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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 of Frolicking Adorable Baby Lambs

Adorable baby lambs bouncing through the field in New Zealand

There are hundreds of reasons to visit New Zealand and adorable baby lambs actually shouldn’t be too high on the list. However, I asked last week, and the general consensus was that my readers want more cute lamb photos. These were all shot last week, the first four with my Olympus OM-D Em5 and the last […]

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

On part of today’s walk through Shakespear Park in Auckland (New Zealand) hubby and I parallel an electric fence. We were well beyond the paddock that held the adorable black lambs. Escape route gone, my rational mind takes over and I know these cows are not going to harm us. They are used to humans. (Even […]

MPI Protecting Our Oceans from Overfishing – New Zealand

Okoromai Bay at low tide, Auckland New Zealand

From a distance it looked as though it might be a craft demonstration led by a man pointing down at items on the table as he spoke to the surrounding group. As we cautiously approached most of the on-lookers walked away. We quickly discovered an officer of the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), sometimes referred […]

Planting Day Replenishes the Native Bush to Auckland Parks

Planting Day at Shakespear Park in Auckland New Zealand

Planting Day brings out the best of people. The sense of community is one of the things I love about living in New Zealand.  Despite the rainy day, about 90 people planted nearly 4000 trees in Auckland’s Shakespear Park a few weekends ago. For now, I can’t plant, so I came along with a camera. […]

Everyday Differences: Even NZ’s Paddock Fence is Unique

Paddock fence in Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

As I walked by some farm land this morning I was thinking about how a paddock fence really is cultural, constructed differently in every country. In New Zealand they look like this: Walking alongside this fence, you can tell it is all handmade. PS:  This is the same paddock that had the crop circle – […]

Blood Moon over New Zealand: Beauty or the Apocalypse

Blood moon over New Zealand

Often called a blood moon, the red cast during last month’s total lunar eclipse offered me this series: Albom Adventures featured Amazing Auckland from AtoZ for the 2015 AtoZ blogging challenge throughout April, which is why you are seeing these photos today, rather than last month. Why is the moon red ? As the earth eclipses […]

Yacht Racing in the City of Sails: Auckland New Zealand #AtoZ

Look forward while yacht racing

Yacht racing and Auckland seem to go together. New Zealand’s largest city, it is nicknamed the “City of Sails” and looking out to sea on any summer day, it is easy to see why. Of course, my preferred view is from the water, my preferred crew position is operating the main. A few of my […]

People Are What Make Auckland New Zealand Special – #AtoZ

People in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is an eclectic mix of personalities and people, not much different than other modern cities we have visited around the world. We arrived here nearly 12 years ago, and I still remember the mixed reaction as we told our friends and family we were moving half way around the world to New Zealand. Some […]

A Funny Coffee Mug is My Weekend Inspiration

My Favorite coffee mug

Friends know my opinion – hubby makes the best coffee in town. Every morning and most afternoons, when we are home in New Zealand, we stop what we are doing and enjoy a cafe latte. Like most couples, we each have our favorite coffee mug. Mine was a gift from one of my teens. It’s […]

Photos: A Rainbow of Hair Color in Wellington New Zealand

Rainbow of Hair Color in Wellington New Zealand

People watching from a cafe on Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand, Sarah suddenly had an idea “Hey mum, I challenge you to do the 100-Strangers Project featuring a rainbow of hair color.” It’s a new twist on an old challenge. Last year I never completed the 100-Strangers Project as I am too intimidated to […]

Bagpipes at a Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

Bagpipes at the beach in New Zealand

Bagpipes were the last thing I expected to hear at a New Zealand beach. The music is distinctive, yet when I turned my head I was surprised to actually see bagpipes.  Well, technically it was just one man and one instrument. The two adorable children were following him everywhere.  I am sure there is a […]

Is that a Crop Circle in Auckland’s Shakespear Park?

Is it a crop circle in an Auckland Park (New Zealand)

Gazing across Okoromai Bay at Shakespear Park an odd pattern in the long grass caught my eye. From my deck it almost looks like a crop circle. I know it wasn’t there yesterday. I had to get a closer look. Camera and family in tow, we hiked over to the park. *Shakespear Park was named […]

Photo Highlights of 2014: Birds in New Zealand

Tui on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

With over 170 different types of birds in New Zealand, it’s hard to go a day without seeing a beautiful example of our feathered friends.  As 2014 comes to an end, I want to share some of the year’s highlights in photos.  It’s a three part series, with bird photos as number one, followed by […]

Photo: Moonrise Over Shakespear Park in New Zealand

Moonrise over Shakespear Park, an Auckland Regional Park in New Zealand

Some nights are better than others.  Three nights ago I happen to look out the window to the Northeast and see a stunning moonrise over Shakespear Park, just as the sunset was beginning to add brilliant color to the sky. Moonrise Over Shakespear Park Shakespear Park is one of the many beautiful Auckland Regional Parks.  It […]

Moonbright: Stranger In the Woods: An Adventure in Auckland

Musician in Moonbright: Stranger in the woods - Live Action Role Playing in Auckland

Photographing Moonbright: Stranger in the Woods, I stood in the sidelines and really didn’t follow the unfolding story very well.  To add to my confusion, players occasionally jumped out at me: Like the The Crucible, (the LARP my daughter participated in last month), Moonbright is an on-going Live Action Role Playing event. Stranger in the […]

Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #18 – Bubbles

Blowing bubbles in New Zealand

On Thursday my Girl Guide Ranger group was invited to a party at another group in Orewa, and while I was there I found that lots of people were blowing bubbles. I’ve wanted to try taking pictures of them for quite a while, and one of my friends offered to blow a few bubbles for me […]

LARP – Live Action Role Play in Auckland: The Crucible


Watching my daughter participate in her first LARP (Live Action Role Play), I can see why she is so attracted to the experience.  She reads fantasy, writes fantasy, and now it comes alive.  This particular on-going New Zealand LARP game is called The Crucible, and will be played for three years. Even being the youngest […]

Sinking Boat, Colorful Bird – Photos of a Coast Guard Rescue

New Zealand Coast Guard towing a catamaran - this isn't quite as bad as it looks

Looking out the window the promise of an uneventful Sunday was shattered as I saw the Coast Guard rescue boat towing a sinking boat in our bay. The catamaran had three sailors on board. I assume at least one is from the Coast Guard as that’s how it was when they rescued us a few […]