We had our first lot of visitors this week. A lovely little family from Sydney who we’d never actually met in person before. How funny that it took us moving to New Zealand to meet, even though we used to live 20 minutes apart in Australia! Kristie and I have stumbled across one another on various forums over the last few years, so although we’d never technically met, we’ve “known” each other for about 3 years. When she told me that she and her husband and her 3 year old daughter were hiring a campervan and spending October exploring the country, we invited her to spend a few nights with us. I was a little bit nervous about it, I tend to be pretty antisocial and I’m very shy when it comes to meeting new people, but I needn’t have worried, we all had such a great time, it was like we’d known each other our whole lives. In fact I’m actually missing them since they moved on this morning.

They rolled in late on Saturday night, well after midnight, so our first meeting was quite brief, long enough to say our hellos and have a cup of coffee and warm up by the fire before we all scrambled off to bed for the night. In the morning Luke and I woke up to the sound of 3 year old Tara whispering and giggling in the hallway. It was a really lovely sound to wake up to so we didn’t mind getting out of bed, even though it was absurdly early compared with our usual midday wake up time. We all had some breakfast and then headed off into Queenstown for the day to feed the ducks and swing on the tire swing by the lake and have soy lattes in the sunshine.. Luke headed off to work in the early afternoon and the rest of us chillaxed the day away.

That night we came home, quickly whipped up some home made pizzas, and packed a pizza picnic – and ourselves – into the campervan. We drove from Kingston to Te Anau (about an hour and a half) and had our pizza picnic by Lake Te Anau then climbed aboard the glowworm boat in search of caves. The boat trip was cold and windy but SO much fun, it took about half an hour to get to the caves, and then we had a half hour walk through the cave system and into a row boat. We climbed aboard and they paddled us through into this pitch black cavern – kinda creepy – and along this thin little tunnel and then into a giant cathedral filled with thousands and thousands of glowworms, it was so incredibly beautiful! I didn’t really think they would be that good but it was really a great experience, and the water was so still that the glowworms were reflected there as well.. so it was like being in outer space.. very cool! Not nearly long enough though.. and before we knew it we were back on dry land, walking back through the caves and climbing aboard the boat back to Te Anau. We got home after midnight, just as Luke was coming home from work – great timing!

Yesterday Kristie and Ally and Tara all got up early and headed down to Milford Sound for a day of boating and penguins and seals, leaving me to sleep in and bake cupcakes and make road trip CDs for the rest of their roadtripping adventures. We all had dinner last night around the table, pasta and bread and wine by the fire.. hmmmm!! Then this morning we all had pancakes together in our pyjamas.

They headed off around lunchtime, with Tara blowing kisses from the backseat as they drove down the road. It was a great visit, but now I’m just about as clucky as can be (I really hate that word), as if I wasn’t bad enough before spending the weekend with a three year old!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any photos of the glowworms – no photography allowed and it would have been too dark anyway – but here are some photos of Tara!