I am so incredibly lucky to be in beautiful New Zealand right now.
2020 has seen many disappointed hopes of travel and adventure. But what a privilege to wander in our own backyard. So much magic to discover.
We stopped at Hamilton Gardens on the way down. I highly recommend a meander around these gorgeous gardens.
This particular travels-with-mom adventure turned into a real retreat into the hills above Waitomo. We stayed at Rock Retreat cottage and besides a few walks into the forested hills and gullies, I switched off completely…. bliss…. I could sit and stare at that view forever.
There is such Middle Earth magic in this part of the country. The karst landscape and limestone dolines on the hilltops speak of standing stones. Celtic wisdom would know the veil is thin in these pure spaces and you cannot help but pause to soak in this communion with Nature.
The same rock in the forest is covered in moss and tiny ferns and speaks of Elven ruins from the First Age of Middle Earth when the world was young.
I will post photos knowing they are woefully inadequate in capturing this magic…. round each corner you gasp audibly at some new marvel of Mother Earth, close your eyes and breathe in the birdsong.
We did venture out one evening to try a touristy cave adventure that the region is known for. Footwhistle glowworm cave tour was an unexpected find. I enjoyed it despite myself but perhaps it was just the benefit of the kawakawa tea we enjoyed at the beginning of the tour?
Our last day we visited the stunning Marakopa Falls and had the place all to ourselves.
Much needed respite for the soul…
All too soon, our sojourn into the hills was done. But some consolation to be had in the excellent coffee stop on the way home…. Origin Coffee in Otorohanga is a must. It is at the railway station…. ☕️☕️☕️