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Relaxed and refreshed at Firth Tower, Matamata

Situated just a few kilometres out of Matamata, Firth Tower Reserve and Museum sits above the town with extensive views of the surrounding countryside with the Kaimai Range towering in the distance.

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Our first Spring trip in the Kiwi Blog Bus

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The weather has finally turned, the daffodils and lambs are out and we decided we were well overdue a trip in the bus (and a post on the blog!).

We haven’t had to venture very far to find this little gem of an overnight stop either.
Just a short drive to the lovely town of Matamata, just around the corner from the Hobbiton movie set, and then 2km up the road to Firth Tower Museum.

We have parked up for a very friendly amount of $10 (including power) and I must say it’s a very beautiful spot.

We’ll be looking around the museum tomorrow and i’ll bring you the best of the visit in my next post. For now, I’m off to enjoy a long glass of cold cider!

Dare I tell you about Simpsons Beach?

From the Kiwi Annisons Archives:

There is a beautiful sandy beach in a stunning Coromandel bay surrounded by rolling green hills, where you can camp just a stones throw from the water’s edge (and I do mean that literally) and the payment for this paradise…
Just $5 a night.

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Hamilton Gardens: a collection of paradise and more

Staying local again this week, I shall take you on a trip to Hamilton Gardens – the Waikato’s most popular visitor attraction.

Indian Char Bagh Garden, Hamilton Gardens

Locals and tourists alike throng regularly through the many themed areas, gardens and collections, all open free to the public.

We are lucky enough to be able to visit the gardens on a regular basis; for dog walks, Sunday strolls, Jazz festivals, picnics and more.

In particular we enjoy Read More…

Home sweet home: Cambridge, New Zealand

Seeing as we haven’t been away in the Kiwi Blog Bus for a wee while I thought I would blog today about my beautiful home town of Cambridge as it’s certainly somewhere I’d like to visit if I didn’t live here!

This is not meant to be a full and comprehensive guide to the town, rather a few of my personal pictures that I have taken over the few years we’ve enjoyed living here.

If you want to learn more about this very historic New Zealand town then check out the museum website.

And for those of you that have driven through Cambridge on State Highway 1 and not bothered to stop for a look… this is what you missed:

St Andrews Anglican Church, built in 1873 this is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Cambridge

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Huka Huka: Prawns and Falls

From the Kiwi Annison Archives

If we’re ever heading down to Taupo or beyond, one of our favourite spots to call in for a spot of relaxation, great food and good old easy-going kiwi ambience is Huka Prawn Park and its fantastic riverside restaurant.

Situated next to the Waikato River, just a short distance from the powerful Huka Falls, the park breeds and grows tropical prawns (Giant Malaysian River Prawns) using waste geothermal heat from the geothermal power station next door. Read More…

A little bit of Kiwiana

From the Kiwi Annison Archives

Back in April this year we travelled down to Waitomo and further on to the west coast – see Magnificent meanderings to Marokopa. On our way down we went through Otorohanga , the official Kiwiana town.

So those of you not in New Zealand may now be scratching your heads and wondering what the heck is kiwiana. Read More…

Sometimes the best things in life really are free

One of the big things we noticed when we moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2008 was the fantastic and plentiful array of kids playgrounds here.

It may seem like an insignificant thing but when you have three kids who have usually seen broken, graffiti covered, litter strewn playgrounds that normally contained a set of broken swings and nothing too adventurous that you could potentially injure yourself on – then it all came as a breath of fresh air.

Thames playground

Before I get jumped on and all the UK peeps shout at me…. yes, I agree there were SOME nice parks and playgrounds for kids. But I am speaking my opinion when I say that while we lived and travelled around the UK I can honestly say that the large majority of playgrounds were either in undesirable areas or visited by undesirables who used for undesirable purposes.
Sad but true.

Another huge difference for us here was the school grounds. Read More…

Soak up some of New Zealand’s social history

From the Kiwi Annison Archives….

I have a new project at work, and I love it.

As part of my Communications role at Mystery Creek Events Centre, I am to help promote the wonderful Ag Heritage Village; a fantastic destination for school and group visits which offers a unique glimpse into New Zealand’s pioneering past.

I find this kind of social history absolutely fascinating, a fact you may have gathered if you are one of my regular blog readers!

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A little place we like to go (infamous for doing it in public)

From the Kiwi Annison Archives:

In one of my strangely popular (!) posts Doing it in public, I mention briefly a wonderful little spot that we quite often like to visit.

Today I give further, deserved, attention to Fergusson Park in Tauranga.

As well as BBQs and a fantastic playground, the large waterside sports field has toilets, changing rooms, a boat ramp and is a very popular area for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

We were drawn there by this… Read More…

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