Kiwis and Daffodils
We are now in New Zealand: the land of the long white cloud or Aoteoroa in Maori. This beautiful country is located right at the bottom of the world. Upon arrival it feels like you are getting off at the very last stop on a bus journey. It is a very, very long way from anywhere. The best part of a 12 hour flight from Hong Kong, we arrived weary and jet-lagged but after a couple of days on the ground we are now finding our feet.
And in those two days we have had wall-to-wall catch ups with Matt's family and a look around Auckland; the country's largest city. An isthmus city, straddling two very beautiful harbours, it is very easy on the eye and as we have found out so far has some great food and coffee on offer. For July - which is the middle of winter down under - the weather has been great which has made the transition from the mid-summer Emirates less of a shock than we planned for. For my second visit to New Zealand I cannot get over how much it looks and feels like Wales - so green and rolling, with friendly rugby-mad people.
Tomorrow we head (further) south. We're doing a road trip to Taupo, right in the centre of the North Island. While there we will stay at the exceptional Huka Lodge, so check that out when we get there. In Taupo we will sample the amazing outdoors that New Zealand has to offer. We plan to check out the unique volcanic landscapes of the craters of the moon. Matt is taking Cole fly-fishing for rainbow trout, which they are both super excited about. While the boys do that, I will be sampling the Creme Brulee salon to sample current New Zealand style beauty trends.
We then fly to Queenstown early next week: the winter mountain wonderland. In Queenstown we will ski, visit spectacular vineyards, ride the exhilarating Shotover River jet boat ride and check out everything this southern tourist Mecca has to offer. We can't wait.
On a sad note, this morning we were up for a 7am kick off to support Wales in the first Euro2016 semi-final match. We managed to find a pub in Auckland sporting no less than 6 Welsh flags outside and full of my country men and women inside. We urged our boys on with all of our heart and voice but in the end Portugal were too strong. I am so proud of how well this team has represented my little country; with skill, dignity and patriotism to get us into the top 4 in Europe - so well done.
So, keep following for my updates and blogs from downunder where I will be sprinkling a healthy dose of immaclife, up and down the country.