We all link up our posts using the blue frog, (down towards the bottom of the post), on the first Thursday of the new month and enjoy seeing how life has panned out. It’s a really fun and quite a simple way to keep track of the months without being too wordy (not that anyone would ever accuse me of being too wordy!). You are more than welcome to join in.
Most of my November was spent on holidays with my husband and some friends, touring the North Island of New Zealand, hence the title to this post. Last November we travelled to the South Island of New Zealand together, so we’ll have to decide where we’ll go next November!
So without further ado here we go with a sentence a day for NOVEMBER:
Wednesday: My husband was still very unwell with a stomach bug, so I drove us to Canberra to meet up with our friends, before we all drove to Sydney ready for our early morning flight to New Zealand tomorrow.
Thursday: Thankfully my husband was feeling a little better, we flew to New Zealand, picked up our hire car and drove 3 hours north from Auckland to a lovely little town on the coast called Paihia.
Friday: Overcast day but we walked around the town, shopped for food supplies and had a rough cruise out to the Hole in the Rock in the afternoon, followed by a lovely recovery afternoon tea in Russell.
Saturday: Went to a local Farmer’s Market at KeriKeri then a drive through the pretty countryside looking for some elusive boulders, before a delicious Indian dinner that night.
Sunday: We left Paihia, stopping just down the road at KawaKawa to visit an amazing toilet block before driving on through Auckland to Miranda, where the holiday park had a delightful hot spring pool for us to luxuriate in.
Monday: Day #1 of our Hauraki Rail Trailtour with bikes to be delivered, bags collected and a ride of 41km to Thames, stopping at the Bugger Cafe for lunch and a laugh. Things didn’t go to plan with the wrong bikes delivered, no helmets, locks or panniers as promised. It was all sorted out by day’s end and we enjoyed riding with the wind in our hair (due to no helmets).
Tuesday: Day #2 was a beautiful sunny day for riding, we had a second breakfast at Cafe Melbourne in Thames, in light of the fact it was Melbourne Cup Day back in Australia, before riding around the edge of the Firth of Thames then another 33kms to Paeroa, stopping at a Cheesebarn for lunch along the way and maybe a huge ice cream at the Convenient Cow Cafe.
Wednesday: Day #3 of our Hauraki Rail Trail tour dawned wet, wild and windy but we were in the perfect place to wait it out – The Refinery at Paeroa was a brilliant eclectic cafe (and our accommodation for last night) which served delicious food, great music and free wifi, before we ventured out into the weather for our 35km through the Karangahake Gorge, the Falls Retreat Bistro for lunch and TV stardom (more on this in a future post). We finished the day in Waihi having cycled through beautiful countryside.
Thursday: Day #4 was our last day of riding – a huge 47km day – checked out the gold mine in Waihi, lunch back at The Refinery in Paeroa then onto the last leg to Te Aroha. Back at Miranda we indulged in another soak in the hot springs, dinner of delicious fish and chips at the pub, before packing our bags to continue our road trip without the bikes.
Friday: Started driving without any real destination in mind before realising it was the weekend and we had no accommodation booked, luckily we found an Airbnb in Maketu that did the trick, despite its questionable appearance – lesson learnt – never judge a book by its cover!
Saturday: Wet and miserable day but managed to get a walk in, had a lovely hot chocolate at the local cafe, read my book and generally relaxed.
Sunday: We left Maketu heading for Napier, driving through green rural countryside, along the coast and into heavy rain at times.
Monday: Drove around Napier, a delightful Art Deco city and liked what we saw; booked bikes for tomorrow before having a lovely lunch at a local winery. Weather was a bit damp and cool.
Tuesday: A superb day greeted us as we collected our hire bikes and set out on the fantastic paths around Napier and Hastings for the day. We settled into wine tasting and lunch at Church Road Vineyards before checking out Mission vineyard, the oldest in New Zealand and cycling back to the centre of Napier.
