Category: New Zealand

Road Tripping Dazzler Style!

It probably sounds funny to say that we are going to be taking a vacation. Most of you probably look at us and think we are on a permanent vacation right? Well, as you’ve seen lately we do spend a lot of time working on the boat and sometimes it’s just nice to get away for a change. That said, it’s time for the Dazzler crew to take to the land and see more of this amazing country.

Our dear friends, Mary and Jack will be here tomorrow and we will be taking a three week tour of the South Island here in New Zealand. If you’ve been following us for a while you know Jack is our friend who arranged to get our new Honda generator, also named Jack, to us in Nuka Hiva. He and his dear wife are two of our best friends and we can’t wait to explore New Zealand with them. We’ve booked Air B&B’s to stay in along the way and we’re all ready for a few weeks of fun and adventure….landlubber style! By the way, if you come to NZ and you want to travel, Air B&B IS the way to go. Hotels we looked at along the way were rather costly, the range of $200 NZ per couple, per night or more. The homes we’ve book are two or three bedroom homes and are $170-$210 per night for all four of us! And since we will be in homes with full kitchens we won’t have to eat out the entire time. We do love a good dinner out but sometimes it gets old. Of course there’s thee added bonus of having comfortable space around where we can all relax and enjoy each other rather than having to sit in some hotel lounge or crowd into a room and sit on the beds. We’ll provide a link to Air B&B for each home we stay and and we’ll be sure to let you know the pros and cons of each place.

Our journey will take us over 1000 miles south from Whangarei to Queenstown and then back again. We will be visiting geothermal pools and mud ponds in Rotorua, experience a true Hangi dinner with a Māori tribe, tour the Glowworm Caves of Waitomo via boat, have dinner on a streetcar while touring Christchurch, explore Hokitika and its artsy side, visit Hobbiton, the move set where the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, see the Southern Alps and much more.

And as a special treat the owner, Vajin Armstrong, of Gandharva Loka, a music store in Christchurch, is actually making special arrangements to open up just for the Dazzler Crew so Jilly can pick up a couple of tin whistles and maybe some other interesting instruments. Can’t wait to see all the unique instruments Vajin has to offer.

Yes, this journey is sure to be an amazing one full of laughs, awesome adventures and lots of beautiful sights. We sure hope you’ll follow along to learn about this awesome country and all of the incredible people who live here.

Away We Go!


See you down the road. Cheers!

Until next time,

Jilly & Dan

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Rainy Days Can Be Fun Days

What do you do when you wake up to a rainy, cold day in the land of the Kiwis? Well, you don your warm clothes, grab your raincoat and head out to explore the land. At least that’s what we did on a rainy day in December. After all if we let the cold and rain keep us inside we may never get a chance to explore this wonderful country. We know it’s supposed to be summer here but it feels more like winter.

We really had no idea where we were going to head but Dan pointed the car south and off we went. Highway 1 is the road that leads to Auckland so we’d seen a good stretch of it already. We stopped at a little café about an hour into our ride. We’d seen it before on the way to and from Auckland. To be honest, the food was less than tasty and there were two women in there with a couple of young boys who were completely out of control. One of the women kept yelling at her son across the restaurant.  I can tell you if that had been my kid he’d have gotten a lot more than cross looks and talking to but as I always say, “Not my circus, not my monkey.”

Thought I’d try my hand at preaching. Looks like at least Grape Ape was feeling the Holy Spirit!

After a less than stellar meal we headed out again. When we saw a sign that pointed west toward the coast we decided to take that road and see where it led. We hopped on State Highway 12 and off we headed toward Paparoa and Ruawai from there we headed north along the coast until we reached Dargaville which put us on State Highway 14 back towards Whangarei.

Along the way we stopped at a couple of overlooks, parks, churches and even a couple of museums. (Dargaville Museum, Kauri Museum in Matakohe) We certainly enjoyed our rainy day and it actually turned out that halfway through the day the sun came out and made it absolutely beautiful.

Until next time,

Jilly & Dan

Click Here To See More Pictures From Our Rainy Day Outing