Showing posts from February, 2018

5 of the best - Great Ocean Road

Last month we took a day trip along the Great Ocean Road.  This coastal drive stretches from Torquay just outside Melbourne to Portland.  We took a tour from Melbourne but the drive can be spread over a few days in a rental car.

Here are 5 of the highlights of the day:

1. 12 Apostles
The 12 Apostles are magnificent eroded limestone rock stacks which change colour in the sun.  Located in the Port Campbell National Park about a four-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road, there are only 8 of the original 9 'apostles' left after one collapsed in 2005.

2.  Loch Ard Gorge
A few minutes drive west of the 12 Apostles is the Loch Ard Gorge.  The gorge is rich in history being the site where a large ship called the Loch Ard beached on nearby Muttonbird Island after a tumultuous journey from England.  Only two of the fifty-four passengers survived, one of whom was a fifteen-year-old boy called Tom Pearce, and the other a seventeen-year-old Irish girl called Eva Carmichael.

3.  Ice cream at Doo…

It's festival time in the city!

Early autumn is a lively time for Aucklanders as the last of the festivals take place before the darker nights and rainy winter days set in.  Here are 3 upcoming festivals not to be missed!

1.  Lantern Festival
Chinese New Year fell on 16th February but the celebrations of the Year of the Dog continue.  The Lantern Festival is held at the Auckland Domain and features handmade lanterns, entertainment and lots of food trucks!  From Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 March 2018.

2. Pasifika
Held at Western Springs Park from 24-25 March, Pasifika is a celebration of Auckland’s rich Pacific culture and heritage.  There are 11 stages offering entertainment, and a selection of gourmet treats.

3. New Zealand Coffee Festival
Love your coffee?  Then spend a day at Shed 10 on 24 March and take in New Zealand's vibrant coffee scene.  Learn brewing techniques, flavour profiles, and origins from some of the best baristas in New Zealand.


Auckland Council manages 26 regional parks.  Isn't that incredible?  We chose to spend a long weekend over Waitangi at Muriwai Regional Park .  This beautiful area boasts 50km of surf beach. We stayed at Muriwai Beach B & B, a five minute walk from the beach accessed by a steep stairway on the Lookout Track.  After a morning cuppa at the popular Sand Dunz Beach Cafe we followed the Otakamiro Point trail which led us down to the beach and up a path to viewing platforms overlooking the gannet colony.

Gannets come to nest from late July and chicks are born in the spring.  Each pair lays one egg and the parents take turns on the nest.  As the chicks mature, they grow juvenile feathers and begin to exercise their wings in preparation for the one-shot jump off the cliff.  Once airborne, the young gannets leave the colony and cross the Tasman Sea to Australia. 
There are other trails to take varying in length. Horse riding and 4WD beach driving are also popular.  We were excited to try …

Getting Grounded

In New Zealand, many people choose to walk around barefoot.  At first this surprised me but then I learned about 'grounding' or 'earthing'.  This wellness practice is based on the ideas that the electrical charge in our bodies is neutralised when we get in touch with the planet.  By grounding we're accessing the planet's natural supply of antioxidants.

While more research needs to be done, studies have found that grounding can improve sleep, reduce stress and pain, and speed healing. 

Here are three ways to earth yourself.

1.  Lose your shoes
Find a patch of grass and walk barefoot.  Who doesn't love the feel of grass underfoot?

2.  Beach is best
Take a walk on the beach or go for a swim in the ocean.

3.  Sit in hot water

Take a hot bath with some Epsom salts mixed into the water.  

Nothing beats Wellington on a Good Day!

There is a saying that nothing beats Wellington on a good day, and it's so true.  Reknowned for it's blistery, blustery days, Wellington is a true gem on a sunny day .  Here's how I spent the day and made the most of the sunshine.

Wellingtion boasts coffee brewers like Havana, L'Affare, Mojo and Flight.  I started the day with a bowl of Granola and a cuppa at the Hangar on Willis Street.  This highly rated cafe is worth the visit.

I took a leisurely walk back down to the city centre through the Botanic Gardens.  There are different tracks to choose from with walks from half an hour.  At the base of the gardens is the Lady Norwood Rose Garden which was named after Lady Norwood, the wife of the former Mayor of Wellington, Sir Charles Norwood.  You can stop at The Begonia House and grab a drink from the Picnic Cafe.

I continued walking through the Bolton Street Cemetery to the Beehive at the bottom.  This is the home of NZ Government.  From here I wandered down to the waterf…

Sculpture in the Gardens

Sculpture in the gardens has been on show at Auckland Botanic Gardens since last November, but will come to an end on February 25th.
Here are three of my favourite sculptures at this year's exhibition:

1. Seed Introspection by Ramon Robertson

2. Full length mirror by Sam Duckor-Jones

3. Survey by Bryn Jones

Never stop learning!

I've been in my new job for almost a month and although I still feel like a deer in the headlights most days, I'm really enjoying the opportunities for learning new things.  

My first week in the new role was spent meeting new colleagues, reading, and getting set up on all systems.  Then it was all go as I travelled down to Wellington for my very first week long Sprint.  Before you ask, no it wasn't some kind of corporate relay!  A sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review.  In our case, our squad of 4 from different areas of the business sat in a meeting room and drew on our inspiration to tackle a problem and design a prototype solution.

This is the premise of Agile management which includes collaboration, self-organization, and cross functionality of teams with the aim of changing the way we work to meet the ever-changing demands of the global market.

'to be happier, you have to think about feeling good, fee…

Podcasts about sleep

In my blog post The best self-care over the holidays-sleep, I talked about how sleep is an absolute must for self-care.  Here are some great podcasts about sleep.

1. What will be your spiritual wake up call?
Oprah speaks to Arianna Huffington about her change of perception of success and having a meaningful life.

2.  The brain benefits of deep sleep--and how to get more of it
Daniel Gartenberg is a sleep doctor and is interested in how to accurately track people’s sleep quality and alertness. 

3.  Freakonomics – The Economics of Sleep
This two part discussion of sleep explores a number of questions around our slumber.  Could a lack of sleep help explain why some people get much sicker than others?  Do people who sleep better earn more money?
Part 1
Part 2