Monday 30 April 2018

New Zealand - Kerikeri Part 1

Just to start's impossible to do this Blog like the day by day Europe trip Blog as you would be bored seen as we're staying in 1 place for 2 months. So I'm warning you that it's just going to be a jumble of photos over the first 2 weeks in Kerikeri to give you an idea of what we have been getting up to. Hope you like :)

On route to Kerikeri in the pissing rain. Stop off for a dollar steak and cheese pie from a cheap shop...mmm!

WE MADE IT! Here is Ake Ake Vineyard and Restautant!

When we arrived, we didn't manage to take any pictures...this is an empty restaurant picture taken a month later! When we first walked in however, there must have been about 30 people tasting wine and eating Vineyard platters. 

We met with our hosts, John and Aynsley, who are awesome and gave us our first of many free wines. They own the Vineyard and restaurant but rent the restaurant out and work solely with making and selling wine. We also met with the people who rent the restaurant, Chris and Judy, who straight away wanted to train me up as a waitress WITH NO EXPERIENCE! Amazing.

A painting of the winery by a local artist which hangs in the restaurant.

The real winery, right next door to our new home...a bus! Which was driven here a good few years ago and hasn't moved since.

Our first evening meal, good old bangers and mash!

A look inside the bus. The living area/kitchen.

And bedroom. There is also a shower but no toilet...that's outside round the back of the winery.

Our first of many jobs...pulling the nets off of the vines that have already been picked. Every Vineyard has nets over the vines because of the ruddy birds!



We think this is pretty big...but it's actually one of the smaller vineyards.

Meatballs :)

So, we had a mosquito problem. The bus gets incredibly hot but opening the window lets the buggers in so jack had an idea involving a skirt...but that comes later.

Music shop in Kerikeri centre. Of course jack had to go in.

For some odd reason we haven't managed to get a picture of this...but every Wednesday without fail, me, Jack, John and sometimes the waiter at the restaurant and his wife go to the local quiz at RockSalt Bar! Me and jack are obviously shite but its such a good laugh. 

The pub quiz is where we found out that Kerikeri shuts everything up at about 9:30 at night...literally...every night. The pub quiz is packed to the brim and as soon as the winner is announced EVERYONE gets up and leave and the pub shuts! The way to have a proper party is to go to someone's house...which is great fun!

This is us on the way to the quiz :) will get a quiz picture for a later post.

Hell yeah, cornflakes and sugar with a tea/coffee in the a ritual.


Luscious grapes. Although John told us that this year has been the shittest year every if you're a winemaker...waaaaay to much rain and grapes not ripening.

There is Kerikeri airport literally next to the Vineyard. Sounds loud but we barely ever notice. We get to see some cool planes flying very low and people parachute out of them too!

Praying mantis. Lots of these swaying about.

This is jacks ingenious mosquito skirt invention. We made netted windows to slot into the real windows...keeping cool with no mozzies - that's the motto.

Shepards pie and beeeeeer.

My first restaurant shift! Bloody hard I tell you but good fun...especially when you get free leftovers and a beer after work! I bought cheap trousers and shoes woooo!

Real cream, just eggs...and cheese.

One of our free meals from the restaurant...a full on Sunday roast mmm.

Our first free bottle of wine from John. It's called Grapepickers and it is dedicated to all of the backpackers that have come to help on the Vineyard over the years...bloody beautiful!

Looks slight weird but we were given seafood chowder sauce from the restaurant and we had a big lunch so just had it with some roast veg. I think the seafood chowder is still my favourite.

Posting a very important card :)

Bottling some port! It takes 4 people for this. Jack labelled the bottles, John filled them with wine, I put a cork in and whacked it with a handy piece of wood and Marie (a French winemaker who is awesome) put the plastic caps on and melted them to seal onto the top. We sent a bottle to jacks sister for her 30th and jessy bum for her 29th! I  think we bottle about 1,300!

God knows what this is but I know I didn't like it.

So, New Zealand is hurts a little bit. So we went for a cheap cut of corned beef. One of the weirder things we've tried. It literally gets boiled and comes out with the texture of tinned corned beef! Very tender but very odd.

The grape picking/wine making process...picking the grapes and putting into buckets!

Picking up the buckets on a tractor! With John and Marie and (not seen) a shit load of bees getting drunk.

Tipping the grapes into a destemmer...which obviously de stems and then pumps the skins and juice into a big vat!

So, there surprisingly aren't many traditional New Zealand recipes. This is one however called bacon and egg pie...basically a quiche!

Next wine...a Flora Chardonnay. We found out that it's not called flora because of the pink colour but because the name of the grape is flora! Also it's not meant to be pink but John accidentally left some red skins in when pressing the white grapes...but as he says...fuck it! Haha love him.

Finished pie...we ate the lot...whoops!

20 minutes drive away is the Bay of Islands in Paihia. Bloody beautiful.

We found a big shell...looks like a massive mussel.

Helicopter trips! Jack really wanted to go but I said we ain't spending €450 on a 20 minute trip thank you no love.

Yes that's a slug...yes it's in the bus.

A 2 minute drive away is a place called Rainbow Falls which is a 2 hour round trip to a big waterfall.

Look at this tree! It reminds me of the talking grandma tree in Pocahontas!

Jack took literally 30 pictures of me...I was not impressed.

Chicken noodle soup.

First of many books. At the local library you can buy 3 books for €1! Admittedly not the best books so far but you never know so I keep buying and reading.

Chilling on the beach in Paihia.

End of our first two weeks in Kerikeri :)

Travelling NZ - Part 4

A big breakfast to start the day. Leaving our golden bay cottage - we had to take a picture of this derelict house and crazy tree! ...