I have a new love in my life since I spoke to you last – beautiful New Zealand. Hubby and I have just returned from an eleven-day trip there, and it was just incredible. My sister lived in Australia for some years and we’d been there to visit her and adored it, but never made it as far as New Zealand, so it’s a trip that was planned and saved for for many years, and was so very much worth the wait.
We decided just to do the South Island as time was so tight, but to do it as thoroughly as we could, so we travelled the length and breadth of it by air, road, boat and bicycle. We spent a day at Lake Tekapo, the incredible “blue lake” – a stunning blue-green due to the “rock flour” flowing into it from glacial erosion up above. We took a helicopter trip to the top of Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, flew over the massive Fox and Franz Josef glaciers then landed and walked on the ice. We “glamped” (see the video!) for a night in the hills above Queenstown, with a stunning view of the wonderfully named Remarkables mountain range – I have never seen a clearer sky or more stars anywhere in the world than there.
[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube’s Help page]
We took a jet boat trip down the Dart River, around which so many major movies have been filmed, including Lord of the Rings. And we visited the famous fjord, Milford Sound (which apparently was totally missed – twice – by Captain Cook when he circumnavigated New Zealand!). We took to the ocean and saw a sperm whale, fur seals and dusky dolphins. And then we drove to Marlborough and did a bike tour of some vineyards (yes, clumsy clot me plus a bike plus wine – anything could have happened, but luckily there were no mishaps!).
We ended our stay with a touch of drama, courtesy of Mother Nature – while we were staying near the famous Split Apple Rock, Cyclone Gita which had left such a trail of destruction across the Pacific finally hit New Zealand. Fallen trees, land slips and floods cut off the area we were in for over 24 hours, leaving us without power or water. Thankfully there appeared to be no loss of life but many homes and businesses were damaged and destroyed and people left stranded by the floods. For a brief moment, I wanted to return to my former life as a news reporter and cover the story, but home was calling! As we departed, the clean-up was being very quickly and efficiently carried out, although there was significant damage in some areas which will take time to repair.
All in all, the most extraordinary adventure and I loved every minute of our trip. Maybe one day we’ll be lucky enough to go back and see the North Island too! Here’s just a small selection of photos to show you – as you can imagine, we took hundreds…
I have to mention also a few products I couldn’t have been without on this trip – weirdly, all courtesy of lovely Abi Cleeve! Ultrasun obviously was an absolute necessity for a New Zealand summer, and kept us totally protected throughout the trip. But Abi’s Skinsense skincare range also came with me on this holiday. It will be QVC’s Today’s Special Value offer on Monday 5th March, with a fabulous kit including eye, day and night cream, the plumping lip cream and the overnight mask. All are fantastic, but I have to give a special mention to the lip and night creams, both of which have given me great results.
We flew direct without a stopover, which meant more than 29 hours of travel each way. Normally, that would mean horribly dehydrated skin and parched lips, but I used Skinsense on the flights and my skin looked amazing – so plump and hydrated! So much so that I drove my poor hubby mad the next day, repeatedly saying: “Look! Look how good my skin looks, even after that flight! LOOK!”. (Sorry, hubby.) If the range can do that during a flight to the other side of the world, imagine how good it is at home! Highly recommended, and you’ll be able to try it for a fantastic price on the 5th.
Right – back to reality and work. Spring is finally on the horizon… hurray!
Love Jackie x