Hot Chocolate at Beanz and Machines Cafe, Tirau, New Zealand

Tirau is a very cute little town, right in the middle of stunning Hobbit country near the set of the Lord of the Rings movies.   But Tirau isn't just the town you pass through on your way to the main attractions as it may seem on the map. For us it was the main attraction. Tirau you see, has gone corrugated-iron art crazy. The whole town is covered in it. Most businesses use it for their signs and several of the buildings are even made entirely of it. They have shaped and coloured it into all sorts of fun things. [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00September 30th, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, New Zealand, Tirau|

Hot Chocolate at The Landing Cafe, Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua is a crazy place. It has a lot going for it. There are 16 beautiful lakes in the area perfect for swimming, fishing  and boating. 35% of the population are of Mauri descent, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the Maori culture (we chose to do the Mitai Cultural Performance which surprisingly didn’t feel that touristy at all, was incredibly educational and a really fantastic evening). You really couldn’t get bored here.   But the main thing about Rotorua  is that it’s a geothermal paradise. When you first drive into town you can’t help but notice the [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00September 23rd, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, New Zealand, Rotorua|

Hot Chocolate at Allan Scott Vineyard, Marlborough, New Zealand

After spending over a week in the North Island of New Zealand we took the interislander ferry across from Wellington to Picton in the south island. As much as I was impressed with the North Island, I was stunned by the south island. The scenery is really extraordinary and changes regularly as you drive along, from lush green hills with views of the ocean, endless fields of dairy cows grazing on grass, and within 30 minutes or so of leaving the coast all of a sudden the clouds part, the land flattens and you are faced with kms of bright [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00May 7th, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, Marlborough, New Zealand|

Hot Chocolate at Olive, Wellington, New Zealand

If you are looking for a spot to grab a bite or a drink, Cuba Street is the place to go in Wellington. The street is packed for blocks and blocks with a whole range of interesting looking spots. There are restaurants serving food from every country you can think of, including India, Malaysia, Turkey and Mexico. You have the local restaurants serving fusion dishes including one restaurant, Logan Brown, which is considered one of the best restaurants in New Zealand. You have, of course, a pretty large choice of spots to have coffee too, since New Zealand does seem [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00April 29th, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, New Zealand, Wellington|

Hot Chocolate at The Store, Kekerengu, New Zealand

“The Store” is one of my favourite little spots in the whole world. To start with, The Store is located really in the middle of nowhere. If you take the road from Blenheim to Kaikoura on the East Coast, it is exactly in the middle. Before it there is nothing and after it there is nothing. Nothing that is except lush hills covered with beautiful trees that come all the way down to the road on the right side and a stunning coast line with rough waves and rocks along the shores on the left. From inside you enjoy this [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00April 23rd, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, Kekerengu, New Zealand|

Hot Chocolate at Knoll Ridge Chalet, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

While driving down the North Island of New Zealand, I was really keen to visit Tongariro National Park. Unfortunately we didn’t have time this trip to go hiking across it, apparently one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Turns out it didn’t matter anyways, because most of the tracks were closed since one of the nearby volcanos had erupted only a few weeks ago, and it was still smoking pretty strongly. We took the road up to nearby Mt. Ruapehu which is an active ski resort in the winter. Of course, being summer, there was only snow right [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:33+00:00April 15th, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, New Zealand, Tongariro|

Hot Chocolate at Hummingbird Coffee, Christchurch, New Zealand

February 2011 the city of Christchurch was hit by a big earthquake. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake, and all of the aftershocks that followed it, including a second 7.1 magnitude earthquake 6 months later, had a huge impact on the city leaving hundreds without homes. It also had a significant impact on the central part of the city which is immediately obvious as you drive around. Virtually none of it is left. There is a large part, called the red zone, where all the buildings, pretty much every single one, has been or is in the process of being flattened including [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:34+00:00April 1st, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, Christchurch, New Zealand|

Hot Chocolate at the Waterfront Cafe, Russell, New Zealand

We stayed a few nights in Pahia at a great B&B called Tarlton’s Lodge (highly recommended) because we thought that Pahia was the place to be to explore the Northlands. We soon realized that Pahia itself is really not too exciting, what you have to do is either leave Pahia or take the ferry across the water to Russell. Russell is great. It is everything that Pahia is not. It is quiet and charming and quaint. The ferry drops you off on the main street which is pretty much only for pedestrians with the beach on one side and a [...]

2017-01-04T22:41:34+00:00March 11th, 2013|AUSTRALASIA, New Zealand, Russell|
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