2 days until we leave New Zealand!!! 
Wow. I can hardly believe that we are actually here. There is such a short time remaining before Luke and I leave this wonderful country we've called home for nearly a year now. I remember in the winter, about 6 months ago, making little plans of things we wanted to do before we left, of the dates and times we'd leave, booking our flight, etc... hard to believe those moments are actually here. We've had our visitors come and go. Our South Island trip is complete. Luke has truly driven across the entire country!! Our car has been wonderful through the whole trip - accepting us as silly travelers when we got it stuck on 90 Mile Beach, allowing both of us to work multiple jobs and providing to be a very hot and sticky, but fun-filled vehicle for road trips. It is now sold and moving on to a new traveler  a lovely American girl we met at Mana Retreat Centre. 
I wanted to share a few of the ways that we wrapped up this wonderful journey,
 with a smile :o)


I spent as much time as I could walking, swimming, napping and just appreciating how beautiful our neighbourhood beach was. It's hard to believe that for 8 months, Luke and I literally lived a few minutes walk from a beautiful sandy beach. 


The best part about making new friends is learning about how ridiculously fun they can be. I have met some really great people over here  and will miss them dearly! Especially their ridiculousness!
yup... its on its side for a reason - ridiculousness
dead possums and us


One Sunday morning, at an early 5:30am, I joined two other beautiful ladies at the beach to watch the  sun rise while sipping on strawberry bubbles and nibbling croissants. I am obsessed with the sunrise and sunset and to experience such a beautiful natural awakening of the beach - blissful!!

Family Time

Luke and I spent three wonderful days wwoofing at Terri's farm with her amazing family -  soaking up as much love, cuddles and happiness as we could. Terri has truly been our family here. Her door has always been open, her fridge always stocked, her arms always wide for a cuddle and her ears always open to listen. She is my Kiwi sister and I will miss her dearly. She even gave us a beautiful send-off bbq that consisted of $10 Salvation Army outfits for everyone.

Horse Races

I have spent so many fun days of this trip working at the Horse Races as the catering staff. It is so much fun to watch everyone come in dressed up to the nines, betting their money on horses for the most bizarre reasons and forever telling me their stories of when they visited Canada. I took the day off and headed to the races myself, equipped with an entourage of friends, and spent the day sipping bubbles, wearing a pretty dress and fancy hat and betting on #2 because I liked how his mane was braided.

The Mount

As a farewell to the beautiful city of Mount Maunganui, we obviously had to have a wonderful mid-day hike up to the summit!

Mana Retreat Centre

Luke and I have spent our final week in New Zealand at Mana Retreat Centre, the amazing place we wwoofed at months ago on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is a beautiful piece of land, with amazing views of the Coromandel. We have been kayaking, hiking, living in a caravan, doing yoga while looking at the beautiful view and even spent an evening dancing in the moonlight! Mana is filled with caring, generous and open people that we could not have left New Zealand without seeing again. It has been such a perfect way to complete this leg of our journey.

Our next adventure is to Australia. We are heading over there for a few months to explore how the Kiwi's neighbours live. Wish us luck for surviving their many killers:

killer sunstroke

killer jellyfish

killer sharks

killer spiders

killer crocodiles

killer kangaroos??

Sweet Dea & Dukey