Wednesday: We sadly left Napier/Hawke’s Bay and drove onto Lake Taupo where we landed on our feet well and truly, with the use of our friend’s bach (New Zealand for beach house) for as long as we wanted to stay! It was right on the water, the weather warmed up, the house was amazingly cosy and well setup and we were all so delighted to have this little piece of heaven to relax in – and then there were the sunsets!
Thursday: The wettest, coldest day we had on our whole trip but we weren’t to be daunted, we drove up into the mountains and explored the national park, the Chateau Tongariro at Whakapapa and the delightful surrounding areas.
Friday: A beautiful sunny warm day saw us drive to Huka Falls, Orakei Korako (a geothermal attraction) before heading into Rotorua for an entertaining evening at Tamaki Maori Village, then back to our bach at Taupo – a huge day and such fun!
Saturday: After our busy few days, we decided on a rest day and caught up on our washing, did some food shopping and took a leisurely drive around the lake. None of us wanted to leave here 😦
Sunday: Another wet and cold day to start with as we drove to the Waitomo Glow Worm caves stopping at interesting towns along the way. Our tour was booked for after lunch and we enjoyed the caves and seeing the beautiful glow worms before driving onto Matamata (home of Hobbiton) for the night.
Monday: We were up bright and early for another beautiful day, this time visiting the Hobbiton movie set (Lord of the Rings, Hobbit Trilogy), which was absolutely amazing fun and well worth the visit, before we drove into Auckland for our last three nights in a great Airbnb city apartment.
Tuesday: Walked around the waterfront, hired bikes and rode around the paths throughout the city, went up the Sky Tower with its amazing views over the city and dinner with the friends who owned the bach at Taupo.
Wednesday: Another lovely sunny day saw us follow my daughter’s advice and take the ferry out to Waiheke Island where we caught the local bus and enjoyed a last lunch together at the Boathouse Cafe overlooking the beach.
Thursday: Late last night we’d received a message that our flights had been delayed so instead of leaving at 7am we were leaving at 4pm which threw our plans out the window entirely. Luckily the Airnb host allowed us to stay until lunchtime (we’d originally planned to leave at 5am) and we tried to relax and fill in the day before catching the flight at closer to 5.30pm and arriving late into Sydney, then driving to Canberra through a huge storm.
Friday: We stayed with our daughter and son in law and it was nice to catch up with them before they went to work, we did some washing and met our daughter for lunch before heading out to our Rotary Youth Exchange training weekend. (Our holidays lately seem to have been planned around Rotary commitments).
Saturday: Spent the day training students (and their parents) who are leaving in January 2018 for a year overseas on the Rotary Youth Exchange program and meeting with the European students who arrived for their year in Australia in July 2017) – a very busy time!
Sunday: Rotary Youth Exchange training continued until lunchtime, we had a committee debrief and then went to see our daughter and son-in-law for lunch, before driving the 3 hours to home, arriving to a wet and windy storm.
Monday: Woke up in my own bed or the first time in ages; unpacked; did washing; went food shopping and caught up with some blogging commitments. So nice to be home 🙂
Tuesday: I didn’t leave the house except for a walk later in the afternoon, I found the hammock and relaxed in the warm sunshine.
Wednesday: My parent’s 59th wedding anniversary today which made me sad as my father has aged so much over the last few years and doesn’t seem to remember these events anymore, where once he would have bought a sweet card and a lovely gift for my mother.
Thursday: A lovely lazy self-indulgent kind of day starting with a hair appointment, then catching up on some blogs, reading my book, a quick 30 minute walk before going to the final monthly Movie Club for the year at our favourite cinema cafe for dinner and a surprise movie, The Gilded Cage. Just what I needed!
So that was my month – in a sentence a day! Yes, it was another huge month but that seems to be par for the course in 2017, my first year of retirement. I know I can’t keep this pace up but it’s certainly been a fun year!
Wishing you all a fantastic month ahead and thanks for stopping by to read my blog. If you enjoyed reading my post I’d love to hear your thoughts, maybe tell me what you enjoyed most about your month?
December is my birthday month and something else always happens later in the month which blurs the gift giving somewhat, but hey I’m happy to share. (Click on the blue frog to view and add your link)