6 Things To Do in Auckland, New Zealand

1. Morning Ferry Ride to Devonport

Enlight50Devonport is a short 12 minute ferry ride away. There are some great shops to browse on your way up the hill to hike Mount Victoria. Also known by the Māori name of Takarunga, Mount Victoria is the highest volcano on the North Shore of Auckland and offers stunning views of Waitemata Harbour and Auckland City.

2. An Afternoon Discover Auckland Scenic Tour

Enlight46The Discover Auckland Scenic Tour is a small group tour which allows you to visit the best sights of Auckland that you may otherwise miss. There are plenty of photo opportunities as you encounter the sparkling Viaduct and Waitemata Harbours, beaches, historic buildings such as the War Memorial and Mount Eden.

3. Night Time Sky Tower Visit

Enlight51The Sky Tower is a must on a visit to Auckland. At 328m tall, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. There are 2 observation decks at the Sky Tower – the Main Observation Deck and the Sky Deck. Beware of the glass floors on the Main Observation Deck – most visitors were too scared to walk across them.

4. Day trip to Waitomo Caves and Rotorua

A visit to the Waitomo Caves begins with a tour of the caves, where the guide explains how they were formed and first discovered. After the tour of the formations, you enter a boat and slowly float out to see the glow worms (Arachnocampa luminosa) hanging from the roof of the cave. It is a peaceful and magical moment.

Auckland Holiday 2016A visit to Te Puia, located in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley of Rotorua includes a Māori cultural performance where the group gets to observe a ceremonial welcome and some song and dance, including the famous Haka. After the performance, a tour guide leads the group to observe the kiwi bird in the Nga Manu Ahurei – Kiwi House. It is then time to see the Mud Pools and spectacular geysers.

5. Ferry Trip to Waiheke Island

Enlight53A 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland is Waiheke Island, one of the most populated islands in New Zealand and full of beautiful beaches and vineyards. The best way to tour the island is to purchase the Fullers Waiheke Explorer Tour ferry ticket which includes a 1.5 hour bus tour. At 92km2, there is a lot of area to cover on the Island and the bus tour provides an easy way to see the sights and learn about the history of Waiheke Island at the same time. Departing the bus at Oneroa provides the perfect opportunity to browse the boutique stores and enjoy a nice lunch.

6. Half Day Bush and Beach Tour

Enlight54The 1/2 day Wilderness Experience Bush and Beach Tour allows you to get out of the city  and experience both the bush and beach in one afternoon. The first stop on this tour is the Arataki Visitor Centre, the entrance to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park with great  lookouts of Auckland.

The tour also visits Piha Beach (known for its black sand) and the Kitekite Falls Rainforest Walk. The guide takes you on a short hike, or tramp as it is referred to in New Zealand, to the Kitekite Falls. The final stop on the return back to Auckland City is on the roadside to see a magnificent Kauri tree.

E.

 

My Baked Pear & Apple Dessert

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Serves 4

  • 4 Pears
  • 4 apples, cored
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons sultanas
  • 250 grams ginger nut biscuits
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons self raising flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C.
  2. Cut apples and pear in half horizontally and place fruit skin side down on a large pan lined with baking paper.
  3. Spoon sultanas evenly into centre of each apple and pear.
  4. Combine maple syrup and cinnamon in a bowl and spoon over apples and pears. Coat well.
  5. Place biscuits in a bag and crush finely with a wooden pin. Transfer to a bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Add a spoonful of topping on each apple and pear.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until apples and pears are tender. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with your favourite custard or ice-cream.

K.

 

Why I Love Honey!

Enlight24

Recently I attended the wedding of my niece and the beautiful bombonniere I received was two lovely pots of honey.  As a lover of honey, I thought is was a well chosen gift.

I want to share with you the reasons why I love honey:

  • I enjoy spreading honey on crumpets on a cold winter’s morning.
  • Honey can be used as a natural sugar alternative to white sugar and tastes delicious on cereal.
  • Adds a sweet flavour to food while cooking such as carrots, chicken, prawns.

IMG_3294

  • Honey has a lot of health benefits and is used in many beauty products.
  • Honey pairs well with fruit such as bananas and berries.
  • Great for baking My Blueberry & Banana Loaf
  • Can be added to smoothies like our Mango Smoothie

My favourite type of honey is Manuka Honey and it has many health benefits.

IMG_3295

Honey Honey how you thrill me!

What is your favourite honey?

5 Places to Listen to an Audible Book

Enlight23These days we all seem to lead such busy lives. I find that I have such little time for one of my favourite hobbies, reading. That is why I was so happy to discover Audible books. Listening to an audio book allows you to complete other tasks and activities while having a book read to you. Five of the places I listen to audio books are:

  1. Commuting to work in the car or on the train.
  2. In the bath.
  3. While knitting, sewing or crafting.
  4. While doing housework.
  5. In bed at night, with the timer set and my eye mask on.

E.

My Favourite Beauty Products – April 2017

Enlight16

  • Nivea Rich Nourishing Richly Caring Dry to Very Dry Skin

   An excellent all over body moisturizer. It absorbs quickly and is not sticky.

  • Clarisonic Plus

    I have used a Clarisonic sonic cleansing brush for the past 2 years and have been very impressed with the way it cleans and gently exfoliates my skin. It is my most favourite beauty tool.

  • Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap

    Used with my Clarisonic, only a little is needed to thoroughly cleanse the face and prepare the skin for moisturizing.

  • Dermal Therapy Heel Balm Platinum Next Generation Formula

    I use this product at night just before I hop into bed, rubbing a little on my heels and soles of my feet. I have tried many products in the past but this one works well and is not greasy.

E.

 

A Weekend in Melbourne

Enlight14

If you are looking for a top place to stay in Melbourne you can’t beat the Grand Mercure or Mercure Welcome located at Little Bourke Street.

image

These are my top reasons to stay in the heart of the City :

  1. Location, Location, Location
    • Walking distance to Flinders Street Station,  MCG, National Gallery of Victoria, Chinatown, Crown Casino, South Bank, Federation Square, tram stops.
  • A short tram stop to Queen Victoria Markets.
  1. Haigh’s Chocolates Store – Located in the foyer of the hotel is the Haigh’s Chocolates store which has delectable delights.image
  2. Retail Shopping Therapy – Bourke Street Mall, Emporium Melbourne, Melbourne Central and a number of small Heritage Arcades.  A short tram ride will take you to the Harbour Town at Docklands.
  3. Buffet breakfast with a variety of cuisines.
  4. Cocoon Bar  – intimate wining and dining away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

K.

My Favourite Beauty Products – March 2017

IMG_2694

  • Eternity Summer Calvin Klein

    A lovely light summer scent that makes me feel fresh.

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +

    An excellent moisturizer for normal to dry skin. It is light and absorbs quickly into my skin.

  • 818 One Truth Anti-Aging Serum with TAM-818

    An impulse but from the beautician. It can be used on the face and eyes. This serum is light, easily absorbed and makes your skin feel young again.

  • Clinique Sculptwear Conturing Massage Cream Mask

    I use this cream at night over the Clinique Moisturizer to add firmness to my skin.

  • Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydration

    I use this when my skin feels dry or stressed. It is very light and moisturizing.

  • Clinique Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer

    I alternate using this at night over my moisturizer with the Clinique Sculptwear Conturing Massage Cream Mask. After use, skin feels firmer and soft.