I loved being home.

Home is where everything is how you know it to be and I found that so very restful.

I even made a list of things to enjoy! It was great to be purposeful in my holiday and crossing them off too 🙂


– Good ol’ fush and chups
– Climb Mt Manaia
– Go to Helena Bay Cafe
– Enjoy mum’s amazing cooking
– Do lots of Parihaka walks with mum and the dogs
– Take the dogs to the beach
– Go surfing and out on the boat
– Have lots of catchup coffees
– Have bbqs (even if it is winter)
– Soak in Ngawha Hot Pools
– Watch ‘The Princess Bride’ with hubby who hasn’t seen it before (shock horror!)
– Go to Tauranga and get one of those amazing Turkish Kebabs
– Hit up Dressmart in AKL
– Movies
– Passionfruit custard square from Ruakaka Bakery


There could be a lot more added to this list! I also realized that the weather (being wintery in NZ) played a big factor into plans. There were two times where we had planned to go out on our new sailing boat but the weather didn’t play it’s part. 


Anywho, on to the highlights… 


As soon as we arrived we picked up Baby D (Marko’s Starlet diesel car) and headed into town to stay at my mums. I was so excited to see her and we had to see our two doggies. My brother’s birthday was on the weekend so we had a gathering at my mum’s house to celebrate. The food was glorious and we had fun times together. 


One of my favorite places is Helena Bay Cafe and gallery. My mum knows this very well so we planned to go there in the first week. It was beautiful and relaxing. 



Our two labrador dogs are very well cared for by my mum, they are really more like granddogs ;). I loved going for walks with them and being able to see them run and fetch.
Another highlight of our trip was our visit to Tauranga. It was a great road trip AND they have the biggest, most delicious Kebabs we have ever tasted. It was even on my to do list! Check out this bad boy…. 
We caught up with with wonderful friends, Steve and Ismeni (thanks for being the hand model in the above shot Ismeni – to prove the size of this) who are getting married next month. We are so excited for you guys! 
It was also very special to be able to see our family and especially my cousin Ashley before she moved to the South Island permanently. We also caught up with our friends Andrew, Rosanna and met the beautiful Nika.
Tauranga/The Mount (Marine Parade pictured above) is a beautiful place to visit. We really felt on holiday while there. 
Nobody needs to convince me that our home is a land of beauty.
Our next highlight, in my hubby’s words, is ‘an oasis of calm and splendor’… Ahipara. We spent 4 days enjoying the Far North. It put on a wonderful showcase for us as we surfed and camped. 
The sun was brought out for a sunny few days and the water wasn’t that cold… 
We got the opportunity to visit my cousin Annah too, the kids had an absolute ‘mare when they saw Mark walk through the door. It was the beard I tell you! But by the end of it, they warmed up and showed us some tricks. So awesome to see you guys!
I will post Part II soon…

4 replies on “NZ – holiday month highlights post Pt1

  1. I love the photos of Ahipara (many good times on that beach). Glad to see Baby D gettinga strop ont he beach. Ur food shots are scrummy. Makes me miss home. A fab bolg Clare x

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  2. Hi Clare, love your photos – I'm going to have to get some copies! Hope all is going well with your preparations for the new school year. Pass on my Happy Birthday wishes to Mark for Sunday. Hope he has a really good day.

    Love you, mum. XX

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