Wine is a Right of Passage


It’s the last day of our Waiheke Island tour and I’ve developed a great feel for the place, early morning jogs along the beach, sunset walks, exploring beach-side and inland vineyards to compare the difference in the wine, dining on some of the most amazing fare and explored the amazing chocolate shops and dessert bars of mainland Auckland.

It was time for the last vineyard of our short stay, and we were not disappointed. Passage Rock Vineyard is in the south of the island, near Orapiu Bay.

The Passage Rock vineyard
The Passage Rock vineyard

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Chocolate and Wine is all You Need

With a surprisingly light hangover from the day before (once we returned from Man O’War we could’t resist opening some of the wine we’d purchased to take home with us – self restraint is hard with wine so good!) we began the day watching the sunrise from the balcony with a hearty breakfast before hopping across on the ferry to Auckland, for chocolate hunting…

Some sound chocolate advice from my Auckland adventures
Some sound chocolate advice from my Auckland adventures

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Silent City or Party Island

If, like me, you are one for a bit of spontaneity and a lover of winter sun, but heavily restricted on time AND money, then late October and November are the perfect time to get away to a tiny island in the Med!

If you look really closely you can almost see it…almost

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How to be a Chalet Chef

There are many things you can do for the Residential section of your Gold Duke of Edinburgh. You can do a Corde en Bleu cookery course in a fancy hotel in Oxford for the week, you can work on a kids camp in Scotland. You could even take a barge up and down the river in Kent and carry out conservation work for the British Wetland Society. OR, you can join the Snow Crazy Chalet Host Cookery Course in La Rosier, France for a few weeks and learn how to be a ski Chalet Host. Well, why not?

Let's get started
Let’s get started

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Hong Kong – Checking out the sights

We mistakenly thought we would be well rested after spending the previous day leisurely taking in the sights (sounds and smells) that Hong Kong had to offer. However, we unfortunately hadn’t factored in the unofficial ‘Symphony of Car Horns’ that lasts for the entire duration of the night…EVERY night.

Some of the culprits of the endless 'Symphony of Car Horns'
Some of the culprits of the endless ‘Symphony of Car Horns’

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Hip Hip Hong Kong

The journey across was pretty quick, much quicker and more efficient than immigration from mainland China to Macau, just basically a walk over a long bridge. Around 8am we checked into the ‘Cosmic Guesthouse’ …”The crystal-clean, quiet, friendly and secure ‘Cosmic’ is a consistent favorite with travelers…” read the description in Lonely Planet. 

It was pretty much a walk along a very long bridge to get from one island to the other
It was pretty much a walk along a very long bridge to get from one island to the other

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Maccanese Madness

After a suitable party-fuelled recharge in Guangzhou (well, what else is there to do there) I was heading to Macau for my own little bit of family history, and some amazing egg tarts (mum had gone on and on about then for ages, so I figured I simply had to try them!) I checked into the Victoria Hotel for the best nights sleep I’d had since the toy town in Mongolia! As with most hotels in China, I was highly amused by more Chinglish signs.

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