In between shooting weddings on weekends and work this summer we’ve been busy with something that’s been in the making for the last year, and we are so excited to say it has finally happened. As of last weekend we are now living in Auckland, New Zealand!
It is really a dream come true, and a dream we have fought for so long. Now that we’re here we will make sure to enjoy every moment and work hard to build on what we’ve fought for so long. A new adventure has begun.
This weekend we craved to see the ocean so bad and decided to do a trek with some friends from Auckland. Thanks to Epic Little missions we found a suitable trek just 45 minutes from the city.
Forming part of the Hillary trail, the Te Henga walkway boasts some incredible coastal views. The track varies and can be rutted and steep in parts. Tracks become slippery after periods of rain so this is not for the faint-hearted.
As this is not a loop track you will need to organise a pick up or leave a car at the other end. We decided to walk halfway and then return back to Constable Rd near Muriwai to save some time.
From Constable Rd the Te Henga Walkway crosses drops down a steep valley and continues out to the windy cliffs, to reveal amazing view of the surrounding coastline. It was a beautiful sunny day and behind a sand stone cliff we found shelter from the wind to have a Swedish fika.
It is amazing how fast you can get from Auckland to places as beautiful as this, we are hooked on you New Zealand!
During last Christmas, we went on an small adventure. We left Auckland and the big city like many other New Zealanders. We drove as far north as we could get. Through the winding roads and pastures. Here a grocery store is not easy to find, or for that matter a neighbour. But the nature is breathtaking. We past by so many beaches we lost count, we even drove our car down one, that was a first one and a great feeling of freedom. Not the best treat for your car with all the salt water though. (Remember to wash it directly afterwards if you are doing it). We climbed sand dunes and ran down them again feeling the sand hitting our legs and the wind blowing in our hair. The sand has blown all the way from Australia to this spot.
Every smaller town we stopped in people were so friendly, like almost all kiwis seem to be, they ask you about your day, how you feel and if there is anything they can help with before wishing you a merry Christmas.
At Cape Reinga, the most northern point in New Zealand you would see two oceans meet, the Tasmanian sea and Pacific ocean.
“The ‘Te Rerenga Wairua’ component of the name in Māori language means the leaping-off place of spirits. The ‘Reinga’ part of the name is the Māori language word meaning the underworld. Both refer to the Māori belief that the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.”
There are so many treks to choose from here in New Zealand, it feels you’ll never run out of new paths to walk.
All of them are marked clearly and the signs are kind enough to tell you how long you have left if you’re walking in a normal pace. For people like us, who like a good challenge this is a perfect trigger to try and beat while getting a good workout at the same time.
A few weeks ago we went to Piha to do short part of the Hillary Trail. We walked along the cliff edges to the sea, went past old antiquities where indigenous people a long time ago had cattle and overlooked small secluded beaches that you could only reach by sea. There is however one beach that we could access from the trek, Karekare, the same black sand beach where the movie The Piano was filmed. It is possible to get to the beach by car as well but we really enjoyed walking the coast line to get there. Once we got down it started to drizzle slightly and a mystical feeling spread over the beach. Fortunately there was no major burst but more of a refreshing splash on the way up the hills again and back.
The walk took around 2,5 hours for us to do, a perfect sunday activity just 45 minutes away from Auckland!
Coney Island located at the coast line of Brooklyn is best known for its amusement parks which are open from about April to September, slightly depending on the weather. Best known of the 35 rides is the Cyclone which was built in 1927 and is one of the world’s only wooden roller coaster. Because of its success it has become one of the most copied amusement park attractions in the world. But people come to Coney Island for other reasons too.
There is a beach just in front of the amusement parks that get packed during summer time. Between to two lies a long board walk filled with classic restaurants where you can get everything from hot dogs to hot butter corn and ice cream. We visited the park to get a last taste of a beach before it was time to leave New York later the same day.
We left Granada on one of the many chicken buses heading towards San Juan del Sur. It was a crowded and sweaty 2-3 hours bus ride that took us to the atlantic coast line. When we got into town it was not what we expected, and we didn’t get a good vibe at all, so we decided to find something else. We only spent one night there to research, then the next day we went to a surf beach called Playa Maderas, 35 minutes from town and we arrived to a small paradise. The beach has just three restaurants, good waves, surf rentals and a few accommodations to pick from. We found a perfect location right on the beach at a place called Matilda’s. It’s a funky place managed by a sweet lady. We have a kitchen to make our own food, hammocks in the shade and a beautiful garden. A small wooden gate separates us from the beach.
So basically this is how our days look for now. We wake up 05:30, go surfing for two hours, Susanne goes to the only restaurant with internet connection and work while enjoying a breakfast. Then we hit back to the Matilda’s, rinse of, rest, make lunch and work for a while. When it gets to hot we just jump in the ocean, then work some more or hang out with all the people at Matilda’s. And then when the sun starts to set, the boys go out for another surf session, or we do some cross-fit on the beach. Then it’s dinner and early to bed. Easy life and absolutely what we need right now.
If you ever go to Fiji you’re going to meet people talking about this amazing little Eco beack resort in the northern division of Fiji. If they say it’s the most beautiful, fun and relaxing place they’ve ever visited… believe every word of it! This is paradise. Surrounded by thick jungle in the middle of nowhere lies a small beautiful white sand beach with a great surf break just outside. The atmostphere is as laidback as it gets, here Fiji-time really applies. You can’t cook your own food but no worries, the best food we’ve had in Fiji comes from the kitchen on Maqai. If you like you can have the whole beach on your own… and all the people you will meet will be friendly, relaxed and without trouble… this is paradise as good as it can get.