I’ve been going through Dad’s old photographs, watching my sister and I grow up. The photos from 2001, our first year in New Zealand, brought back so many memories: places I’d forgotten we’d visited. I thought I’d share them with you now.
I was ten years old when we moved to New Zealand; my sister was seven. Dad emigrated six months before us, so when we finally arrived with Mum, he was bursting to show us the places he’d discovered. He couldn’t even wait for us to get over our jetlag!
It was the middle of winter, but the weather was still nice. Dad immediately took us to buy wetsuits and surfboards. I’d never been surfing before, as we’d lived nowhere near a beach in England, but I took to it at once. It was like riding a rollercoaster!
My sister enjoyed it too, at least until we realised her lips had gone blue! Maybe surfing in winter hadn’t been such a good idea after all. My sister had already thrown up in the local newsagent’s after OD’ing on kiwifruit, the first time we walked into town. She can’t stand kiwifruit to this day.
Despite the rocky start, and the frankly comical number of accidental injuries she gave herself that first year, my sister thrived in New Zealand. She’s a true nature-lover, so New Zealand is the perfect place for her. She’s currently down in the South Island studying wildlife conservation.
I, on the other hand, didn’t thrive. I missed England too much. I still managed to have fun, though, whether playing at Kariotahi Beach,
crawling through lava caves on the island volcano of Rangitoto,
or pretending to be Merlin at the Waikato Museum.
We visited Auckland Zoo a lot,
saw many of New Zealand’s North Island waterfalls,
had a ride on the Glenbrook Vintage Railway,
and found this old plane that someone had converted into a garage somewhere out in the wop-wops.
We went to Cathedral Cove,
the Auckland Domain,
the Hamilton Gardens,
and so many other places – I’m not going to list them all. But I will mention Muriwai Beach so I can show you this picture Dad took.
It sure was an action-packed first year in New Zealand!
Finally, here’s a picture I found of our first Christmas in New Zealand.
It’s me and my sister jumping on our new trampoline. You couldn’t do that on Christmas Day in England!