Us on the tour
If you’re going into wine country than the only way to start off the weekend is by visiting wineries. Courtesy of a winemaker flatmate – we were given the insider scoop on what would be the best tour to book in the region. The tour started off with silly questions such as what kind of wine do you like…hmm, is ALL somehow the wrong answer? Well I hope not as that’s what the 5 of us chimed in with. We like red…we like white…we like New Zealand wine and so on. Turns out we were a van full of girls that were not picky about the wine we drink – BIG SURPRISE!
All afternoon, we drove from winery to winery and sampled the best the region had to offer. At each winery we started out with whites and finished with reds. In between all the drinking we stopped for a delicious lunch at Elephant Hill. I followed that up with chocolate snacks after tasting #3 (what’s a girl to do…they were looking at me from the counter screaming “mmm…chocolate!”) and then finished off the day with a little wine and cheese while basking in the autumn sunlight. It was a great first day in Napier. I was surrounded by good company, nice food, and great wine – what more could I ask for.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: napier
Tags: Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Drink, elephant hill, Food, IEP, live and work in new zealand, Napier, Napier New Zealand, new zealand, New Zealand wine, NewZealand, North Island, Oceania, Recreation, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Wellington, Wine, Winery, working overseas
By the time I reached Wellington, I was absolutely exhausted. So what’s a girl going to do other than spend each and every moment out. I could gush on and on about the people I met up with or a little something about afrobeat jazz but my favourite part of my trip to Welly this time around was hanging out with the girls.
It was a simple Sunday afternoon and all we did was chat up a storm while shopping and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. For the first time since coming to New Zealand, I easily found things to buy. Normally this isn’t a problem for me in Canada but in New Zealand it’s a very different story. Shopping is challenging on a good day and it’s quite difficult to find anything decent no matter how much effort goes into it. The difference this time around was that I was hanging out with a couple of fashionistas from Welly. They took me to little boutique stores that carries old favourites from home and pointed out the stores of the great New Zealand designers. We even attempted to get pedis to end our girlie Sunday in style. Unfortunately, it took us to long to get to the spa and we had to take a rain cheque on that particular activity.
Thankfully, our girl’s day out didn’t end there. We decided to end the evening off with a fabulous patio meal followed by dessert and before I knew it we were well into the evening hours. Again I knew it was time for me to call it a night as I was on my way back home to Auckland at the crack of dawn but the easy Sunday was enough to unwind after a somewhat interesting trip to the South Island.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: wellington
Tags: Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, IEP, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, North Island, Oceania, Recreation, Stray, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Wellington, working overseas
Diving Sperm Whale
Yet another day that started at the crack of dawn. If anyone is wondering if I’m going insane as I keep subjecting myself to early starts – don’t worry, I’m starting to think the same thing myself. That particular morning the alarm going off was like a bullet to the head but atleast I was getting up to do something fun for once. I was booked on the 7:15am whale watching cruise and we had a leisurely 1o minute walk to the building where we had to meet for the cruise. Well leisurely for normal people. For me – it was another story. Once I got to the building, I realized that I left my wallet behind and had just enough time to run back and grab it. Running in jandals at 7am – FUN!
Luckily I had a friend volunteer to cover my registration so it was more of a jog then the 100 meter dash but still didn’t make the
morning any easier. The whole way I was thinking that these whales better be worth it! On average – each outing sees 2 whales but we were lucky enough to see 4 as well as a ton of dolphins (the dolphins are supposedly rare). In the end it turned out that it was great and as soon as we started following our first sperm whale – I had forgotten all about my forced workout in order to get onto the cruise.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: kiakoura
Tags: Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Dolphin, IEP, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, Oceania, Recreation, South Island, Specialty Travel, Sperm whale, Stray, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Whale, Whale watching, working overseas
Tried and feeling slightly too old for the hostel scene – we decided that we’d do it up kiwi style and got ourselves a bach. Woke up Saturday morning in a pretty amazing place across the street from Buffalo Beach in Whitianga that worked out to cost the same as a hostel. Take that hostel!!! Finally we were living the luxurious life – or just plain old big pimpin (blame the boys at work for the music that was blasting all day). The only problem was that I was so hungry from skipping dinner the night before that I was ready to chew off an arm. Luckily I had the English Superstar by my side and she handed me a glass of milk and asked if I fancied a little BBQ for breakfast. Who wouldn’t want BBQ first thing in the morning and so we set off to Cafe Nina.
Seems like a fitting advert at this point
The visions of steaks and pulled pork sandwiches dancing in my head wasn’t exactly what was being served but it was still a decent breakfast in what I would call a cafe with character. With all my nodding and grunting between mouthfuls of tasty food (and possibly some questionable sausages) we had come to the decision to do a boat tour of Coromandel. Personally I wanted to go out on one that looked like a little dingy where the threat of falling into the open sea loomed but I got vetoed and we wound up on in a glass bottom boat that seemed a lot safer. Turns out that the Scottish Avenger, Canadian Diva, and English Superstar that I travelled with would end up paying dearly that night for vetoing my decision but that’s a story that I think is best left untold. Like the say – what happens in Coromandel, stays in Coromandel.
natural boat garage
Despite the fact that we weren’t out on a little dingy – being out on the water on a beautiful Saturday afternoon couldn’t have been any better. My favourite part of the entire ride is when we stopped outside of some of the caves and they let me climb onto the roof of the boat. I climbed just like I was spiderman and tried not to let the gentle swaying of the boat plummet me head first into the ocean. Just incase you’re wondering – nobody fell in. All in all, a wonderful Saturday afternoon basking in the sun which made all the worries from a hectic work week just fade away.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: coromandel
Tags: bach, Barbecue, buffalo beach, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Coromandel Peninsula, Hostel, Lodging, new zealand, Oceania, Recreation, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Whitianga, working overseas
A pool...not my pool but pretty close replica
As summer is just around the corner, it seems only fitting to start working on my fatitude. My twin from another mother and I have a buddy system worked out where we’re teaming up in order to avoid looking like beached whales on the beaches of New Zealand. So with a partner in crime by my side, all that was left was to put together a game plan to work on our fitness.
As travelling is one of our top priorities – we were trying to think of ways not to sink a lot of dough to get fit. Paying for a gym membership was out of the question but where we lucked out is that my building has a “gym”. The equipment is not great by any stretch of the imagination but there’s two working treadmills and a swimming poolwhich is enough for us to start on our fitness plan. The plan: we’re on the treadmills for about 30 minutes and then change and dive into the pool for another 30 minutes.
Then there’s the other side – diet. This is the part of the “Fatitude Ge Gone” plan where we’re both willing to put in some money. Back in my bikini bootcamp days, I was eating somewhere between 6-8 small meals a day with the right portions of carbs/protein per meal and drinking atleast 8 glasses of water. As I find it somewhat challenging to eat in the same manner in New Zealand (don’t get me started on grocery shopping and food here) as to what I was used to in Canada, I’ve come up with a new diet regime – eat only real food. Nothing processed. Whole grains. Enough fruits and vegetables as well as the proper servings of protein in a day. Of course there’s the 8 glasses of water that I’m trying to consume as well. Fingers crossed that this plan will do a Canadian body some good.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland
Tags: Auckland, Bootcamp, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, Fitness, Health, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, Oceania, Recreation, Sports, SWAP, Swimming pool, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, working overseas