February 6th is Waitangi Day, the day that New Zealand celebrates, protests and embraces its history. The day that Kiwis living on the other side of the world get dressed up and go on a pub crawl across London. (Yes I’ll be doing it. No there will not be pictures on the blog.) Waitangi is a day I allow myself to feel homesick... something I don't do often. I know I'm going home eventually and London has so much to offer which home doesn't... I love London, and I love living here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way at this point in my life, but my goodness, do I love New Zealand. I mean really love it, the way you love few things/places/people in your life... I think living so far away has made me realise just how amazing we have it in New Zealand, and I feel lucky to call it home. For all the places I travel to and am lucky enough to explore, there is nowhere I love more than the land of the long white cloud.
I love how easy it is to find a deserted beach just for you and a private bonfire and swim. I love that when you go out walking or riding or swimming you don’t need to be worrying about things like snakes or bears or leeches or anything really because all we have are flightless birds. I love the green and gold DOC signs although it never made sense to me that they are the national colours of our two greatest sporting rivals. I love the way the sun burns gold on Central Otago hills as it sets. I love sleepy beach towns with grass right up to the water and colourful, tiny bachs lining the water. I love the view from our holiday house which looks like actual paradise. I love our unique cafe culture and that I can be confident walking into any cafe in the country knowing what I drink will be good. I love the seagulls pestering as we eat fish and chips on the beach. I love the fact that we have some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and don't even know how good we’ve got it until we leave it behind. I even love the stupid noisy sheep which are all over the place rather than weirdly absent from all the farmland like they are over here. I love dairies and one dollar bags of lollies. I love our words like lollies and dairies and jandals and togs that the rest of the world laughs at and just flat out don't understand.
I love you New Zealand. Happy 176th birthday and thanks for everything, you beaut of a nation.
A glacier just quietly popping out from behind a mountain. Casual New Zealand scenery.
A stunning deserted beach just for you? No problem...
Just your standard sheep on the deck saying 'hey girl, what's up?'
The sun setting behind Auckland city and the Harbour Bridge on my drive home from work. Kind of beats the tube.
Sleepy Waihi Beach leading straight down to the sea. Aaaaah Kiwi summer.
The hills of Central Otago shine gold in the late evening sun.
The view from my holiday family house and my favourite place in the whole world.
Drawn out dusk and teeny tiny seaside bachs (NZ word for cribs) in Opotiki.
Just a standard cafe coffee in New Zealand which I didn't realise was world class until I travelled the world and couldn't find anything as good! This is literally just down the road from my old home and super standard. *cries with longing for good coffee*
A dog runs along the shore of Lake Wanaka 'cause what else does one do when the setting is so friggen epic?!
Taking some time to chill with nature in idyllic and middle-of-nowehere Piano Flat. (Please note: no actual pianos... it;s a misleading name)
You get the gist, right? It's beautiful. This is taken on one of NZ's 'great alpine walks' the Routeburn Track.
Let's just lie in the sand 'til the sun goes down and we need food. That's what it's all about on Waiheke Island.
May I offer you a toasty bonfire with nothing but sea and sky for company? Yes you may, Hannah's Clearing.