Journeys and Destinations 2017

Hi everyone and hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.  Our Christmas Eve was full of cheer and food, our Christmas Day the same, and Boxing Day of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the Christmas special of Dr Who.  This time of year, bloggers often do a round up of highlights of the year gone, and this year, I think many of my highlights involved travel.  So here we go….where I got to this year, both here and abroad (excluding travel for work).

The year started with a few days in Sydney, which was great fun (despite a lot of rain).  We had a wonderfully sunny day over in Manley, went shopping and visited lots of museums and galleries.

Sydney January 2017

January also saw us have a long weekend in Greytown over in the Wairarapa, where it also rained nearly the whole time.  It didn’t stop us having a good time though, and the rain stopped long enough to visit Castlepoint.

Castlepoint Lighthouse

At the start of February, we drove up to Taranaki for a fortieth birthday party.  Luckily, the weather was good for that, and it was great to do a wee bit of a road trip too.

Mount Taranaki without cloud

March saw us head over to Vancouver to visit my brother and sister-in-law.  I think looking back on the year, this was the top travel highlight of the year – not only did I get to see my brother after several years, but we got to explore a new city which we both loved.  Oh and we got to see snow….

Gastown, Vancouver

There were numerous work trips for both of us, and Karl got over to Europe in April, visiting Budapest and Copenhagen, and also to Melbourne a couple of times.  In June, however, we both went to Fiji, for a week of sunshine in the middle of winter, and to celebrate Karl’s birthday.  It was one of the most restful and peaceful holidays ever, and so good to feel some sun and heat.


In August, we extended a work trip, and spent the weekend in Rotorua, particularly enjoying visiting the Buried Village of Te Wairoa (which you can read about here).

By the lost village

Karl went to Canberra for a month study leave in September, and at the end of the month, I went over to visit.  We went to the Floriade spring festival, took a trip to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, and drove up to have a look at the Parliament.  During that trip over The Ditch, we also went to Melbourne to see the wonderful Dior exhibition, and, of course, do a little shopping.

Koalas, Tidbinbilla
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

October saw us have a long, spring weekend up in Napier, one of our favourite places in New Zealand.  The weather was good, we ate some fantastic food, did some wine tasting and generally had a great time.


So that was our travels in 2017 – a new country, two new cities and a whole lot of new things seen and experienced.  What will 2018 bring?  Anyone got any travel plans already in place?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on



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