It’s All About The Sheep, The Sheep, The Sheep, No Trouble

Ok, here’s a little secret: most people probably don’t think of traveling to another country to see sheep. Sheep. Really? But, I’m telling you, here in New Zealand, our “sheep culture” and all that goes along with that is just worthy of mentioning and I’d like to explain why. Did you know that sheep outnumber people here 6:1? Hmmm…who knew? Actually I did, but since I’ve grown up with this, it didn’t really matter much to me. That is, until I travelled other places are realized how important our sheep are to New Zealand. Don’t laugh. It’s true. Let me tell you why.


My husband bought me a wool coat a few years ago. It was not “just” a wool coat, but a Merino Wool coat. I still didn’t appreciate the difference. He had business on the South Island, a place known for the rugged mountainous terrain. He handed me a large neat gray box, wrapped with a thick red ribbon, “just because.” Okay, great! I opened it, and inside was the most stylish gray wool coat, slim and smart looking, with hidden buttons and as warm as the sunshine. I slipped it on, and knew instantly this was going to be my coat. The one I wear for all occasions. And the moment I slipped this beautiful thing over my body, I learned more about New Zealand Merino Wool than I thought possible.


My husband pointed to the label sewn inside the coat and informed me I could go on the Internet RIGHT NOW and view the Merino sheep LIVE that my coat was made from. What? I couldn’t believe this. How cool is that? I typed the address into my browser and there was webcam, live showing the sheep grazing on grass, their fluffy wooly bodies huddled together on a sloping, green pasture. It was a beautiful site, and I felt much more connected to the product, my coat, knowing where the wool came from. I started to investigate more about wool in New Zealand.


Several months later, my husband and I planned a trip to the South Island. I wanted to explore this area, and learn more about the Merino Sheep. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge at Arthur’s Pass, which sits just above the beautiful Wamakariri Valley and National Park. Picture snow capped peaks and green valleys….truly spectacular. The lodge is secluded and pleasant. There are plenty of hiking trails and guided tours available. I recommend learning about the sheep, from the shearing to the schedule. The herders adhere to a strict schedule in order to gather the world’s best wool from these sheep. It’s a learning experience, adventure and shopping treasure all in one visit. The picturesque views are a bonus. These sheep are “all about the base” meaning their wool is grown to perfection and sheared once a year, with no treble….no skinny mini shortcuts. It’s well worth the time to check out an old world tradition and experience the best wool products New Zealand has to offer. From running wear, to sweaters, jackets and other apparel, nothing comes close to New Zealand Merino Wool. Check it out! You won’t be disappointed….take this from your stylish loving blogger!

My All Time Favorite “Hot Spot”, Roturua, Of Course!

Roturua….a hot spot for everyone, young and old. Why? It’s the geothermal hotspot for people in the know. You don’t know what a geothermal hotspot is? That’s okay. That’s why you are here reading my blog and I’m your guide. Let’s start the tour in my favorite place in New Zealand…Hells Gate. Hells yeah! It’s probably one of the finest places to receive thermal spa treatments on the planet. What makes this place so special? Let’s list them, shall we?

In fornt of Hells Gate

Roturua is on the North Island, which is full of volcanic activity. Roturua is home to the hottest waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. You can’t stand underneath it, but being there is close enough! There are actual hot mud baths and pools to sink into. I especially enjoy this during the night, when it’s quiet, under the stars. The mud cleanses the pores and the skin with extraction benefits. When you are done, there are cool, natural waterfalls to rinse the mud from your body, the perfect collision of hot and cold remedies. Ahh…relaxation! There are numerous thermal blue and green lakes located throughout the region for your release. There are 50 gorgeous acres of private pools, steam cliffs and mud baths to meet every need. If the spa like environment isn’t for you, never fear! There are other things to do in the area.


For adventurers, check out the Canopy Tour. This tour lasts three hours and includes small, narrow suspension bridges, tree platforms, and gorgeous views of the forest and vegetation in the area. Cool and exhilarating!

Want something more earthly? Keep your feet on the ground and hike the Whakarewarewa Forest. There are endless trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians among the Giant Sequoia Trees. The trees in this forest are related to the California Redwoods, for those who have had the pleasure of visiting Northern California in the United States. Maps are available for hikers and bikers. You could spend all day exploring the beauty of this area. Pack water and a picnic lunch, and your day is complete.


For the shopper in you (like me) I seek out what the local culture has to offer. The Maori, an indigenous people of the area, inhabits this part of New Zealand. It’s well worth a visit to their market. You may purchase cultural carvings and other artifacts. But, the best part is to stay for the Hangi. This is a cultural feast of meats and vegetables. Meats are roasted in the earth, developing a rich, smoky flavor and veggies are steamed over the thermal pools. The Maori demonstrate cultural dances, rituals and weaponry if you are interested.


There are so many choices, how do you decide? It’s tough. Bit take my word, this part of New Zealand is magical and special and should not be missed!

With 144 Islands To Choose From, How Could You Not Visit?

Hi friends! Starting my blog about New Zealand has been fun, as I hope to share with you some of my very favorite places to visit and my wish is that you thoroughly enjoy the suggestions. Imagine yourself writing about your country or hometown; there are probably too many places to mention that you’d like your guests to experience, right? How do you narrow down the choices? It’s not as easy as one may think. New Zealand has too many beautiful, special places I’d love to share with you! But, if I had to pick one of my favorite destinations, it would be the Bay of Islands. Why? Because I’m a water girl I grew up on the lakes in Queensland so what better place to recommend to someone who truly enjoys water and watersports? Look no further than the Bay of Islands. Seriously, there are 144 total islands to explore! Really? Yes! And not to mention, the water is crystal clear and gorgeous for all the activities you wish to try.


So what’s offered here? Pretty much any water sport you can possibly imagine. Do you enjoy scuba diving? In 1985, a disagreement between the French and Greenpeace lead to a boat sinking, which was sad and devastating. Through the tragedy, Greenpeace donated the sunken boat to form a natural reef. Today, scuba divers may explore the reef, the vessel and the indigenous creatures of the region. Do you prefer to stay on top of the water? No Problem! Check out opportunities to waterski, windsurf and sail.


If your passion is to be close to nature, consider a whale or dolphin watch boat. Both offer views to experience these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats. You may even spot an Orca whale! Penguins, marlin, and seals are also there depending on where you decide to visit. Most excursions offer food and beverages or you may pack a meal and drink of your choice for the day.

If both at sea and undersea adventures leave you underwhelmed, there are plenty of beaches to sunbathe and swim. Stay close to shore, while experiencing the beauty of the oceans and lakes without getting wet.

New Zealand_South Island_Milford Sound Lake and Mountains_APT_2065_LLR

The island of Paihia is a good place to start, as it offers most excursions and beaches from its shores. Are your feelings romantic but want to avoid the high sun? Choose a romantic sail at sunset or during the evening hours, enjoying the one you love in a beautiful and tranquil escape. There is truly something for everyone at the Bay of Islands! I’ve travelled there as a single person and after I married. Both times, I couldn’t ‘t have asked for a more scenic, relaxing and diverse holiday! Cheerio!