New Zealand – January 2013

Wow!  What a full on 4 weeks we have just had in NZ.  It was awesome catching up with friends and family. A late flight into Auckland, arriving at Midnight.  Picked up by Janine and Bob (sister & brother-in-law) and stayed up talking till about 3am.

Next day it was Jude’s brother’s birthday and as luck would have it he was down in Auckland from Kerikeri, so visited us at Janine’s place for lunch. So cool to share his big day!

Brian (nephew) & Trish kindly lent us a car to use while over there.  Thanks so much guys! Next night was spent with Jude’s son, Jeff, his wife Amie and their kids, Max & Ella. Grandkids we hadn’t seen before, awesome.Tui bike riding with Max and Jude pushing him on the swing

Lots of cuddles with Ella.

Another late night!  Off to Matamata the following night to catch up with Jude’s 2 nieces (Sandra & Lesley) and kids. Yet another awesome night! The following morning we headed to Turangi as it was Tui’s twins 21st on the Saturday night.  We called in at Taupo for a look at the Taupo Bungy.

Then had lunch at the Pub & Grub.  Beaut meal and great view.

For those of you that don’t know NZ, Taupo is located at the outlet of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, in the northeast part of the lake where it discharges to the Waikato River. The river flows over one of New Zealand’s most spectacular waterfalls, Huka Falls. It is situated in central North Island.

As we had had late nights since arriving it was straight to a Motel in Turangi for some needed rest.  Turangi is a small town on the west bank of the Tongariro River, 50 kilometres south-west of Taupo on the North Island Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand. It was built to accommodate the workers associated with the Tongariro hydro-electric power development project and their families. The town was designed to remain as a small servicing centre for the exotic forest plantations south of Lake Taupo and for tourists. It is well known for its trout fishing and calls itself “The trout fishing capital of the world”  We stayed at Anglers Paradise Motel. A lovely spot, walking distance to the 21st and run by a lovely couple, Lyn & Rob Williams.

Friday was Shaun & Shontelle’s actual 21st birthday and as we hadn’t told them we were coming over it was a great surprise. It was great to see Tui’s Grandson Jaxon that we hadn’t seen as well.  Pre 21st drinks that night and once again it was midnight before we got to bed.

Tui had to have a go on Shaun’s new purchase!

The party night was a big night with Tui getting to bed at 4am.  Jude did manage to get to bed a bit earlier. Shaun was not well Sunday.  In fact we all had a quiet day after the clean up.

Monday it was off to Taumarunui to see some friends and Tui’s Mum.  Taumarunui is a town in the King Country of the central North Island.  55kms west of Turangi. Low & behold Tui’s Mum was away which was very rare, so we stayed in a Motel the 1st night.  Met up with Jude’s mate Carol for lunch. Then spent the night at our mates (Graeme Chick) on his farm.  Carol & Pete came out for tea. Good night.

Finally caught up with Tui’s Mum the next day and then it was back to Tuakau to Jude’s son’s place. Tuakau is a small town in the Auckland Region.  We spent some quality time with them as Jeff took a couple of days off work.  A trip to the Auckland Zoo.

Also a trip to Mini Putt at Manukau.  Manukau is where the Auckland Airport is situated.  Jeff assisted Max with a couple of Putts then Max would grab the ball and throw it into the hole.  Consequently he won! A “Tiger Woods” in the making!! He wasn’t too pleased when the ball disappeared at the last hole though!

It was now time to spend a bit of time with Jude’s sister Janine.  Janine and Bob have rented out their home and are traveling with a home base at their shed.

They have set up a lovely garden area and have part of the shed set up like a little flat. A popular set up with Motorhomers!

Our bedroom was a curtained off part of the shed.  Very comfy!

Jude’s brother John also has a Motorhome, a Nissan Civilian.  No photos, sorry!! Must run in the family we reckon!!

As Janine had her Granddaughters each day while their parents worked, Tui had great fun!  1st it was making boats and painting them. Then Bike riding!

Somewhat smaller bikes than Tui is used to riding!! The Sunday of the long weekend was an amazing day. A “pot luck” lunch at Brian & Trish’s place in Pukekohe with members of Jude’s family traveling from as far afield as Kerikeri (top of the North Island) to Marton (to the South).  It was awesome seeing family we haven’t seen for years.

Thanks so much Jeff for organising the day and to Brian & Trish for hosting it! Awesome guys!!

We also managed to visit Matt & Kirsten in South Auckland for a night.  Wow have their kids grown since we last saw them!

As those of you who regularly read our posts know Tui is not one for sitting around.  So it was hands on deck to help Bob trim the trees, build a ramp for the neighbour, and assist with fencing.

Bob’s mate Ray has built a hovercraft which required a trailer so they were building it in Bob’s shed. Tui gave them a hand and they joked that he was mainly the supervisor.

Ray & Sue are also Motorhomers and they intend to tow their hovercraft behind the Motorhome. Bob & Ray built their Motorhomes together.  Magnificent job they did too!  Thanks Ray & Sue for taking us out to dinner.  Along with Janine & Bob we went to a lovely place at Clarks Beach (Chin Wags) on the shores of the Manukau Harbour.  A place we hadn’t been for years.  Most enjoyable, the food was fantastic as was the company.

The following week we caught up with our Mates Tania & Mike and Sue.  Great to see you guys!

All too soon the sun was setting on our stay and it was time to head back to Tiki Tourer.  It was a bit emotional saying our goodbyes. We flew into Townsville late evening so stayed at the Mecure the night.  Lovely place.

Jock arrived just after 10am next morning to take us back to Charters Towers.  A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Jock & Annie for looking after our Tiki Tourer while we were away. Really appreciate it!

Well we did warn you it was a full on 4 weeks and we have heaps more photos we would have liked to share but feel this Blog is getting way too big already!!

Until next time “Laugh more, live longer”









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