Endangered Dotterels and Chicks on a New Zealand Beach

New Zealand dotterel

Out of the corner of my eye I see little balls of fluff bouncing and hovering across the beach. These baby dotterels stop to forage for food. Camera in hand, I attempt to focus on one of the endangered chicks although its camouflage makes it challenging. As a result of this lack of contrast, I […]

New Zealand Sunset Photos

Sunset seen from Army Bay beach in Shakespear Park, New Zealand

I love watching colour burst from the sky as the sun sets beyond the horizon. Living in New Zealand, sunset is a treat I get to enjoy often. Recently I moved all my photos to Lightroom. While I sort through 10 years of images I am reminded of many things, including spectacular sunsets in New […]

Auckland Artweek: Highlights of Street Art and Laneways

This spray chalk and stencil carpet is one of the temporary exhibits in Auckland Artweek, New Zealand

It’s Auckland Artweek. A colourful event encompassing much of the city with free walking tours, gallery exhibits, workshops, and lectures. It’s a coming together of all things artistic in our city. Last weekend hubby and I joined two walking tours: Laneway Art Circuit and Street Art Walk. Heart of the City is one of the […]

Ten Reasons to Visit the Chocolate and Coffee Show in Auckland

Chocolate by Makana at The Chocolate and Coffee Show in Auckland New Zealand

I don’t need ten reasons to visit a Chocolate and Coffee Show. The name is enough. It lasts for only two days each year in Auckland New Zealand. And let me tell you, they are two great days for a coffee and chocolate fan like me. For those who need a bit more motivation, here […]

Impressive da Vinci Machines: Traveling Exhibit now in Auckland at MOTAT

A flying machine designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the traveling da Vinci Machines exhibit.

Leonardo da Vinci was a genius who was hundreds of years ahead of his time. Whether you know of him as an artist, an inventor, a designer, an anatomy expert, or a renaissance man, you will probably discover another facet of his brilliance at the Leonardo da Vinci Machines exhibit. Traveling around the world, it is now in […]

Collecting Cockles at Okoromai Bay in New Zealand

Ready to collect cockles (small clams) on Okoromai Bay in Auckland New Zealand

As the tide retreated we could see a few people collecting cockles at the water’s edge. I pointed them out to our Italian AFS exchange student, commenting that it is generally a summertime activity. It was only 12c yesterday, not a day I wanted to step into the water even with protective rubber boots. She, however, seemed […]

Top 10 Reasons to Visit this Year’s Auckland Food Show

Forty Thieves at Auckland Food Show

The doors to the Auckland Food Show open promptly at 10am, and along with a few hundred other people we head in for some of the best the country has to offer. Food, drinks, kitchen equipment, and cooking demonstrations, it’s all here under one roof. This is my second year attending the Auckland Food Show and […]

Yachting on America’s Cup Boats – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Yachting in New Zealand - Princess Kate racing against Prince William race against each other on former America's Cup boats.

Y is for yachting on America’s Cup Boats  . . .  or yacht racing. Practical Information:  This is the real thing, yachting at its most exciting. It’s an opportunity to crew on a former Team New Zealand America’s Cup yacht.  Most of the time they take out only one of the two boats, but during summer on […]

Xanthospermous – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Kowhai - the unofficial flower of New Zealand is a Xanthospermous as it has yellow seeds

X is for xanthospermous . . .  meaning having yellow seeds. Practical Information:  Kowhai is often considered to be the national flower of New Zealand, although officially, the country doesn’t have a national flower. It is not uncommon in summer to see Tui drunk in the trees (or falling out) after drinking the Kowhai nectar. […]

Penguin – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Little Blue Penguin (ferry penguin) in New Zealand

P is for penguin . . .  or precious.   Practical Information:  Native to New Zealand these little blue penguins are fairly common on New Zealand coasts and also found in southern Australia. They are the world’s smallest penguin, standing just over 25cm (10 inches) and weighing only about a kilogramme (2.2 pounds). They are […]

Mob of Sheep – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Mob of sheep at Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

M is for a mob of sheep . . .  or maa Practical Information:  A group of sheep is called a mob. (More specifically, a mob of sheep is “a group or cohort of sheep of the same breed that have run together under similar environmental conditions since the previous shearing.”) In New Zealand, a mob […]

Kaka – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Kaka, a native forest parrot of New Zealand

K is for kaka. Practical Information:  The kākā is a large forest parrot found on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island.  With between 1,000 and 5,000 remaining, they are considered nationally vulnerable. Generally considered diurnal, they are also active in a full moon or on fine weather evenings. Often heard before they are seen, they make a […]

Hiking – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Hiking on Waiheke Island, New Zealand

H is for hiking. Practical Information:  With our reputation as being clean and green, of course there are a seeming unlimited number of hiking options, through subtropical rainforest, glaciers, parks, forest, and so much more. There are nine “Great Walks” in New Zealand, offering Department of Conservation shared cabins and requiring reservations. Total walking enthusiasts […]

