Our New Zealand Adventure travel blog

Mike and Dan before the Cavs game

A double rainbow from the deck



Mike's Kawhai

Mt. Manaia Summit

Since we’ve been pretty bad about updating the journal regularly recently and since we’re both working full time now, it’s time to explain a few things about our life here…

My First Week of Work

I spent the week training with the girl I’m replacing. It’s fun working at a college with lots of interesting people around. The work is interesting too. Mike and I drive together and park in between our works and each walk about 5 minutes to our offices. I think I’m going to enjoy this job. I do enjoy morning tea (time). One thing our jobs have in common is IT’S SUPER COLD AT WORK w/o central heating. That’s going to take some getting used to.


We mentioned Dan loved eating this fine fruit when he was here. A feijoa tastes and smells like bubblegum and you eat it like a kiwi (cut in half and scoop out the good stuff). We tasted them for the first time when our friends showed us the tree in our yard and we picked up the fruit off the ground. Lately we’ve been buying them in the market and making amazing feijoa and apple crisps or just eating them plain. They are my new favorite fruit. I’ve frozen a bunch so I’ll make all visitors some feijoa specialties!

On the fruit front, we’re days away from hundreds of oranges and a huge bushel of bananas. OJ CITY.

The Beer

You may remember Mike is brewing his own colonial lager. It is now in bottles and should be ready for tasting this week or next. This may get ugly. At least we don’t have to worry about a designated driver!

On Friday after work Mike and I went out to the beach for to surf but it ended up being quite small so instead Mike spent an hour or so collecting Pipi’s (Paphies australis). Pipi’s are a native white shellfish that taste somewhat like a clam. They’re super delicious and can be collected at low tide by digging into the sand in about knee deep water; nothing like a feed of fresh shellfish.

Today we hiked up to Mt. Manaia. In 45 minutes we climbed 1322 feet to stand on top of a peak overlooking the entire harbor. It was breathtaking. The hike was challenging with lots of mud on the trail but the view was SO worth it. Afterwards, we went to a neat fishing spot off some rocks and while Mike struggled to catch Kawhai (he brought one in and lost a really really big one), some dolphins put on a show for us. It was unbelievable – they jumped fully out of the water and at one point two jumped together and crossed in the air! It was like our own personal Sea World.

Lastly, there are a lot of rainbows here; our reward for enduring daily storms. Also, Didymo is getting fat. The vet told me not to let her gain anymore weight.

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