 1st experience in Da Nang City happened during the Fire-Breathing Dragon Bridge show.  The girls were still too jet lagged to come with me so Andrew kindly volunteered to stay behind with them.  The bustling city comes alive at night with all the lights especially along the River.  I wanted to see what it was like during the daytime. Following our trip to visit Lady Buddha,…

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