Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Zealand Trip 2015~ Fleur's Place, Moeraki

Fleur’s Place is a restaurant with character and great food. Situated at Moeraki, it is very near to our motel. It is very famous among tourists and receives good reviews from customers. We made reservation through phone to ensure there were seats for us.

Fleur's Place
Love this place with cottage feel

We were given a table at the first floor. When we reached for lunch about 1pm, there were not many people around. The tables were then quickly taken up when we placed our orders. Most of them went in with reservation.
View from the balcony
Outdoor sitting of Fleur's Place. View from the balcony
This is plain drinking water,lol

This is the seafood soup served with bread. There were mussels, cockles and scallops in it. The tomato based soup was thick and creamy, tasted really good with the bread. We finished it in seconds.
Fish of the day. Few types of pan fried fish, very fresh and delicious. The chilli, coconut and corriander  sauce was a plus point, the taste was similar to the concentrated version of Thai red curry. Tasty!
We met this group of local tourists from Dunedin city. They were really friendly and had a chatting session with us. 
After the main course, we ordered 2 types of desserts for sharing. Both were served with the delicious homemade coffee walnut ice creams. 
Dark chocolate cake, couldn't stop from having more. It was really good, and highly recommended!
Another equally real good dessert. You can find orange peel and orange zest in the cake, not those flavored type of cake. Simply delicious!

Some of the decorations. 

Service: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Price: 7/10 (slightly pricey)
Environment: 8/10

Saturday, February 20, 2016

5 Reasons Why I Enjoyed Travelling in New Zealand During Summer Time

When I told people I went to New Zealand during summer, I received the same question from many of them. Why you want to travel during summer? Malaysia is always hot and humid, you should go to experience other seasons. Yes, I have been to countries with 4 seasons, and will usually opt for spring or autumn. And I have been to Hokkaido in winter. But, for New Zealand, I really enjoyed my time there during summer. The summer in New Zealand is not that hot in the month of December. In fact, night time was really cold and dropped to 3°C when we were in Queenstown and Arrowtown. Weather fluctuated a lot in a day, but usually in the range of 8°C to 25°C (afternoon). Below are 5 reasons of why I enjoyed my summer holiday in New Zealand.

1)In the beautiful summer time,  you can find many colorful wild lupine/lupin flowers almost everywhere in South New Zealand. Purple, pink, yellow, beige , white... lupines in a blend of many colours are found along the road side, beside the breathtakingly blue lake, and at the mountain area. Lake Tekapo is the place with the most lupins that you couldn’t keep your eyes away from them. They are wild and natural, but they are attractive and beautiful.
Scenery along the road when we were travelling
I didn't know lupins are so huge until I saw them in real. 
Lupins at Lake Pukaki
Lupins at Lake Tekapo

Romantic couple taking wefie photos
Besides lupins, many other flowers are equally beautiful and bloom in summer.
Lavender was everywhere too, with the fragrance that I like. That was the first time I get to smell the real lavender fragrance, and had breakfast in Wanaka holiday park surrounded by lavender.
Honeybee is busy and hardworking in summer.

2) New Zealand summer starts in November, thus you won’t be able to experience White Christmas in that part of the world. However, the weather was really good and comfortable for travelling when we were there. As I mentioned earlier,temperature ranged from 8°C to 25°C with cool breeze, although it was quite cold  in certain hours of the days. Strolling along the beautifully decorated Franklin Road Auckland was a highlight of our trip. Christmas decoration in the houses was just so eye catching, and the ambiance was great with people singing Christmas songs and playing Christmas music around us. It was different from the Hakodate White Christmas that we experienced in previous year, but both left good memories in our hearts. And because it was near to Christmas, we found many discounts and great deals in shopping places. We bought many things in Christchurch at discounted prices, although New Zealand shouldn’t be a place for you to shop, lol. You can even get Christmas wrapping service for free. 
Adorable and beautiful Christmas decorations 
3) The long hours of daylight makes travelling in New Zealand much easier during summer time. As you know, South New Zealand is a place where you are required to spend a certain amount of time on the road. Distance from one place to another can be very far, and 2-3 hours of driving to get to another attraction or bigger town is a norm. Driving is less tiring and safer because sunset usually after 9pm in summer. You need not rush to another place as there is plenty of time before sunset. Just enjoy the scenery along the way as much as you can.

Scenery from the car,just simply snap also can get a nice photo.
Look like those advertisements for  new zealand dairy products

4) Summer is the season you can pick your own (PYO) cherry in South New Zealand. We managed to try it in Dam Good Fruits PYO Cherries, Cromwell. You can pick the cherry (organic) from the tree and sample it free-of-charge. If you like it, just get as much as you like and put it in the prepared basket. Usually 1 person need to pick at least 1kg of cherries, but the girl allowed 4 of us to share 2kg. She was kind enough to give us special exemption, but she don’t know us well. As cherry lovers, we picked more than 4kg in total, haha. We ate more than 6 kg of cherries in 4 days time. Besides cherries, fruits like apple, kiwi etc from Jones Family Fruit Stall Cromwell were sweet and fresh. We bought some dried fruits back to Malaysia for our family members, and they're really good. 
There are a few species of cherries, some are dark red in colour while some are bright red with white color seeds. The cherries so sweet and juicy, yummy.

Baskets of cherries that we picked!
Blue sky and red cherries

5) Summer is the best season for outdoor activities. Extreme activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving or helihike need a good weather. We did a lot of hiking too, and those scenic views are very unforgettable. Although it was drizzling when we walked through the Hooker Valley Track, Mount Cook, the place is so amazing that I wish I can visit it again in the near future. Besides these, we managed to see a blanket of starry sky in Wanaka and Lake Tekapo. We also saw lakes with different shades of blue under the sunlight. :)
Hiking was so much of fun, although the sandy slippery path at Mount Iron, Wanaka,was difficult for me. The f.o.c public toilet here was so clean!
Amazing suspension bridge at Hooker Valley Track, Mount Cook
Happy jumping
Postcard view!
Helihike at Fox Glacier. Thanks to JC and our guide for this photo.
Starry sky at the Church of the Good Shepherd,  Lake Tekapo. Photo credit to szemin.

Lake Wanaka
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Pukaki
Lake Tekapo

In conclusion, travel to New Zealand in December was a great experience for me and my friends. Although it was a peak season, you won't feel crowded at all. We could enjoy every moment of it and feel relax.