One year of blogging

“As much as I love international travel I think it’s important (and cheaper) to get out there and explore one’s own backyard. So I’m starting this blog to encourage myself to get out there and do more things on my days off. So join me as I begin my journey to see what this great country has to offer…”

I wrote these words exactly one year ago today – January 16th 2014.

Call it a New Years Resolution or just a goal. Last year I decided that I wanted to do more with my days off work and get out of the house. So I created this travel blog to encourage and document my adventures around my home country of Aotearoa New Zealand.

My first was a day trip to Hobbiton – the location for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. It was a great start and was definitely one of my favourite outings from last year.

At Hobbiton - January 17th 2014

At Hobbiton – January 17th 2014

Despite living in Auckland for 6 years I am embarrassed to admit I had never been to places like the Auckland Art Gallery, Bastion Point and the Botanical Gardens. This blog gave me a reason to go and cross them off my list.

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

I also had a reason to revisit places like Devonport, Takapuna, Birkenhead, Orewa, Auckland Zoo, MOTAT, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Wintergardens, and the SKY Tower.

When I had 2 or 3 days off work I tried to get out of Auckland. During the year I visited Coromandel township, Waitomo Caves, Hamilton and Wellington.

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave - Waitomo

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave – Waitomo

I could post when I liked, there was no pressure. Some nice people read my posts. I helped a couple of people along the way like the lady who wanted to know the gate closing hours for Michael Joseph Savage Memorial / Bastion Point.

I don’t know where this blog will go this year or where it will take me. My only plan is to do more than I did last year and enjoy myself.

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic and prosperous 2015!

New Year Fireworks - SKY Tower

New Year Fireworks – SKY Tower

Auckland Wintergardens

Visitors can enjoy bright and colourful flowers all year round at the Auckland Wintergardens located in the Auckland Domain.

Auckland Wintergardens

Auckland Wintergardens

The Wintergardens were constructed following the First World War with funds from the Industrial, Agricultural and Mining Exhibition of 1913 – 1914, which was a world’s fair held in the Auckland Domain.

Construction began on the gardens in 1916 and they officially opened on May 2, 1928.

There are two display glasshouses – one contains temperate plants that change with the season and the other is heated to an average temperature of 28°C and contains tropical plants and a giant lily pond.

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Temperate House

Temperate House

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Tropical House

Tropical House

There is a formal courtyard between the two Victorian style glasshouses with a sunken pond in the centre. There are also several neoclassical marble statues throughout the courtyard.

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Wintergardens courtyard

Off to the side of the courtyard visitors can enter and get up close with New Zealand’s native flora in the fernery, that has been developed in an old quarry site.

Fernery

Fernery

During the summer months (1 November – 31 March) the Wintergardens are open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 9am to 7.30pm. From 1 April – 31 October it is open Monday to Sunday 9am to 4.30pm.