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“Thanks for organising this special trip so brilliantly, Jo” – Emma


A lifetime ago, I embarked on a life-changing journey to New Zealand.


22 short years later, with my husband in tow and a little more money in our pockets, I was beyond thrilled to return to this amazing, beautiful country.


Here’s a countdown-style ode to our 19-day Kiwi adventure.


Thanks to Jo, for organising this special trip so brilliantly for us.


Emma x



  • 500,000 cafes and bars closed on a Monday (and Tuesday)

  • 404,000 steps on all terrains

  • 2,803 photos

  • 2,000 miles of backseat driver nagging

  • 670 NZD fuel costs

  • 400 mountains and lakes

  • 150 dolphins

  • 70 and more unidentified roadkill victims

  • 62 coffees

  • 60 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

  • 50 factor sun cream

  • 49 hours in 4 planes



  • 40 pairs of pants

  • 38 ‘what day is it today?’

  • 25 degrees down to 2 degrees

  • 18 nights

  • 18 Māoris doing the Haka

  • 17 portions of fries

  • 16 green lipped mussels

  • 15 minutes at Huka Falls

  • 14 lbs weight gain

  • 13 hotels

  • 12 ‘little naps’



  • 10 waterfalls

  • 9 o’clock bedtimes every night

  • 8 Orcas

  • 7 portions of vegetables (at a push)

  • 5 blow holes at the awesome Pancake Rocks

  • 5 airports

  • 4-hour fabulous Franz Josef Express journey

  • 4 seasons in one day

  • 4 vineyard tastings

  • 4 cities

  • 3 boats



  • 3 sulphur geothermal lakes

  • 3 hours in Te Papa Museum (brilliant)

  • 3 hire cars

  • 2 new seas (Tasman and South Pacific)

  • 2 glaciers

  • 1 serene kayak paddle on a beautiful lake

  • 1 geothermal spa soak

  • 1 redwood tree walk

  • 1 train journey

  • 0 lie-ins, lazy days, or suntan

  • 0 Hobbiton or Lord of the Ring (by design)

  • Almost no cross words with husband!


And of course, there is only one Jo Shayler-Tarrant!



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