Saturday, 27 February 2010

Kia ora from New Zealand

On our short road trip on New Zealand's North Island, we spot a giant kiwi nibbling the grass on a distant hillside.

We drive through the Hobbity hills, where every vista looks like The Shire. We stroll through the eggy stench of Rotorua, missing the Lady Knox geyser's daily eruption by 15 minutes. We go down to the glow worm caves of Rotorua by rope, and get through by potholing, blackwater rafting and then rockclimbing out.

We have had hardly enough time to draw breath, let alone do New Zealand justice. But we've certainly tried.

On the excellent girls' day out prior to the wedding, where guests have a chance to meet each other, we battle 48 knot winds to reach Tiritiri Matangi island (the Maori name means buffeted by the wind) while the boys' fishing trip is called off. They sit around in a bar called Carpe Diem while the girls, ever the adventurers, soldier on, encountering rare birds including one straight out of The Dark Crystal and another, the bride's extraordinarily fit grandmother, who leaves us all standing at the age of 79.

Mr Grigg then leads the ladies on a kayak trip off the appropriately-named Big Manly Beach. We meet people who grow Geh-laaa and Brybin ipples (that's Gala and Braeburn apples to you and me). We have fush and chups on the beach, washed down with citrus-flavoured beer.

We are now in Singapore, with more stories to come, including the outcome of the search for the last resting place of my great-uncle, who came out to Australia from England in the 1920s.

That's about it

Love Maddie x


  1. What fun - and what an accent you'll be developing.
    Have a drink for me in Raffles, please - always wanted to do that!
    If you stop off in Vancouver on the way through let me would be fun!

  2. Bloody hell!!!
    This is going to take all day to catch up...
    Shame, If I'd known you were wondering around there I would have told you to keep an eye out for a daughter with a large stomach and her husband, a tall chap. Bethan and Matt have been in New Zealand for 3 weeks..They're back in Saudi now..
    Have fun x


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