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An Easter weekend of beach, countryside and hot air balloons

Pocket

Easter weekend coincided with the first days of April and our clocks winding back an hour in New Zealand. Thankfully the warm weather, that has been blessing our days all spring and summer, is continuing on into early autumn. (I just need to adjust to wearing my head torch for night runs!).

Temperatures are in the low twenties and the sea is still welcoming us in for a dip and a play (the dolphins have been frolicking off the south coast of Wellington with great frequency too!).

Beach days in early autumn, in Island Bay, Wellington

Beach days in early autumn, in Island Bay, Wellington

On Good Friday we spent a lovely time at Island Bay, where we took the paddle boards out and marvelled at the clear water over the marine reserve on the south coast.

Paddle boarding in Island Bay with my daughter, Sophie.

Paddle boarding in Island Bay with my daughter, Sophie.

On Saturday we drove over the hill to the Wairarapa, to stay in Martinborough, the wonderful wine capital of the region.

The annual balloon festival made our stay especially wonderful, as we were woken on Easter Sunday by hot air balloons drifting over the village.

Hot air balloon visiting New Zealand from the UK!

Hot air balloon visiting New Zealand from the UK!

Hot air balloons meandering over Martinborough on Easter Weekend 2018

Hot air balloons meandering over Martinborough on Easter Weekend 2018

We had friends staying with us and all the children (especially the younger ones) were keen to hunt for Easter eggs in the garden – but also captivated by the balloons floating over head. It was a real treat for young and old!

Easter egg hunt in the garden in Martinborough

Easter egg hunt in the garden in Martinborough with friends

After the early morning wake up call (just as well the clocks had wound back an hour in the night!) we headed to the Farmers Market at Te Kairanga Vineyard. It was the last one of the spring and summer season, held on the first Sunday of every month. The hot air balloonists had gathered at the market and had a balloon inflated for people to walk inside – which was quite amazing!

At the TK Farmers Market in Martinborough - a visiting balloon!

At the TK Farmers Market in Martinborough – a visiting hot air balloon!

TK Farmer's Market on Easter Sunday 2018

TK Farmer’s Market on Easter Sunday 2018

Balloons of all shapes and sizes at the TK Farmer's Market, Martinborough

Balloons of all shapes and sizes at the TK Farmer’s Market, Martinborough

After all the morning’s excitement (and a rather late and jovial previous night!) some of us were ready for a quiet afternoon (even a nana nap – yep, that was me – not ashamed to admit I love a good nap!). Meanwhile, the men folk were awesome and took the children out for a round of tennis cricket (they had plans to play tennis, but the courts were busy).

Tennis cricket with the children on the school field in Martinborough.

Tennis cricket with the children on the school field in Martinborough.

In the evening we headed to the Solway Showgrounds to see the hot balloons light up in the night sky, in the ‘Night Glow’ show of the Wairarapa Balloon Festival.

Balloon Festival Wairarapa

‘Night Glow’ at the Wairarapa Balloon Festival 2018

Night Glow, Wairarapa Balloon Festival

Night Glow, Wairarapa Balloon Festival

A starlit sky

A starlit sky

To finish the evening we took the telescope out on the deck and showed our children the craters on the moon.

Dan and Alice looking at the craters on the moon,

Dan and Alice looking at the craters on the moon,

Needless to say, Easter Monday was a quiet one! I took to my yoga mat for a stretch (my fur baby joined me!) and the children had a quiet day (well, as quiet as they ever do – lots of dancing and bouncing on the trampoline!).

My fur baby joins my for 'boat pose' - catching a free ride... 'Row, row, row your boat!'.

My fur baby joins my for ‘boat pose’ – catching a free ride… ‘Row, row, row your boat!’.

Linking up with the wonderful…

Country Kids

  • Alexandra Bunker

    If only we had a place here in the UK to go paddle boarding. That looks really fun! And the weather definitely looks warm too :) #countrykids

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  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    I always find it strange to hear you talking about going into April as autumn when to us it is spring. It sounds like it is still lovely weather now and definitely the best time for going in the sea – as September is for us. Paddle boarding was one of my favourite things in Greece, I’ve always fancied trying it here but I’m not sure if I’d manage the Cornish waves. The balloon theme really takes on many different forms and makes for a fun Easter weekend with you.

    Lovely to have you back on #CountryKids

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  • Mummyconstant

    Photos look great. Looks like a fun Easter. very bizarre that you are going into Autumn. I can’t imagine what it feels like to have Summer over December! :) Popping over from #CountryKids x

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  • wherejogoes

    What a fantastic place to live with so much going on. You packed a lot of fantastic activities into that weekend. We live in Bristol where there is a big hot air balloon festival every year, I love seeing them float over especially the novelty shaped ones! #CountryKids

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  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    What a brilliant weekend you had, so much going on! Love the hot air balloons and the yoga poses on the paddle board :) Funny to think it’s heading into autumn for you, I’m still holding out for spring here! #countrykids

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  • Wow the yoga on the paddle board – quite something! Need to test it soon, though doubting will look anywhere as graceful as you! Catching the magic indeed :) #countrykids

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