Giant dog in Tirau

The Goldfields Railway

Anne here… Friday today. Today was a day of travelling from the Coromandel to Taupo. During our road trips we have seen some interesting Kiwiana: including a ginormous L&P bottle and a giant sheepdog in Tirau. We have seen loads … read more

View of Raglan Beach

Busy in Raglan

Paul here… Apologies for the lack of posts. We’re in Raglan with our New Zealand cousins and its been pretty hectic… canoeing, walking on the beach, meals out and catching up after 3 years. Heading off to to the Coromandel … read more

Otorohanga Kiwi House

We actually saw a Kiwi

Anne here… Seeing a Kiwi is not an easy task. The kiwi bird is nocturnal and fairly rare in the wild. But yes, we cheated by going to the Kiwi House and Native Bird Park in Otorohanga. But realistically that … read more

Punnet Strawberry Ice-cream

Cambridge and Hamilton

Anne here… Leaving Rotorua and, based on good advice, we called into Punnets cafe on the outskirts of Cambridge for a local favourite: berries whisked into vanilla ice-cream… mmm… delish! Cambridge is wealthy and horsey; lots of stud farms; large … read more

Te Matua Ngahere

Kauri Forest

Paul here… We left the Bay of Islands and headed to the west coast of Northland. The roads were very quiet, and the area seemed to be less prosperous. We saw the amazing sand dunes across from Omapere. They were … read more

The Meeting House, Waitangi

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Anne here… Really, really interesting history lesson in an idyllic location. We were really fortunate with the weather as well – blue skies, warm sunshine – we needed both sunglasses and suncream. But back to the history… The Maori guide … read more

On our way 2017

Anne here… YIKES there is no getting away from it. It is a very,  very long journey from the UK to New Zealand. And I genuinely can’t decide whether it is better to come more or less straight through as … read more

Welsh Daffodils

Off to NZ again in a week

So 3 years ago I posted some nice Welsh daffodils in our sunny spring garden and here we are again. A week to go before Anne and I jet off to New Zealand for a month. We’re only doing North … read more

AirNZ's Smaug 777

Arrived Home to Wales via a Dragon

Well, after a long flight from LA to London Heathrow we arrived home on Saturday. We flew on AirNZ’s Smaug liveried 777-300 which is a great plane. Given that we’ve travelled on 6 different planes over the past few weeks … read more

Santa Monica Route 66 End of the Trail

Santa Monica

Los Angeles / Santa Monica Anne here . . . Wednesday 30th April (again) to Friday 2nd May We had the very surreal experience of repeating Wednesday 30th April by crossing the International Dateline just by Fiji. The Fiji Times … read more

More New Posts Below

If you’re just following our travels on this blog (not on Facebook) then it’s worth scrolling down for some new posts that we’ve recently added to fill in some of the gaps that we missed. They are in date order … read more

Fiji from Nadi


Sunday 27th to Wednesday 30th April. Anne here . . . We’ve had two very, very, very different experiences of Fiji. For our first two days, we had fantastic hospitality from Paul’s university friend Mike who has lived in Suva … read more

Arrived in Santa Monica

Just a quick post to say that we’ve arrived in Santa Monica. Glorious here. 28C and sunny. The beach looks great. Arrived from Fiji via a painful long-haul. We have a few posts queued up ready so will post them … read more

View of Auckland from the Sky Tower

Back to Auckland

Saturday 26th April 2014 When we arrived in Auckland many moons ago, all we really saw was the airport hotel. Last night we had a room (in the Quality Hotel, Parnell, Auckland) with a really spectacular view of Auckland by … read more

Coromandel Beach


Friday 25th April, ANZAC Day. Anne here. Another catch up post from last week… We actually drove up the West side of the Coromandel peninsula yesterday afternoon after leaving Hobbiton and stayed in Coromandel Town last night. The weather improved … read more

Hobbit hole, Hobbiton, NZ


Thursday 24th April. Anne here, a catch up post for last week . . . You are quite right, we couldn’t leave New Zealand without visiting Hobbiton, near Matamata. Even though it was pouring with rain, absolutely pouring, it was … read more

Reached Rotorua

Paul here… Lack of free time and poor WiFi access means that we’re miles behind with our posts. Sorry about that 🙂 We’ve just reached Rotorua after spending a great few days with our relatives in Havelock North. Havelock North … read more

Craters of the Moon, Taupo


Easter Monday – 21st April Anne here . . . So we are back on the tourist trail again. In fact we are on the “Thermal Explorer Highway” from Napier to Taupo. Fantastic weather which is lucky as the scenery … read more


Anne here . . . We had come across the concept of Kiwiana (iconic New Zealand items) before, but Chris and Belinda decided that we needed as many examples as possible to enhance our New Zealand experience. So they found … read more

Ocean Beach

Hawkes Bay

Friday 18th April to Sunday 20th April – the Easter weekend Anne here . . . Sorry we were so busy having a fantastic time with our relatives in the Hawkes Bay Area that we didn’t have time to blog. … read more

Quick Update

Paul here… Just a quick update. We’re still in Wellington and having a great time exploring the city and surrounding area. We’ve spent a fair bit of time with cousins Chris and Belinda who have looked after us really well. … read more

New Zealand Parliament

New Zealand Parliament

Tuesday 15th April Anne here … Yesterday we had a much needed trip to the laundrette! Yeh clean clothes again. Just in time for me to be reasonably tidily dressed to visit colleagues in the Office of the clerk of … read more


