A visit to the land of the long white cloud

We spent Easter in Auckland, New Zealand. What a lovely place to relax, enjoy the ample beaches and escape the inconsistent Melbourne weather! For somewhere only a few hours away by air it seemed a world away in terms of its beautiful landscape; the cool blue of the ocean visible from just about everywhere and land scattered with the lush green of ferns, palm trees and volcanic mountains. As I am something of a cloud enthusiast I was looking forward to going somewhere known as the Land of the Long White Cloud and I was not disappointed. On the day we went to Piha Beach a long white cloud hovered above the ocean and seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Gorgeous.

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The birds & the bees…

and the butterflies & flowers.

Dave and I have been taking a few day trips over the holidays and everywhere we go seems to be bursting with colour. There are butterflies everywhere, wild flowers, birds enjoying the bounty of wild fruit and busy little bees collecting pollen and making it all possible.

We’ve taken walks along the Yarra River at Warrandyte, through the Mt Dandenong Ranges at Olinda and one of my favourite places, Lavandula, the Swiss Italian lavender farm near Daylesford. Daylesford is another of my favourite places. We spent Easter there last year in an adorable little cottage and we still talk about it all the time. I think there is something special in the air around those parts.  It’s the perfect place for romance, lovely walks and amazing food, and it doesn’t get much better than that for me!

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Out & About… at the Malmsbury Village Fayre

Today we went to the Malmsbury Village Fayre with some friends. I’d read about it in the paper last week and knew we had to go. I really like visiting that part of Victoria and getting my hands on locally produced wines, preserves and olive oils. It was a lovely day sitting in the sun by the lake of the botanic gardens and eating food from the fayre. There were some ‘little old ladies’ with a cake stall. I love cake stalls. I love that these women have probably been making the same slice, biscuit or cake for decades, the exact same way. At least that’s what I like to think. And where else can you get 6 squares of walnut and date slice with chocolate icing for $3? I was also very organised and loaded up on Christmas presents, only to decide on the way home to keep them all. And I sealed the deal by using the lemon myrtle infused olive oil in tonight’s salad. Amazing! Here are some pictures of the fayre, the gardens and our spoils.

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