Ever wondered what it is like to visit New Zealand, away from the South Island and the snow? Ever wanted to know if New Zealand would be your ideal getaway, or location to get engaged or married? Well grab yourself a cool glass of white wine and take a seat.
I can’t say prior to this trip I had ever added New Zealand to my bucket list. It wasn’t somewhere I was really interested in, due to my
ideal holiday being on a sandy beach with a mojioto in my hand... but when I heard we were going to the side of New Zealand without snowy
mountains, it made me feel a little at ease.
With a short flight from Brisbane, we arrived into Wellington airport around 12:30am. We drove our airbnb vehicle, along the pitch dark roads and long highways for the next 2.5 hours. Whilst we drove through the windy mountain, it was this weird feeling of wondering what was beside you... was it a river, was it a long drop, was it beautiful scenic mountains? We would never know. We arrived to our airbnb house around 3am... pretty much went inside, brushed our teeth and went to bed, as we had a wedding to attending the same day.
The morning sun greeted Martinborough, with a cool 16 degree temperature which was perfect for our lovely airbnb. A cottage sized house, with a hot tub on the deck, a fireplace in the garden and greenery everywhere. The centre of town was only 1km away and everything from the centre was only walking distance in any direction. Like every small town, this had the basics; 2 lovely little coffee shops, the local pub, food market and a church. Once you took a step out of the main square, you were surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see ... everyone had one.
Lunch time ticked over and it was time to head down to Poppies Vineyard to attend a very special wedding - this location was breathtaking. Vineyards covered the surrounding, a windmill in the distance, a roof with huge wooden pillars and hanging white curtains (Oh and some beautiful chandeliers). The reception was held outside whilst the weather stayed dry. The bride and groom stood together for the last few moments as ‘singles” and made their vow to each other under a gorgeous flowered arch. The sunset hit them as they walked into the distance of the vineyard, now husband and wife and enjoying their first moments married together.
The champagne poured, and it poured all afternoon. We mingled with company from different locations within Australia and New Zealand. We met the extended family and the close friends. We learnt from the locals what was good to see, and most importantly, what wine was the best to enjoy during our stay. When the evening rain started to trickle in, we relocated into the dining area. With 3 very long wooden tables, beautifully laid for all the guests, we found our seats and met our neighbours/ drinking buddies for the evening. Not a single detail was missed to make you feel like you were fine dining, but with every comfort of New Zealand.
Like every wedding, the formalities proceeded - speeches, toasts & most of all cutting of the cake (Which in this case, was layers of different cheese wheels... amazing). The food poppies put on table was delicious, with share plates scatted across the long wooden table - we would eat like kings and queens. The night wrapped up with hours and hours of dancing, chatter & kisses.
Photos below are from the stunning wedding album of Mrs Georgia Evans.
Morning clocked over and we awakened from our cottage. The newly weds had a brunch planned for the whole wedding party. Arriving at 26 Rows, (originally Martinborough House), we arrived at a small boutique vineyard within the famed Martinborough Village wine growing area. The 26 rows are all planted in Sauvignon Blanc and produce classic Martinborough style wine. Welcomed with a home-made buffet breakfast, a cool breeze and beautiful flowered vineyard - we settled in for a few hours. Whilst most the crowd kicked onto the pub, we resorted to a hot tub and movie - embracing our first experience of the North Island.
Friday arrived, and we packed up for our trip back to Wellington, NZ. Driving back through those windy mountain roads - this time in the daylight. 2 hours later we made it to the QT Wellington. I have stayed a number of times at the Gold Coast QT hotel ... so had faith this would be as great. A boutique sized room overlooking the ocean. A quick change of clothes and off to explore we went, followed by a dinner at Hot Sauce (Which is connected to the QT hotel). HEAVEN HEAVEN HEAVEN!! Hot Sauce offers traditional Singaporean, Japanese, Korean and Thai flavours with a contemporary twist. Mouth-watering dishes with cutting-edge cocktails, tight tunes and an electric vibe that embodies – no fuss, just flavour. Share plate after share plate, I was definitely glad I wore a flowy dress. 8pm hit and it was time to jump into our robes, straight into bed and watch a movie.
Waking up to our finally morning, we had a few hours to kill before our flight departed. We ventured to the Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand. One level of the museum reflects New Zealanders attitude to their country, as well as their history, their past and their future. This was an incredible experience as it demonstrated each moment that took part through the War. The next level was Blood, Earth, Fire - Wha-ngai, Whenua, Ahi Ka – The Transformation of Aotearoa New Zealand. It is full of interactivity and information, taking you on a journey through the changing landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand.
11am came quickly and it was time to go home. New Zealand was ticked off the bucket list and it definitely impressed. A perfect spot for a quick couples getaway, a wedding, an engagement party, anything your heart desires. Here are some beautiful photos from the trip.
A message to the newly weds - Wishing you endless happiness, opportunity and growth as you begin this new path together. This getaway to New Zealand was incredible and you took such good care of us. May the rest of your life as Husband and Wife be as exciting as the beginning. Lots of love xx.