Well, we made it – we had a smooth flight and the Business Class seat makes such a difference to how you feel when you arrive- I was the lucky one to score that seat – poor hubby managed Premium Economy which ain’t too shabby either! Arriving on a beautiful day was a bonus too – while everything looks dusty and dry, sprinkler systems still make it possible for beautifully tended gardens to have flowers in bloom, well-laden fruit trees and stunning jacaranda treesĀ line the streets.

We hit the mall shops to stock up on cheap skin care and makeup (how can it be so expensive at home?) and then home for a champagne start to the adventure – not to mention a very nice pork loin and some rather well chargrilled veges – including the famous “Kumeu” aka golden kumara.

Time to hit the hay now, having spent a brilliant day with great friends – let the adventure begin…