Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rich & Judi in New Zealand!

A sunny day in Auckland
For the last three weeks in February, my mom and dad came back to New Zealand for a second time to see more of this country - oh and also probably to see us, too.  :-)

It was fantastic. They had amazing weather, saw beautiful places, did new & interesting things, and had good food and good wine.

We had a couple of days at our place in Auckland before starting things with a bang by doing one of the top 10 day hikes in the world - the Tongariro Crossing. Anne had to stay behind for work training unfortunately but the three of us conquered those volcanoes! It's like nowhere else - and the difficulty of the 8 hour hike made the next day relaxing in Taupo a good reward.

From there they went off for about a week on their own while job duties called for me.  They spent time in Napier/Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Picton, and Marlborough Wine Country before Anne and I rejoined them on the South Island.

A lovely drive down the east coast of the South Island To Kaikoura had us eating fresh crayfish (lobster) by the sea, seeing seals, and doing a lovely walk along the beautiful coast of the Kaikoura Peninsula.  From there we went on to Hanmer Springs where Anne and I had never been before.  Lovely!  The thermal pools were great and it's a lovely alpine village.

The lovely Abel Tasman coast
A couple of days in Nelson Lakes National Park were well spent with hikes and relaxation before heading up to the Abel Tasman National Park area.  We really saw and did some great things here - sea kayaking along the coast, a hike on the Abel Tasman Coastal Walkway, and saw seal pups swimming amongst people at a beautiful beach.  Wow.

They spent a couple days in Nelson after that (even went paragliding!) while we went back to Auckland - stupid job again!  But then we had a few days left in Auckland together where we had them get to know Ponsonby (where we live) a little better and even drove up to Matakana for some wine and beach time.

We've had a stunning summer weather-wise and they got to reap those rewards while they were here - sunny and warm most everyday it seemed.  We were thrilled about that!

Most of all we really really enjoyed spending time with them and sharing some more of this amazing place we live in.  New Zealand is really something, and it didn't disappoint!  It really meant a lot that they came back for a second visit and I think it's safe to say they had a blast.

Click here for more photos of our time together.

And click here for some video highlights, including those adorable seal pups and a sting ray "glide by".

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