After our amazing trip to Australia and New Zealand last year, we decided to try to repeat it again this year. Andreas spent three weeks in Canberra, Australia again, working with a friend and colleague there on climate change and trees in Oceania. Kai and I headed straight to New Zealand, barely managing to get ourselves on the plane after a rough semester and an unfun experience with the flu du jour which ended in bronchitis for me.
My family couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join us in New Zealand this time. Rachel and Shonty are hosting Christmas for all of us: my parents, my sister Susan and her family, and for us! The beer and wine are flowing–Paihia might never be the same after the in-Bray-sion.
The weather has been less than stellar this year so our adventures have been more limited. (And frankly, I’m quite OK with the crappy weather because I needed the opportunity to do absolutely nothing!) We have visited Russell (across the bay from Paihia), and we spent three lovely days on Matauri Bay. This was a life changing experience for Andreas and me. Like most tent campers, we have always dissed the caravan culture. However, the terrible weather prompted us to rent a renovated (old) caravan for our days up at Matauri. Hmmmm…. We now agree that once we are too old to sleep in a tent, we’ll up grade to a camper van. This is big!
The photos are in chronological order. Trip to Russell and then our trip to Matauri. As you can see, the cousins had a blast in surf!
The real adventure part of the trip starts in a few days. The sisters, their husbands and my 13-year-old niece are heading to the South Island for a 5-day hike on the Abel Tasman Track!