Sunday, 29 December 2013



Welcome to Christmas Part 2. And Sheepworld. Especially Sheepworld. Because I LOVED Sheepworld. (Edit: Or, actually JUST Sheepworld. It seemed to need its whole own entry. :P) 
Welcome to Sheepworld!!
Yesterday morning (the 28th) CC and I drove to Sheepworld, 20mins away from Wellsford. Sheepworld is... a world of sheep. And of many other farm animals, who are extremely friendly and absolutely adore you (or, at least, the food in your hand you could buy for a dollar a bag in the gift shop).
Lambies!! Who actually seemed to prefer children than me 
I love Kiwi kids. This one came up next to me to pet the lamb, said a happy "hello" and proceeded to tell me about his sandals. 
We attended the sheep show at 11. We were sat in the barn with the rest of the audience (mostly kids) waiting for the show to commence when two sheepdogs bounded into the room. I'm glad no one was dog-phobic!
Making friends with the kiddos
Ten minutes later the lovely John the very Kiwi shepherd (I loved him) joined us, and introduced his two insane sheepdogs Sam and Boy. Sam is a mix of three different breeds with the brain of one breed, the personality of a Labrador and the bark of some other breed. He barks loudly.

Boy, on the other hand, never barks. When he yelped once, it was because he had just got traumatised, since a ewe with a lamb had decided to take him on and smash him with her head (and sheep have skulls three times the thickness of human skulls, said John.) It took him AGES to get over the trauma and actually start herding ewes and lambs after that incident.

Anyways, Boy's speciality is his stare. He stares at the sheep and they don't like it. It is quite creepy tbh.
Boy practising his stare
Each sheepdog would cost him about four grand to replace, and they do the job of ten people. In addition, dogs don't need employment contracts, John added. Apparently, it is due to the sheepdogs that NZ's economy is doing so well. He was an excellent presentator, with a bit of traditional awkward rural farmerness to him but also a very clear and fun way of talking.

Ah, it was really interesting. After introducing the doggies, we all went outside, had some more displays on stuff like how they were trained and how they are disciplined (all about the voice. The moment John starts telling them off in a very growly voice, Sam lies down onto the ground and looks very remorceful.)

Then Boy got to display his talents on sheepherding. There was a group of sheep on a hill, and Boy went to fetch them. Felt a bit sorry for the poor terrified sheep, but it was very cool!
Headed back to the barn, where two volunteers practised sheepgating. (That's not the official term.) The sheep came running in some sort of queue through a gate, and they had to make it that they went into the right pen depending on if they had a blue, pink or no mark on their heads.

After that John talked about shearing (I learnt the past of “to shear” is “shorn” (not “sheared”, though now writing it down I do feel a bit silly) hence Shaun the sheep lol) and then he sheared (edit: I mean shore. I think? I dunno lol) half a sheep, getting three little young volunteers to finish it off. Very interesting, but I could never ever be a farmer. I know everything's for the animal's own good but I doubt they are very happy being forced down and SHORN.
Shearing time!
Brilliant show anyhow. Oh, and at the end the kids milked lambs (I regretted very much not being a kid even though CC, bless him, kept on trying to get me to join them) AND I HELD A LAMB WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA <3 There was a thing in some quality magazine about a woman marrying a ship, I'm sure I could marry a lamb?
After that, went to visit all the other animals. Who, as I said earlier, LOVED everyone and rushed towards the fences when anyone approached them. The cows were eager and messy, the goats ridiculously eager and racist, the emus terrifying for CC, and one of the donkeys grabbed hold of the paper bag I had animal food in. CC saved the rest of it but the donkey seemed very happy munching the bit of paper bag it had managed to rip off.
They at least managed to share 
Having a pony eat from your hand is a funny sensation
Keeping the bag away from the greedy donkeys
Dear Mrs Piggums and her snout were the only things that intimidated me too much to feed her :( (but CC did :)
Emus and CC keeping his distance 
CC feeding the piglet who earlier thought my finger was the food 
Nöf nöf 
The goats were adorable, the two white more grown-up ones were the eagerest out of all the animals, stood up against the fences leaning their heads out when we were ages away. The younger black one with little horns and GORGEOUS eyes just stood in the distance. A few times CC managed to distract the greedie gutses and I could feed my beloved shy black goat, who probs in the end got most of the food. I loved him <3
Piggy goats feat. loner
And, the possum in the possum pen had woken up! THE NOTORIOUS POSSUMS bringers of all evil (destroying crops and eating kiwis) to NZ. Still, adorable.
Hallo pumpkin
Guinea pigs and rabbits too!
Ok, this has been a long ramble about just a few hours. Ah but I love animals. Sheepworld. <3

Let's end with the alpacas. I don't know what went wrong with the black one's haircut, bless him...
Lol <3
And zat vill be all.

Auf wiedersehn!!

Saturday, 28 December 2013


means bless you in Maori. 

No it doesn't really. I've just been having serious problems trying to come up with a title for this. 

Ok so Christmas special-time. HAPPY CHRISTMAS. This is my favourite tree in NZ, the Pohutakawa, also known as the 'NZ Christmas tree'. GORGEOUS eh!?