Flowers – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Flowers seen at the Auckland Domain Wintergardens in Auckland New Zealand

F is for flowers . . .  or fragrant. Practical Information:  I took this photo in the Wintergardens on the Auckland Domain. It is a Salpiglossis from their Royale mix series. New Zealand, being a relatively isolated island, has one of the richest bio-diverse flora on earth offering a wide range of flowers, with 80% of flora being native. […]

Endangered Takahe – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Critically Endangered Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi

E is for endangered. Practical Information:  Now classified as critically endangered, the takahe were once thought of as extinct until they were rediscovered in the Murchison Mountains (Fiordland) on the South Island in 1948. Takahe are flightless birds found only in New Zealand. They display their wings during courtship or as a show of aggression. Takahe are […]

Baby Lambs – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Spring lambs in Shakespear Park, Auckland, New Zealand

B is for baby lambs . . .  or baaa. Practical Information:  New Zealand has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. It has more sheep than people. In fact, the country is home to nearly 4.5 million people and 30 million sheep. Springtime is lambing season, and the hills all over the country […]

Pasifika: A Celebration of Pacific Island Culture

Cook Island dancers at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland New Zealand

Capturing the atmosphere at the Pasifika Festival with only a digital cameral is virtually impossible. Yet I had to try. This annual Pacific Islands-themed festival took place this past weekend in Auckland New Zealand. Attracting close to 100,000 visitors, it is the largest festival of its type in the world. As you enjoy these photos, breathe in the aroma […]

Arataki: Gateway to the Subtropical Rainforest in Auckland

Arataki Visitors Centre in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, New Zealand

Arataki Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges, the subtropical rainforest that is a half-hour drive from downtown Auckland. Here we found ourselves surrounded by the rugged natural beauty one expects to see in New Zealand. The landscape changed rapidly in the 30 minute drive and with windows down, I enjoyed the fragrant aromas of the rainforest. to […]

Afternoon Tea Fit for Royalty at Palm Court in Auckland

Wedgewood china service is standard at Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

Delicate flavours, elegant ambience, and five-star service define the Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in Auckland’s Langham Hotel. From the moment hubby and I entered, we were treated like royalty. It was a posh Afternoon Tea, and one which we hope to repeat soon. We opted to begin our afternoon tea with a flute of champagne, despite that fact that I am […]

Giapo: Taking Ice Cream and Gelato to an Art Form

Colourful ice cream creations from Giapo in Auckland New Zealand

Giapo. Just thinking about their ice cream and my mouth is watering. Who would have thought the best ice cream in the world is found in Auckland New Zealand? Giapo has turned ice cream into an art form, a perfect handmade combination of flavours. The secrets are passion, attention to every detail, and fresh New Zealand ingredients. The shop […]

Gumdiggers Park: A New Zealand Wonder Worth Visiting

Ancient kauri log estimated to be 100k-150K old at Gumdiggers Park in Northland New Zealand

Gumdiggers Park is an authentic piece of New Zealand history. It takes about an hour to explore and is a worthwhile stop if heading to the top of the North Island. It is home to the oldest non-fossilized wood found on earth. I’ll be honest, when we first saw Gumdiggers Park on the map, we worried it would […]

2015 Auckland Festival and Event Highlights: A Photo Review

New Zealand Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World - an Auckland festival of fun

Auckland is a fun city that knows how to throw a party. As the year winds down, I thought I would share photo highlights, starting with some of the Auckland events we attended in 2015. See if you can guess which was my favorite Auckland festival. (My highlights series will also include the best of Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots and my […]

MOTAT Christmas Lights Raise Money For Auckland Children

Steam train at MOTAT's Christmas lights display in Auckland New Zealand

Celebrating the spirit of giving, MOTAT has strung up their Christmas lights, opened their gates, and raised money supporting Auckland Women’s Refuge and Starship Foundation. The event began a few weeks ago and goes until Christmas Eve, so there is still time to join the fun. All proceeds from the $2 entry fee will buy gifts for children. […]

Bellota Tapas Bar: Bizarre Memories of a Spanish Home Exchange

Spanish Croquetas at Bellota Tapas Bar in Auckland New Zealand

Each time we travel somewhere new the world seems to get a little bit smaller. Last week was no exception, and we only went to Auckland, an hour from home on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Having recently learned of an authentic Spanish tapas bar called Bellota, we were flooded with memories from our long term home exchange in the Costa Brava […]

Photos: Danse Macabre – A Halloween Dance of Death at MOTAT

The Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) at The Olde Hallows Eve festival at MOTAT in Auckland New Zealand

In honor of the impending Halloween, MOTAT invited in the past, who came in with a vengeance. This year’s Olde Hallows Eve celebration was themed the Danse Macabre, the Dance of Death: no matter one’s station in life, the Dance of Death unites all. Despite it’s theme, Danse Macabre was a family friendly event with […]