So On to New Zealand

This is the second blog of my Aussie/NZ trip.

I spent a great week in Port Macquarie NSW. teaching 2 courses, “Seascapes” and “Up Close and Personal” with Jenny at Stitched ‘n’ Framed. A lovely well lit, spacious workshop room above the colourful fully stocked patchwork and quilting shop. Some students signed up for both courses and really built on their silk and thread painting skills. The work is on the students work page, please take a look!

I had a couple of days off between teaching and explored the area visiting the Koala hospital, a winery or 2, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Crescent Head and the beautiful Bellingen Valley (Thank you Diane for that recommendation! ) its a beautiful area and I loved the coastline too. 

So after 4 weeks and 5 courses it was time to say goodbye to Australia and be very grateful for such great experiences yet again. Thank you everyone who made it so special, see you next year!

The next stage of my trip was to fly to New Zealand. Driving out of Auckland I could see the difference in the colours of the landscape immediately, lush bright greens and a more European feel to the scenery. Absolutely beautiful.

We travelled north to stay in the Bay of Islands for a few days. A wonderfully inspiring area, so lots of photography opportunities and a wealth of ideas for new embroideries. We found waterfalls and an amazing coastline with dramatic surf and empty beaches. We were fortunate with the weather too and had sunny days to explore a lot of the area.

The highlight of the week was a helicopter ride from Paihia out to the Hole in the Rock, one of the 144 islands, which has a distinctive hole in it large enough for boats to go through. It was a stunning visual treat and landing on the Rock was exhilarating. We had the chance to walk into the bush on the top to experience the lush vegetation first hand. It was a fantastic experience, memories are made of this!

It was soon time to get back to work so that meant heading south to Hastings for the weekend and meeting up with Georgina Campbell and her lovely family. We had a “Flowers and Foliage” course organised and 16 eager students to meet! It all ran smoothly and we had a lot of fun, what a great weekend. For my first teaching experience in NZ I couldn’t have asked for more.

Napier is a charming town near Hastings, it has lots of Art Deco architecture, outdoor cafes, a long promenade and pier and was a delightful place to visit on my day off.

The final stay in NZ was in Wellington, in Lyall Bay, south of the city, morning walks on the beach and an easy bus ride into the centre of Wellington meant we had the best of both worlds. We enjoyed the Cable Car and Botanical Gardens, exploring the beaches and seeing 2 blue penguins!

Finally it was time to leave NZ and head home. A stop over in Hong Kong was great fun. It’s a busy frenetic city with lots to see. We experienced excellent food in bustling street markets, a trip up to the Peak for the incredible views and a ride on the Star Ferry over to Kowloon to see all the city lit up with Christmas lights.

I arrived home to face the biggest snow fall for years. Minus 16 degrees in parts of Shropshire, what a shock to the system! However it’s great to be home, to see friends and family and plan a quiet Christmas. That’s enough excitement for me…well until next year!