Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links

Our travels

Haere Mai Everyone

January has been very hot over here, we regularly had temperatures in the high 20s / low 30s, a bit better than the below freezing in the UK - poor POM's!

Over Christmas Jaz and Maxie got their own card from Jean and John which enjoyed reading very much! They also had their annual checkup and vaccinations (which they didn't dislike too much).

Peter went back to work on 5th January for a couple of weeks before having a week off whilst we went away on holiday.

Ann has been mowing the grass whilst she's on hoilday and managed a slight accident. She went too close to one of the vege beds and managed to get the green netting caught in the mower blades. Peter had to take the blades off, then unwrap all the netting (at 9 o'clock at night so Ann could finish mowing before we went on holiday the next day)!

Now the external garage is finished, apart from the final coat of paint in the sleepout, we've been sorting through the stuff in the main garage, bedrooms and cupboards and moving it over. We can now put both cars in the main garage at night (for the first time in 2 ½ years).

As we have been gettting loads of bark, timber, compost and other stuff for the garden the ute got a bit grubby so we decided to clean it. This took a bit longer than Ann expected but we've discovered that the ute is actually white!!

Whilst walking round the village one evening Jaz spied a small rabbit in the distance. She immediately tried to lunge for it and was dancing on her hind legs desperately trying to get to it! Luckily she was still attached to the lead (it would probably have frightened her silly if she'd actually got to it). Maxie took one look and carried on with her walk.

Peter chaired his first Committee meeting for the bonsai club - quite a long meeting as we had to discuss lots regarding the bonsai convention which we're hosting next year as well as sort out what we are doing for the club days this year.

We went up to the Coromandel for a short break to stay with Michael and Ross who we met at the Bonsai Convention in Napier earlier this year. They run Break-Away B&B in Coromandel Town which is pet friendly.

Due to a slight map reading error on the part of the navigator we took the l-o-n-g scenic route up and arrived early afternoon.

On our first evening in Coromandel Town we took the dogs for a 15 minute walk to the Kauri Pa site - little did we know that it was a 15 minute steep climb. It's a good job that Jaz was trying to run all the way as she managed to pull Ann up the hill. A Pa site is a fortified place built, usually on high ground, by Maori with various uses including a lookout, storing food and a refuge in times of war.

At the top there were some fantastic views of the town and the surrounding coastline.

We found a sheltered bay where we could take the dogs onto the beach to let them go paddling. Jaz was the first to go into the water and Maxie soon followed.


On the Tuesday we drove to Port Charles on the eastern side of the Coromandel along a very dusty and rough gravel road. We then drove up the western side along a much smoother (but dirtier) road to Port Jackson.

Along the road to Port Jackson there were large Pohutukawa trees with fabulous twisted trunks and plenty of small pebble beaches where we could collect driftwood.

On the Wednesday we drove over to Whitianga to see friends Shirley and Chris.

The route was via the 309 - a gravel road across the Coromandel Ranges. We stopped off to have a look at this little waterfall by the side of the road.

Ann and Jaz enjoying a quiet moment on a beach up the Coromandel coast.


On our final day we walked the dogs into the town for a last look around and ended up talking to several people who wanted to chat about the dogs as they'd seen us walking them each day - fame at last!

Jaz and Maxie were very well behaved at the B&B - right up until our last evening! As both dogs were getting used to their surroundings Ann let them run around the garden whilst Peter went for a takeaway. Whilst Ann and Michael were chatting and Maxie playing on a large rock Jaz sneaked away to one of the lovely rock displays and ate the head and a leg of one of the lobster shells!

Just before we started back we popped into Driving Creek Railway and Pottery. We didn't go on the train as it was too hot to leave the dogs in the car but we had a good look around the pottery.

Last weekend a friend, Noel, went over to a large family reunion in Gisborne so we had Sam staying with us for a few days. It took him a while to get used to sleeping in the garage with Jaz and Maxie (he's used to his owners bed), and eating at set times (he usually eats his food when he feels like it). He did try to leave his food lying around - Maxie ate it immediately. He tried burying his biscuit in the paddock - Jaz dug it straight up and ate it. He did love the walks we went on but was very happy when Noel came back on the Monday.
We've finally found a toy that Jaz will play with! She takes a run at it, manages to pick it up and then charges around the garden with it in her jaws! Amazingly Maxie lets her play with it too - usually if Jaz so much as looks at one of the toys Maxie runs off with it barking and growling.
The 3 girls relaxing

We had a late Christmas card arrive from friends Pat and John. The card was correctly addressed and posted in time but there is a stamp on the front saying - Missent to Thailand - a well travelled card.

Our veggies have been growing fast and furious. Ann is still having trouble remembering to sow more seed so that that we have a succession of salads. The spuds, courgettes and capsicums are fantastic. Hopefully soon we'll have some pumpkins too.

Ann went back to school on 27th January (which is a week earlier than normal but does mean that at Christmas she'll break up on Friday 11th December and have 7 weeks holiday next summer).

News from Home


Ann's Dad returned from a wonderful, but VERY cold holiday in Colorado with John, Allison and the kids.




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