Raglan, Hamilton and Rotorua

October 21, 2013

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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  • Only Best For Baby October 21, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Lovely memories and a great photo of you on your holiday in NZ, my home country 🙂 x

    • Charly Dove October 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you Lydia, hope you liked the trip down memory lane 🙂

  • Mama and More aka Zaz October 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Thank you, we had a great time – seems so long ago now 🙂

  • Erica Price October 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

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

  • Iona@redpeffer October 21, 2013 at 7:41 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:33 am

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

  • Notmyyearoff October 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    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.

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:34 am

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

  • suzanne3childrenandit October 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

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

  • sarahhillwheeler October 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

    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.

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:39 am

      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 🙂

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone October 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

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

  • Afra October 21, 2013 at 11:01 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Thank you Afra, it was a great experience 🙂

  • Jocelyn (@IHaveCards) October 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

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

  • Coombemill October 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    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.

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

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

  • Capture by Lucy October 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Thank you Lucy, I do too :))

  • Mummypinkwellies October 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    What a fab holiday memory x

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

      It was good fun, thank you Katherine 🙂

  • Lou's Lake Views October 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

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

  • Jaime Oliver October 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

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

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) October 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    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 🙂

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:48 am

      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 🙂

  • Wicked World of Lucas October 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    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

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 8:51 am

      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 🙂

  • Mummy of Two October 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Wow you have had some amazing experiences!

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you – it’s been a while now though 🙂

  • Mama Syder October 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    It sounds amazing! Lovely memories and fab photo x

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

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

  • Sarah MumofThree World October 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    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!

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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

  • Lilinha Espindula October 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time! 🙂 x

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Fabulous time thank you, would so love to go back one day 🙂

  • Luci - mother.wife.me October 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    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!!!

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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

  • Funky Wellies October 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    It sounds like an amazing trip! Love the happy photo. 🙂 xx

    • Charly Dove October 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

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

  • Nichola Fabfortymum October 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    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

    • Charly Dove October 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      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!

  • older mum in a muddle October 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    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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