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Holiday in New Zealand - flip-flops in November!


For 3 weeks from November to December we joined our Aussie family (they live in Melbourne) for a holiday in NZ’s South Island (older son, Mike, his wife, Gabriella, their daughters Chiara, 6, and Francesca (Frankie), 3). Younger son Steve, flew out with us, then later hired a car and went off happily exploring on his own.

This is Wanaka, in the southern alps. The guidebooks say max temp is 25 degrees, but it was exceptional this year, so we were in flip-flops and T-shirts when it was 23 to 29 most days.

On arrival, OH and I took a few days on our own to recover from the 23-hour journey. When we were here in 2014, we discovered a private garden in Wanaka with a sign at the entrance “visitors welcome”. We knew it was worth re-visiting! It is on a steep slope with a trout stream at the bottom, and the planting is very colourful and imaginative.

Amazing flowering Dogwood

Showing the scale of the bracts

Love the colour – anyone know this plant?

Making a note in my notebook

The trout stream

Now off to meet the family, and have fun with Steve teaching everyone to paddle board . . .

. . and braving the Climbing Wall

Frankie with OH

Me and Chiara

Wild Lupins of all colours are seen all over the south island

Lake Hawea, near Wanaka

Goodbye Wanaka!

We were so lucky to have a wonderful, memorable holiday with blue skies and sunshine every day, and the company of our happy family :))
Thank you for joining me.

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Wow... wonderful pics of an amazing country... thanks, Sheila for sharing with us. x

17 Dec, 2017


Thank you Terra - what a speedy reaction :) x

17 Dec, 2017


So lovely for you to meet up with family, and enjoy quality time together... I love the photos... a memorable holiday for you all. x

17 Dec, 2017


Just stunning,Sheila..and so glad you had a wonderful time with your family.. Chiara and Frankie are growing so quickly,and look adorable..That lovely garden reminded me very much of gardens here,especially the one with the stream and little bridge..and those lupins are gorgeous..I wish you and your OH a merry Christmas in your new home,and all the best for 2018,which will be your new gardening year .that is really something for you to look forward to.. thank you for sharing your holiday with us ..xx

17 Dec, 2017


Thanks again Terra!

Sandra, thank you very much for your lovely comments!

17 Dec, 2017


Looks a great place, thanks for sharing with us. Have a lovely Christmas & we look forward to hearing about your new garden next year.

17 Dec, 2017


Great! A touch of summer for us over here. It all looks really beautiful. Glad you all had such a wonderful time, and thank you for sharing it with us!

17 Dec, 2017


Thank you Feverfew. Happy Christmas to you and yours too.

Many thanks Sue - we were very lucky and have some great memories!

17 Dec, 2017


Enjoyed your holiday too, thank you for sharing.

18 Dec, 2017


Sheila, so pleased you had a lovely time with your family in New Zealand. The garden you visited looks fabulous with so many wonderful plants. No wonder you were making notes!

Have fun planning your new garden and enjoy the festivities over Christmas!

18 Dec, 2017


Thank you Diane.

Hi Shirley - thank you. I will PM you! X

18 Dec, 2017


Looks like you had some marvellous weather during your holiday in NZ! The place looks idyllic & a wonderful place for a home from home - even if was just a few weeks!

Wishing you & yours a wonderful Christmas & I look forward to seeing how you get on with your new garden during 2018!

18 Dec, 2017


Beautiful photos Sheila, what a wonderful holiday.

18 Dec, 2017


Many thanks Balcony and Sheila . . . we were very lucky with the weather, and the 'natives' are so friendly!

18 Dec, 2017


Wow, that garden beautiful, lovely pics ?

21 Dec, 2017


Thanks very much, Daylily :)

21 Dec, 2017


Aaawww Sheila, what a happy blog, it must have been very emotional when you left.
The mystery plant may be Haloragis? Siris kindly sent me one of these, she says it's a New Zealander, just a thought.
Plus, Happy Christmas!

21 Dec, 2017


Wow Dawn - thank you - yes, my eyes were a little moist! I will Google Haloragis, it's certainly a pretty one. Happy Christmas to you and yours too :) x

21 Dec, 2017


Thanks Sheila. 2018 is going to be an exciting gardening year for you!

21 Dec, 2017


Beautiful scenery and happy family photographs, thankyou Sheila for sharing with us.
Merry Christmas to you and yours and Best Wishes for 2018...

22 Dec, 2017


Thank you very much, Sue. Happy Christmas to you and yours too, and best wishes for 2018. :)

23 Dec, 2017


What a beautiful place it is. You obviously had a wonderful time with your family.
Thank you for sharing your lovely memories with us.

24 Dec, 2017


Thanks Chris. Yes, weren't we lucky . . .

25 Dec, 2017


Oh Sheila you've just come back from NZ!! I can't believe Chiara and Frankie are such big girls now....and both stunning and very alike..
Your photos are beautiful, the private garden in Wanaka is a wonder, I can imagine the clean air and rainfall and the flowering Dogwood....a real beauty...I wonder if the stems are vivid during their winter months, probably a different type altogether though.
Aren't we lucky to be able to visit our families, you obviously had a brilliant time...lots of happy memories and new visits to plan for..:)) xx

23 Jan, 2018


Thank you Janey! Yes, it was a treat to spend ten days with the little ones . . . showing them magic painting, organising a treasure hunt for them and having a cuddle with a story in the evenings. Plenty of happy memories - as you say - and just another 18 months until we're together again :)) xx

24 Jan, 2018

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