Been There Done That, Bike Trails, Free, New Zealand, Walks

Pipiwharauroa Trail – Te Uku Wind Farm

On our first visit to New Zealand we drove out to Raglan Beach to check out the nearest beach before our country relocation.  The short 45 minute trip from Hamilton City (our home for 2 years) featured the Te Uku Wind Farm along the way.  I was instantly fascinated with the Te Uku Wind Farm having never seen a wind farm in person.  Once I found out about the Pipiwharauroa Trail which curves through the wind farm,…

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Australia, Been There Done That, Mountains, Walks, Waterfalls

Scenic World Blue Mountains

On our first trip to Australia’s Blue Mountains,  Three Sisters Rock Formation and Scenic World Katoomba were suggested as must-see stops. We learned that the Three Sisters could be viewed easily from the privately owned Scenic World and we would have the opportunity to ride the steepest passenger railway in the world. We purposely booked accommodations near there at the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains. I had assumed that the Scenic World Cableway, Skyway and Railway were…

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Been There Done That, Free, Mountains, New Zealand, Walks

Kauri Loop Walking Track – Hakarimata Range

On an earlier post I talked about one of my favorite climbing tracks in the Waikato region, the Hakarimata Summit. A few months before our relocation to Australia, this track was closed after tremendous flooding in the area washed away a significant section.  They estimated it would take months to reopen and we would be moved by the time it was rebuilt.  Our Thursday morning group had to look into other climbing tracks around the…

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Family

Harry Potter Themed Birthday Party

Aubrey turned 9 in September and she requested a Harry Potter Themed Birthday Party. We gifted her “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” on her last birthday and she immediately fell in love with the characters.  I started putting together the party a bit last-minute due to our recent country relocation.  During my party theme research, I came across the StarDust Kids company that will send character entertainers to your party and Hermione was an option. …

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Excuse My Ramblings Or Not

Tips for Building Friendships Abroad

I am often asked, “is it hard to make friends moving countries?”  And the answer is YES! I am not going to sugar-coat this part because it would not be fair to someone considering a country relocation. If you clicked on this post maybe you are struggling to meet friends in your new country or this is a concern you have before committing to relocate. Frequently I meet-up with fellow expats and we have similar…

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Animal Parks, Been There Done That, Family Friendly, New Zealand

Marshalls Animal Park

Marshalls Animal Park is located within the McLaren Park roughly 20 minutes west of Tauranga.  I wanted to photograph the McLaren Falls on our last trip to the Bay of Plenty and the girls are always keen to visit an animal park.  The McLaren Park features more than the waterfall though. It is a large recreational area with camping, canoeing, swimming and of course the Marshalls Animal Park. We arrived at the admissions desk and…

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Mountains, Places to Stay

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

The Australian Blue Mountains make a perfect weekend getaway (or even day trip) to escape the bustling city of Sydney.  We left the warm Cronulla beaches to drive a mere 90 minutes west to what felt like a different country.  The day we left for the Blue Mountains saw snow flurries and subzero temperatures at night (-2C).  Luckily our accommodation choice, the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, provided us the opportunity to bundle up by a…

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Been There Done That, Free, Mountains, New Zealand, Walks, Waterfalls

Mount Egmont National Park

Before our move to New Zealand I had never heard of Mt. Taranaki (or alternately known as Mt. Egmont) and despite ample research read little of the region.  Most top tourist websites list the North Island’s must see places as the Hobbiton Movie Set, Waitomo glow worm caves, Rotorua and Taupo geothermal areas, etc. For this reason, I had not planned on visiting the Taranaki region until an accommodation deal prompted me to book a…

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Been There Done That, Family Friendly, New Zealand, Winery

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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Been There Done That, Family Friendly, Free, Mountains, New Zealand, Walks

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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