How to Host Your American Friends in New Zealand
Living in a country far from home can be very lonely. We've been lucky to have both of our parents come visit. We have wanted to share it more with people that we love, but it's hard to get away and it is an expensive destination. But, our good friends from Phoenix made the sacrifice to come all the way across the world to visit and we had a blast! Our 3 full days together went way too fast but we made sure to pack in lots of fun. Here's how to host your American friends in New Zealand and what we would do with you if you ever came to visit =)
Our friends, Candace and Curtis, came in very late Wednesday night and we hit the ground running the next day! Cody was so excited to share the New Zealand mountain bike trails with his old biking buddy. They set off and had fun riding all morning. While the men were getting their exercise, the women hit up the quaint city of Takapuna to do some souvenir shopping to spare our husbands the misery =)
We met up for lunch and ate Turkish food on a picnic bench at our backyard beach. We had the sun, ocean waves, and good conversation to rejuvenate us.
After lunch, Candace and I walked along our beach to pick up the kids from school. While I was on mom duty, Cody took them kayaking and a little fishing. We had a yummy bar-b-que dinner on our deck and stayed up late catching up.
Once we dropped the kids off at school, we hit the road to one of our favorite beaches...Piha. We had just planned to explore at low tide and do a little hike, but we didn't realize that Curtis was a surfer! So we borrowed a friend's surf board and Curtis paddled out to sea. We warned him of the dangerous current at Piha and said a prayer that he would be safe. And he did just fine! It was so fun to see him catch some waves. He was easy to spot because everyone else was wearing wetsuits =) Cody got some great drone footage of him surfing. We loved sitting on the beach, chatting, and enjoying the peaceful beach. It was relaxing and beautiful!
After we got our Piha fix, we headed over to Mercer Bay Loop Track. It was a quick hike that overlooked massive cliffs. It was amazing to see the waves crashing upon the rocks far below. We loved the exercise and the scenery!
We had a nice, low key afternoon with the kids and had our traditional Friday night pizza & movie night. We had to show them a kiwi favorite...Hunt For the Wilderpeople. And of course we had to stay up late again chatting!
You can't come to New Zealand and not see glowworms. So we made sure to give them a good show! We left Saturday morning for our trek up north to Waipu Caves. We didn't take them into the cave as far as we went our first time, but we went in far enough to get dirty and to see the magnificent critters! After our eyes adjusted to the dark, we could see thousands of tiny sparkles lighting up the cave. It is the coolest thing to see!
We were getting hungry so we busted out our camping stove in the carpark and grilled up some delicious sausages to eat. We're pretty classy like that! ;) After our bellies were full and we cleaned up from the cave mud, we headed further north to what we think is the prettiest beach in New Zealand, Matapouri and the Mermaid Pools. The sun was out and the ocean water was a gorgeous turquoise hue. The kids loved playing in the sand and our friends enjoyed the cool water. Before we headed over to the Mermaid Pools, we cooked up some quesadillas on the beach for dinner. We packed everything up and hid our gear in the bushes (you can do things like that in New Zealand because the people are so chill). We made the very steep trek up the hill and over to the Mermaid Pools. The sun was setting so it didn't provide the gorgeous emerald color is does at midday, but the pools were still fun to splash in.
Once we had our mermaid fill, we made the trek back over the steep hill and along the beach to the carpark where we busted out the camp stove yet again to roast marshmallows. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!
We absolutely loved having our dear friends come visit! We had a blast showing them the places we love. They were the best guests and helped out a ton and had fun with our kids. We never had a lull in our conversation and were always doing something fun. We are so blessed to have such a great friends that we both love, share interests with, and maintain the same standards. If you want to come to New Zealand and be our guests, you better come quick because we leave to travel the world in a month. The clock is ticking!