Taken back in Russell
Our more 'traditional' Christmas will be tomorrow (the 28th), since that is the day CC's parents host their annual Christmas get-together for forty odd relatives. Our Christmas day was an interesting experience even for CC and his bro W since the parents were not here then, including, for example, 'Christmas dinner' at McDonalds. ;) (Only place that was open on the roads, and we were nowhere close to any house that would have food in it.)
However had the traditional amazing I <3 Boys hot chocolate 
But Christmas day was also presents and chocolates, as it should be. My presents (from CC, Hayzybobzykins and W) all followed certain themes... LOVED THEM. Be certain to meet Chip the Chatter Kiwi everyone who I'll be meeting within the next few months!!! He is ADORABLEEEEEE.
Pressies Set 2 
We also went to see CC's lovely gran back up in Whangarei. Very special. Then we went to Manganui (or something like that) Beach, unfortunately not swimming weather! (Apparently the first rainy/non-sunny Christmas for AGES) But cool photos were taken and I LOVE running on big sandy beaches. :)

Exciting clouds on the way back to Auckland
Haven't kept up with daily-ish posts because since Rangitoto no massive trips have happened. We had Hayzybobzykins over Sunday-Monday night which was lovely since Hayzybobzykins is lovely.
Dinner at the Elephant Wrestler in Takapuna
It's called a DESSERT PIZZA
Ice chocolates in Auckland
Amazing brekkie in Auckland!
!! :D
Other than that, unfortunately have decided it's finally time to start revising for my exam (two days after I get back from here...) hence lack of interesting adventures.

I will however leave you something interesting which is KIWIS VS SHEEP CHESS.
Amazing!!! I don't need the purple car, get me this 
À toute,


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Climbing Rangitoto the volcano

Hello my preciouses,

So, Saturday we went to explore Rangitoto Island. A volcanic island in the Hauraki gulf, 5.5km wide island, an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with a distinctive symmetrical 260 m-high shield volcano cone. (Ta wikipedia!) One of the main naturey tourist attractions of the Auckland area.

After a scrumptious home-cooked brekkie we took the bus to central Auckland. Surprisingly, it was free! Oh well, not complaining, and CC said he had heard something about public transport being free so as not to gunge up the roads with cars full of last-minute Christmas shoppers.
Om nom
Had a little stroll around Auckland harbour area – many boats and very windy! Auckland is known as the City of the Sails. (And I STILL constantly read it as “City of the Snails”)
The harbour for massive cruise ships
The Cloud
Then we got the 12.15 ferry to Rangitoto, via Devonport. (Where we visited a few days previously.) Sat upstairs and twas windy.
Bye bye Auckland
Hello Rangitoto
There are many things to do and explore on Rangitoto, but the main thing to do is get to the summit. You can do it by tractor (a tractor pulling a few carriages, complete with a tourguide or something), or by foot. We did it by foot.
My tour guide
It was an hour's hike to the top, quite leisurely except for the last 15 minutes-ish. Or well, 20 minutes-ish. We got to a sign that said 20 minutes to the summit. After about it felt like 20 minutes we got to the next sign, saying 15 minutes to the summit. Ok...
Since it's an isolated island (or well, I guess all islands are isolated), Rangitoto has its own nature and exotic plants etc. A lot of black volcanic rock too.

Also it proudly now calls itself a “pest-free island”. NZ is isolated, as most of you hopefully know, and developed its own ecosystem very different to any other countries. When the Maoris came in like the 1200s and the Europeans in the 1600s, they caused serious damage by killing off animals that did not understand to be afraid of the people (like the moas) and bringing their own animals that also hunted down native animals, or just started competing with them for food and stuff. The notorious possums, rats but also “nice domestic” animals like cats and dogs.

So, now the country is making a big effort to preserve everything that is left. Rangitoto became officially pest-free in summer 2011 I think, with the last “pest” (being a hedgehog... see, unlikely pests) trapped in December 2010. Well, I thought it was really interesting.

Anyways, where we were. Walk to the summit. Probably the most memorable moment was when we were at a view point over the massive crater, covered in little green trees and plants. There was a maybe 60-year-old-ish lady near us, who we overheard telling her companions that she had been here as a child, and the crater was completely black, just rock.
The newly-green crater
The summit was cool! Had a nice lunch and heard my first Finns! Got one together photo with CC which I am sorry about since I personally would not like to socialise with people looking like that. I apologise for my double denim (WHY did I leave my black cardi in the UK!?) and CC's Southern Auckland gangsta-look.

Devonport in the foreground, North Head is right at the end
Lol be afraid
Leisurely walk down, leisurely wait for the ferry, and went back.
Traffic jam
Queueing for ferry back
The evening we spent at Albany shopping centre, where I bought my awesome kiwi wrapping paper and a red dress for Christmas. We also tried CC's favourite food butter chicken (was good indeedos), and watched Hobbit part 2! Was awesome. :) And a very appropriate movie to watch in this country.
Butter chicken om nom a Kiwi Indian Speciality
Hope everyone has/had an amazing Christmas!!