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Published: August 21st 2012
New Zealand, Aotearoa, Land of the Long white cloud. I have to say, I shed a little tear as we started our decent to Auckland International airport, on a long white cloud. I love New Zealand, and as one of my very wise Kenyan friends said, "There is no place like home, wherever home is".
We had a lovely holiday, spending some time at Mount Ruapehu before Mount Tongariro erupted. This was the kids first real snow experience. Charlotte went to snow planet in Auckland and Hayley went to snow planet in Dubai. The kids really enjoyed it, making snow people, making snow angels and tobogganing. Charlotte tried skiing, but preferred the toboggan. At one point, Charlotte was just lying in the snow, looking up at the clouds, completely at home. Murray & I did a little snowboarding thanks to family and friends who looked after the kids. We were both a little out of shape, me especially, but we did enjoy being up the mountain. We had a few bad weather days, so went to the Army Museum and did some rock climbing, which the kids really enjoyed as well, yes!
We then toured around on our way
back up, stopping in Gisborne, Tauranga and Thames, catching up with more of our cousins and friends.
Then to Auckland to spend some time with family and friends, and show the kids a little more of Auckland, where Murray & I both grew up.
We finished our holiday with a week in Australia. We visited my Uncle Geoff and Aunty Dee and my cousins (unfortunately no pictures, sorry!). They looked after us well, fed us well and we really enjoyed catching up with everyone (minus Paul, next time 😊). We then went up to Cairns to visit with some friends there. We really relaxed in the warmer weather, ate well (Nadia is a legend in the kitchen) and generally had a fantastic time. Hayley really connected with their youngest, it was amazing as this doesn't happen often for Hayley (its an hourly occurrence for Charlotte).
Thanks to those who made our time in NZ and Australia special. And sorry to those we didn't see, with all the holidaying it meant less time in Auckland.
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