Mangapohue Natural Bridge – Waitomo, New Zealand

The Mangapohue Natural Bridge is roughly a 30 minute car ride from Waitomo Village, home of the New Zealand’s famous glowworm caves.  This was a surprise find for us on our way to the Marokopa Falls. We learned early on that these green sign in New Zealand usually result in something amazing! Only a short 10 minute walk from the nearest car park lead us to this 17 meter tall natural bridge. The boardwalk path crosses…

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Cool New Vocabulary – Part 2

Previously I posted cool new vocabulary that I learned following our move. There have been many conversations since then so wanted to add to that list.  These are some of my favorite new words  and conversations always get a good laugh.  My southern accent and vocabulary leaves an impression as well. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the girl. Arkansas born…

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Kawiti Caves

The next morning we were headed back to Hamilton. I had marked a few things on my map to stop by on the way home.  The glow worm caves were something I have been interested in doing since we arrived in New Zealand.  The caves in Waitomo are the more popular tourist caves.  I read the Kawiti Caves in the Waiomio Valley were really nice and less traveled.  We headed about a half hour out…

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Haruru Falls – New Zealand

The Haruru Falls in Northland’s Bay of Islands region forms a unique horseshoe shape. The height of the falls is not all that impressive at roughly 5 meters but the appearance and Māori history add to the appeal. The short 10 minute drive from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds guides you to the car park along the Waitangi River.Those interested can take the scenic 5 1/2 km hike from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for added adventure….

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Perrot Place

Our next stop in KeriKeri was The Perrot Place. I saw this on a brochure and know how much the girls love any kind of animal interaction experience.  I did not realize how interactive it would be though.  I got to hold the Perrot below while the trainer fed him since he’s a biter. (I went very casual this day due to being rained on the last few days. I wanted to be comfortable and…

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Rainbow Falls – Top New Zealand Waterfalls

Rainbow Falls can be found in New Zealand’s Northland region in the town of KeriKeri.  Many tourist flock to Paihia to visit the Bay of Islands and this waterfall is only a short 30 minute drive from there. “The Māori name Waianiwaniwa, meaning waters of the rainbow” seems fitting.  My handy Northland brochure was not kidding about an easy hike. This 27 meter waterfall can be heard immediately from the car park.   Shortly into the…

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Wairere Boulders Nature Park

The Wairere Boulders can be found near Horeke in New Zealand’s far Northland.  Our family decided to take a detour on our way from Omepare to Paihia but this is not the easiest place to reach.  There is a curvy gravel road leading into the carpark. The Wairere Bounders were highlighted on my map as a top place to see so we went for it.  Plus it gave us an excuse to stretch our legs…

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Ascension Winery

The first stop on our trip North was Ascension Winery for lunch. This particular winery is located on the Matakana Wine Trail.  The gardens were beautiful and the Italian cuisine was perfect! Upon arriving at the Winery, we saw a helicopter landing. The staff informed us that one of their regulars had arrived.  What an entrance! Andrew joked about how much I thought a helicopter would cost so we could travel around the island when…

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Auckland Zoo – New Zealand’s Largest Zoo

New Zealand’s largest collection of animals, both native and exotic, can be found at the Auckland Zoo. Home to over 800 animals of 135 different species creates a memorable experience for locals and tourist alike. There were plenty of animals I had never seen before having only recently moved to the Southern Hemisphere at the time of our visit. The zoo offered a few different behind the scenes options; however, the entrance fee was a…

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FIFA Under-20 Soccer World Cup

Only a few short weeks following our New Zealand move, Auckland hosted the 2015 FIFA Under-20 Soccer World Cup finals.  It was a dreadful day! The weather forecast stated it would rain but there was no way to predict it would not let up for the duration of the games. The tickets were purchased last-minute so the seat options were limited.  The only available area had uncovered seating and the rain ponchos were not enough…

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