Raglan, Hamilton and Rotorua

This photograph was taken at the start of 2008 in New Zealand’s North Island. The train carriage in the background is a Thai Restaurant we’d just had a meal at. It was a fabulous place which had kept all it’s original features. So much so you could almost imagine what it might be like on the Orient Express – albeit on a much grander scale!

We were in New Zealand for a friend’s wedding. They’d spent the best part of a decade in the UK but had headed back home in 2007.

When we arrived we stayed in a converted railway carriage in the beachside town of Raglan. An unscheduled stopover in LA meant we were there for one night rather than two but we had a great time nevertheless. Situated on the west coast of the Waikato region, the scenery in and around Raglan was incredible. The black volcanic sands create a sense of atmosphere and it’s a surfing mecca for wave riders, with three world-class point breaks.

The next stop was a reunion with the groom to see England play the Black Caps in Hamilton. Although England lost by ten wickets, it was a relaxed environment sitting on the grass of the ground with much banter. And beer. When it was sunny we posed in our sunglasses. When the rain came, on went our Kagool’s and we pulled childish faces from underneath our umbrellas.

We stayed until twilight when the black clouds threatened and the moon shone brightly. When everyone left the ground was littered with plastic beer bottles but not for long. A clever machine appeared and scooped them all up! It was definitely a night to remember with both old friends and new.

Having said our goodbyes, next stop was the Bay of Plenty. Nestled beside the cerulean blue Lake Rotorua is Rotorua itself, a volcanic-shaped wonderland with thermal activity is its heart. It offers geysers, bubbling mud pools and steaming craters. We sat in a hot spring watching the geysers and mud pools until our skin shriveled. Then we’d get out, cool down with a cold shower and do it all over again.

The following day we headed towards Taranaki to meet the groom before his big day. We promised him that weekend we’d be back for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Little did we know POD would arrive the year before.

We’re linking this post up with What’s The Story? on PODcast and Magic Moments at The Oliver’s Madhouse.



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51 comments

  1. Lovely memories and a great photo of you on your holiday in NZ, my home country :-) x

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    • Thank you Lydia, hope you liked the trip down memory lane :)

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  2. It sounds like an amazing time and wonderful to have created some memories to cherish!

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    • Thank you, we had a great time – seems so long ago now :)

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  3. Sounds like an amazing trip and that’s a lovely photograph.

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    • Thank you Erica, great trip and I certainly look more youthful in that photo!

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  4. Sounds like a fantastic trip and one I would love to make one day.

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    • Really great, definitely a good trip to make. We’d love to go back one day to see our friends and visit South Island.

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  5. Wow that’s so novel – I think I’d love to stay in a converted railway carriage. I think one day I’d really like to visit New Zealand.

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    • You definitely should Tas, it’s an amazing place. Was fun staying in railway carriage :)

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  6. Blimey girl, you get around! Sounds absolutely wonderful. So lovely to get out the old photos and think fondly of memories isn’t it?

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    • Love getting the old photos out – dread to think what will happen when I raid the loft! We did get around, in mostly now :)

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  7. Love the idea of a machine that picks up bottles! Did you make it back for the World Cup? Personally, can’t imagine travelling long haul when J was little, but I am a bit of a wimp liike that. Great memories.

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    • It was quite impressive it has to be said! We were only there for a couple of weeks so not gone long. Definitely wouldn’t miss the World Cup :)

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  8. Lovely memories, would love to go to New Zealand one day …..

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    • It’s a fabulous place Mary, you should. Would love to go back one day :)

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  9. Very envious – your travels sound really exciting and you must have some great memories. Thanks for sharing this one.

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    • Thank you Afra, it was a great experience :)

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  10. Wow – an amazing trip, and love that happy photo. How quirky in that railway carriage, too. You must have great memories of it x

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    • Thank you Jocelyn, it was a funny little place but it was definitely quirky. Lovely memories :)

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  11. Nick proposed to me on the way to New Zealand so I have some very happy memories of time there years ago too. One day we have vowed to return.

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    • Wow how amazing is that. Definitely a story to share I think Mrs. You should definitely return one day :)

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  12. How wonderful, I love reading all about the history of a photo!

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  13. What a fab holiday memory x

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    • It was good fun, thank you Katherine :)

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  14. I love the sound of Rotorua, it sounds amazing and i really want to visit a place like that.

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    • I think you’d like Rotorua a lot Lou – it’s an amazing place :)

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  15. awww Charly what a fantastic memory to have have! i so love that picture you look amazing and so happy!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

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    • Thank you Jaime – I look so full of energy in this photo. Not sure what happened LOL :)

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  16. What wonderful memories – sounds like an absolutely fantastic trip! I’ve been to Australia, but I haven’t made it to New Zealand… Suspect that will have to wait till the kids leave home now :)

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    • Thank you Sara, it was a great trip. Would love to go back to see our friends and visit the country properly. I hope you get there too, it’s so different to Australia :)

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  17. What an awesome trip and you look so happy in this photo. Love the ide of that restaurant behind you, and you even made cricket sound like good fun…………. with the beer!!!! #whatsthestory

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    • Thank you Cathie, the cricket was a bit messy. We’d not seen the groom for some time so it was a huge reunion! Fabulous place, would love to go back one day :)

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  18. Wow you have had some amazing experiences!

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    • Thank you – it’s been a while now though :)

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  19. It sounds amazing! Lovely memories and fab photo x

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    • Thank you, was a great experience. And I’m looking rather lean in that photo LOL :)

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  20. Fabulous story, as ever! I love all your memories from your travels :) I haven’t been many places or done many exciting things, so it’s really nice to read!

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    • Thank you Sarah, really kind of you. I’m sure you’ve done many exciting things :)

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  21. Sounds like you had a great time! :) x

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    • Fabulous time thank you, would so love to go back one day :)

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  22. Oh New Zealand looks so inviting. Shamefully I was with a kiwi guy for several years and never once went over – must say something about my commitment to the relationship eh!!!

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    • Hehe that’s funny Luci. It’s a fabulous place – what we saw of it anyway. Would love to go back one day :)

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  23. It sounds like an amazing trip! Love the happy photo. :) xx

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    • It was good Katia, shame our friends aren’t nearer. We miss them :)

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  24. What a great story Charly,New Zealand excites me, my sister lives on the South Island and I am desperate to go and visit her. Like you, we planned to go in 2010, but our eldest daughter decided she was being born that year instead xx

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    • Ooh that’s right you must go and visit her one day. We didn’t get to South Island (nor all of North Island) so we’d love to go back. Would be awesome to see our friends again, it’s been so long!

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  25. What a wonderful adventure you had…. I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand, it sounds such a beautiful place, and I think I would have spent a whole day at that hot spring….. perfect way to unwind. X

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