Birds of New Zealand

Anne here . . . Lots of things in New Zealand feel incredibly familiar and yet there are enough differences to remind you that you are definitely on the other side of the world, for example wooden houses. But also … read more

Rugby World Cup Sculpture, Wellington

Meeting our distant cousins

Anne here . . . Saturday 12th April. Once again a completely different day. We met up with distant cousins, Chris, Belinda, Amelia and Ben. We had the best welcome ever, even though we had not met before. We all … read more

Arrival in Wellington

Anne here . . . The end of our first two weeks and our time in South Island. It does feel a bit of a watershed moment. But we have arrived safely in the North Island. We travelled by Bluebridge … read more

Seals at Ohau

Ohau Seal Colony

Anne here… Well I nominated yesterday as probably my best day, of many truly awesome and fantastic days. BUT today may have been fractionally better! See what you think… The road North of Kaikoura has absolutely fantastic views both inland … read more

Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Anne here… Today probably gets my vote for the best day so far… And it has stiff competition for that title. It also had the potential to be really naff but it definitely wasn’t. The drive from Christchurch was amazing. … read more

Day two in Christchurch

Anne here. Altogether a much better day, although the weather was only marginally better. Canterbury Museum in Christchurch – wow what a fab museum. Really interesting, all sorts of exhibits – geology, earthquakes, Maori culture, Antarctic exploration, NZ animals and … read more

Two days in Christchurch

Anne here. Well a few changes . . . For starters, it’s been very wet with steady rain for two days; the drive from Mount Cook was longer than I expected and we definitely went from mountains and lakes to … read more

Mount Cook

Mount Cook National Park – Sunday 6th April Anne here . . . We saw a lot less of “Mount Cook” itself than we were expecting. It was always “just round the next corner”. But the neighbouring mountains more than … read more

New Posts

Paul here … We’ve just arrived in Mount Cook Village and have a great net connection 🙂 So scroll down for 3 more posts that we’ve saved from the past few days. Mount Cook village is pretty special, an amazing … read more

Arrowtown to Wanaka

Anne here … Arrowtown – touristy, an American style Wild West gold mining town. But great fun and very picturesque. And wet, it’s raining. Fab, fab, fab breakfast in the hotel with roaring log fires, we could smell the woodsmoke … read more

Miles Behind

Sorry we’re miles behind with the posts. Lack of free time, us being away from the Internet for the last 2 days and now a dodgy net connection in Queenstown has made it all difficult. We’re trying to keep a … read more

Photos 2

Hopefully our photo highlights are publicly available here – with the most recent first. read more

Te Anau

Anne here catching up with the last few days … Weds 2nd April I’ve loved Queenstown and am not really ready to leave this breathtaking scenery. Although I am slightly fed up of the comment “Why you haven’t done a … read more


Anne here. We are having a few technical problems posting photos to the blog. Paul is on the case. But send me a Facebook friends request if you would like to see more photos in the meantime. P. S. Hannah … read more

Bob’s Peake

Anne here. Wow wow wow. Amazing stunning breathtaking awesome stupendously awesome. We got the gondola cable car up Bob’s Peake  overlooking Queenstown and the lake and the Remarkable mountains. They genuinely are remarkable! The cider I drank sat on a … read more

Anne’s Associations

My first two long haul flights will be forever associated with a Sigingstone book club book: the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s a very gentle collection of letters between a journalist and the Guernsey literary society but … read more

Anne’s Hong Kong

Anne here. Some thoughts about Hong Kong: The skyline really is iconic Tropical storms are very dramatic, lashing rain, and bolts of thunder and lightning Hong Kong’s skyscrapers can look rather grey in the fog I learnt a lot about … read more


We’re a couple of days behind with our blog mainly due to being off the net for a few days and the effects of jet-leg. We’re much better today but our first day in Auckland totally knocked us for six, … read more

Day in Hong Kong

After arriving late in Hong Kong we didn’t get to see as much on our arrival day as we had hoped. After a fitful night trying to adapt to the new timezone we checked out and set off for our … read more

Flight to Hong Kong

Anne here. The flight didn’t start brilliantly. A 3 hour delay because of a lightening strike on our plane’s previous journey. The captain kept saying “the damage is only very minor”. Good job neither Paul nor I are nervous fliers. … read more

Cars, Trains, Buses and Planes

Well we’ve made it to Heathrow. A really smooth journey from Cowbridge. Our neighbour John gave us a lift to Cardiff rail station. It was a cold start. As usual the station was cold and windswept. But first class on … read more

View of daffodils

Last Day in Wales

Well our last day in Wales has been a little dramatic. Anne’s mum felt unwell and the ambulance was called. However a visit to the hospital was avoided and the doctor called after a check-up by the paramedics. Luckily she … read more

777 painted with the Hobbit's Smaug

Booking our NZ flights

Wouldn’t it be great to travel around for free like Gandalf on the back of a Hobbit Great Eagle? Unfortunately the rest of us have to suffer the delights of long haul so the first activity for our journey to … read more

Sunset by Robert Simpson (

New Zealand here we come!

So just under 8 weeks from now we’re off on the trip of a lifetime! We’re taking over 5 weeks off work in total to travel around the world and will spend 4 weeks touring New Zealand. It’s something that … read more