new zealand!!–waitakere and waiheke

we are on a plane from auckland to hong kong – one of our very longest legs…and so after our amaaaaaazing week in new zealand i finally have some time to share some photos and descriptions from the first stop on our grand adventure. as i’ve been sorting through pictures, i can’t believe how unrepresentative they are of new zealand’s true splendor! we totally fell in love with that country.

we got off the plane in the dark and very rainy morning, having lost a whole day on our flight across the pacific due to the international date line. we got our rental car and set out through auckland as the first light of day crept in. it was very foggy and drizzly but we could tell we were entering some deep jungle bush as we drove towards the waitakere ranges regional park. this is how it looked when we arrived at the visitors’ centre:IMG_4991IMG_5000
(i was excited to get a picture in this huge frame with the incredible view behind, but this was the best we got that foggy morning!) …. we decided to try driving down to the coast, hoping it would clear up.

and it sure did! the coast and bush were absolutely spectacular.IMG_5019
IMG_5011 IMG_5022IMG_5014IMG_5024IMG_5029IMG_5030IMG_5039

we drove into the little black sand beach town of piha and climbed up lion’s rock:

we did some more tramping through the bush:

and experimented with our new gopro camera and stick:

then got a better shot at the big picture frame!:
^^ can you spot the rainbow??^^ you can’t tell so well in this photo, but the jungle is so so dense!IMG_5084

we decided to drive back to the city and take the ferry from auckland to waiheke island. the boat ride was awesome and tramping around the island was provided really beautiful ocean and vineyard views.IMG_5086IMG_5094
^^ see the city out in the distance??^^

and the boat ride back at sunset! it was exhilarating.

an amazing first day in new zealand. we couldn’t have imagined then that we’d only seen such a tiny bit of nz gorgeousness. more to come from another long-ish plane or train ride!

i love traveling with the boy. he’s really the best.


  1. Awesome post Charian! What an umbelievable, one in ten million experience you are having! Take NOTHING for granted, and thanks for sharing it all with the world!
    Love More,

  2. So happy to see this and to revel in the beauty! We were at that picture frame with Jonah and Aja! They are going to love this post because they have been there soooo many times! It so nice to see it in our minds in "the round." What a grand adventure!

  3. Impressed you got some of the lingo too - "tramping through the bush."

  4. Wow, New Zealand has always been on my bucket list... It sure looks amazing!
    Have fun in Hongkong

  5. Sweet! Keep it coming Charity. I'm glad you guys are having a good time. Safe travels.

  6. Your blog fills me with jealousy and wanderlust! I'm glad you guys are out there tackling it all. Are you doing one way tickets and playing it by ear, or do you have everything pre-purchased and arranged ahead of time. I have been customizing a trip for next year through, but I've found that I can almost do the whole thing for cheaper and with more flexibility if I just buy one way tickets as needed.
    Have fun!

  7. Too fun. Your Instas have been fabulous, and I got my extra fill via this post. Keep them coming! xoxo

  8. I hope you remember all these places well cause you are going to have to come as our tour guide if we can ever make it there. Love you so much and so excited to see more!!

  9. The scenery is stunning. It makes New Zealand look like an absolute paradise. The reason it appeals to me is because it looks so unspoiled. I've never visited anywhere in Australasia before and Australia looks lovely, but if I had the chance I'd definitely choose New Zealand. Just one look at your pictures and I know I'd have a great time.

    Abraham @ ASIC


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