New Zealand - December 2016

After our short sojourn in San Francisco, the next stop on our trip was New Zealand. My family have been living there now for the best part of a decade, and Victoria & I lived there too before moving to Amsterdam. When we left, we had hoped to make biennial visits back to NZ, but six years later and this is only our second trip home.

Waiheke Island - Wedding Anniversary

Arriving on an overcast morning into Auckland, we jumped straight into a cab to the ferry terminal — determined to reach our island anniversary hideaway as quickly as possible. Our time in NZ was to be split into three parts - Waiheke for our anniversary, Whakatane to visit my family, and Taupo for Christmas.

Auckland - Waiheke FerryAuckland - Waiheke Ferry

Matiatia BayMatiatia Bay

After a short 30 minute ferry ride and another car ride from Matiatia to Oneroa, we arrived to find this view waiting for us.

Waiheke is stunning - every part of the coastline seems to contain a secluded bay, a pristine beach, or a kiwi beachside idyll. We spent our days on the island swimming, wandering & relaxing. This is probably the closest we’ve ever had to a typical sunshine holiday - I’m normally terrible at just doing nothing, but at the end of a long and tiring year, this was exactly the thing I needed to decompress.


When we last went back Air New Zealand were still flying between Auckland and Whakatane where my family live, but that route was cancelled and picked up by Air Chathams. Flying domestically in New Zealand tends to mean small planes, bumpy flights, and landing in airports that look more like lego installations than serious transport infrastructure - but this was a level beyond what we’d experienced before. We flew in a 16 seat Metroliner which is shaped like a pencil and has a cabin measuring about 5 feet in height, meaning you have to almost crawl to your seat. To say this flight was bumpy would be a massive understatement, but we made it, nerves frayed and thirsty for hard booze.

Whakatane is a stupidly beautiful place, from the 10km long Ohope Beach, to the verdant rainforest dotted around the town, the river estuary and the views out to Moutohorā (Whale Island) & Whakaari (White Island). It also helps that the weather is almost always amazing - I love being able to come back here and for it to feel like home.

Taupo for Christmas

For Christmas we rented a house on Lake Taupo big enough for all eleven of us. It was at Whakamoenga Point, a quiet, private estate a 15 minute drive from the town of Taupo. Continuing the theme of stunning views, our house had a deck overlooking the quiet bay below from which we’d cook a Christmas morning barbeque and take in the ever changing sky.

After a few days of excessive eating, drinking, hot tubbing & napping, we drive back up through the central North Island to Whakatane, and onwards to Auckland ready for our flight to Tokyo for New Years Eve.

Up next 2016-17 Happy New Year from Tokyo. We joined the Countdown in Shibuya last night after kicking off our evening with a visit to The Blue Note to see Jōdo-shū Buddhism “The Pure Land school established on this basis may be called the way of salvation by a”power outside of ourselves,” or “other power” (i.e., the
Latest posts MUJI HUT 無印良品 HAO design transforms historic dwelling in taiwan An afternoon jaunt around the villages of Waterland. See you in another five years, Nuneaton. Photo_ January 09, 2019 at 10:56PM Late afternoon light in the palm house at Hortus Botanicus. Dolphins fan? This thing was dropping off 1400 people in matching cagoules this afternoon after their Christmas cruise around the Iberian peninsula. 1. 🌫 I got Victoria some work by @rosadeweerd from @dewerkwinkel for Christmas. Today we took delivery of our new gold framed four poster bed made for us by the folks at @robuustamsterdam and it is looking super sharp in the guest room. Peering through the fog at Museumplein from the Rijksmuseum tunnel. Photo_ December 11, 2018 at 05:57PM Photo_ December 07, 2018 at 09:07PM One of the gifts of free building is the combinations of colour and material that occur when neighbouring homes are strikingly different. You could grow a lot of tomatoes in there. This house reminds me of the house from that episode of Black Mirror with the terrifying killer robot dogs. Photo_ November 28, 2018 at 01:51PM It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. Photo_ November 24, 2018 at 12:47AM Enneüs Heerma Bridge from Steigereiland Noord Photo_ November 18, 2018 at 09:26AM Photo_ November 16, 2018 at 04:31PM Taking a loop around Steigereiland-Noord. The low frontages on Lisdoddelaan make the street feel really wide and the sky huge by Amsterdam standards. Dutch on-demand services Photo_ November 08, 2018 at 02:53PM (2) Photo_ November 08, 2018 at 02:53PM (1) Photo_ November 08, 2018 at 02:53PM How do we feel about bamboo poured concrete?