Kia Ora, Aotearoa


A snowy day seems like the perfect time to finish the New Zealand blog and bid a fond “Kia Ora” to the “land of the long white cloud.”


A game that Don and I play at the end of a journey is the ABC game, taking turns naming a person, place, or memory that begins with that letter.  This time we collaborated on our trip to NY to visit Theodorable (no, we don’t stay home too long!!), and here’s our ABC list, incomplete because we always think of more!

A—albatross, Aspire Down Under, Abel Tasman
B–Blenheim, bowenite, buskers, biking, Burt Munro
C–cider, Carrick vineyard , Chloe (at Terra Sancta), Cathedral Cove
E–equine races
F-Fjordland, Farelli’s , Franz Josef, Frankton Arm
G–glacier, Gunn’s Camp, Glenorchy
H–Hobbiton , Hans Herzog, Hawkes Bay, Hamilton, haka, Honest Lawyer
J–Jo, jade, Jens Hansen, Jaguar
K–Kia Ora, Kennedy Point, koru, kiwi, kayak
L–Lime Room, lamb, Lucy, L&P
M–Manuka, Maori, Monteith’s
N–Nelson, Napier, nightwalk
O–overlook, Otago
P–Pauanui, penguins, Punakaikai,
Q–Queenstown, Quentin
R–Rotorua, Rueapehu
S–Seleni, Silica Rapids, squid, Sky Tower, scones, scarfies, Speight’s
T–Thai, Taupo, Tongariro, Turangi, tramp , Tairei Gorge
V–Vanessa, variable oystercatcher
W–Wine Festival, Waiheke, WOW
X–diagonal cross-walk “X”
Y–yellow-eyed penguin
Z–Zealand (New)

So that list would certainly evoke some memories when we are in our 90’s and trying to remember where or when.

Our retrospective of the trip is this:  We traveled for five weeks,thinking that the distance was so great that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.  Well it was, but we so thoroughly enjoyed ourselves that we can no longer think that we’d only see NZ once.  There’s so much to experience, people are so friendly, we felt safe, and the distance wasn’t as long as we anticipated.

For those of you who have followed this journey and later will ask, “Where did you stay, how did you figure out where to go, etc., etc.” my answer is this:  for the first time ever we worked with a travel agent who arranged the itinerary and most accommodations.  Shelley Madsen at Aspire Down Under in NY was the mastermind.  We have saved the bound book we received at our first destination which has all of our accommodations and events she booked for us.  It’s always available for you to peruse.  We made some reservations on our own through Air BnB or  We are always happy to share.

So I guess this is “Kia Ora” . . .hello and good-bye in Maori. . .

We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when. . .



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