South Island, Here We come - Road Trip in South Island, New Zealand

 Hi, everyone..

It feels like ages since I share some stories and photos here, especially since my family and I have a little break in the South Island of New Zealand in the beginning of 2023.

As I shared this, we have been on the road for quite some times now for our summer break, my first annual leave after moving to Aotearoa, New Zealand. Finally, we get the chance to come back to the South Island after entering this lovely island as we first arrive in New Zealand on November 26th, 2021.  Super excited indeed!

We do have a lot of plans and itineraries prepared as we travel around 11 days.

I shared in my Instagram that we flew from Wellington to Christchurch and started our road trip from there.

So far, we have planned to visit so many cities, among others Christchurch, Akaroa, Fairlie, Lake Tekapo, Mt. Cook, Lake Pukaki, Twizel, Wanaka, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Manapouri, Riverton, Invercargill, The Caitlins (Slope Point, Curio Bay, McLean Falls, Florence Hills Lookout, Nugget Points Lighthouse, Kaka Point, Balclutha), then Dunedin (where we are going to watch Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone concert YAY!). Milton, Otago, Lanarch Castle and back to Queenstown to fly back to windy Wellington.

Phewww… I know it was a long itinerary but for sure us, the Frakarsas, is super excited and thrilled to continue our adventure. 

Semangaaat dan bismillahirrahmanirahim .. alhamdulillah semua berjalan lancar.

So, South Island, here we come!

I will definitely share our complete story of the Road Trip in South Island, New Zealand. But first, allow me to share some of the highlights of our 11-day trip. One of my favorite destinations is Milford Sound.

the majestic Milford Sound.. with Lady Stirling Fall on the right side

But other cities are amazing as well. 

First, we arrived at Christchurch after flying from Wellington for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Here we stayed one night, picked up our rented car, and explored the city. 

As we landed at Christchurch in the afternoon, we went directly to pick up the car at the airport and headed to the city. First agenda, late lunch! We went to the Riverside Market, having an appointment with Mba Nana, the owner of Indo Tempeh food stall, one of the successful Indonesian entrepreneurs in Christchurch. As the name suggested, Indo Tempeh sells Indonesian delicious cuisines and produces tempe, the famous soy beans cake which has been dubbed as Indonesian traditional food. The Frakarsas is indeed a big fan of it and whenever I find great tempe, wherever I live, I always get them.

collage of our rendezvous with Mba Nana from Indo Tempeh, CHC

After getting our tempe and lunch, we headed to Crowne Plaza Hotel Christchurch to check-in. We only stopped by for a while and then continued the trip to Castle Hill. 

Then, on the next day, Akaroa is our first destination.

Next, Lake Tekapo.

Well, more stories and photos will definitely come, just bear with me okay.
Do you like some of the places I mentioned above?
Which one is your favorite?

Visiting Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse on the second day of 2023

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand

Welcome back, every and I hope 2023 is giving you a great start!

Again, wishing you nothing but the best for the new year, and may your days be filled with happiness, joy, great memories, and love.

My family and I were enjoying a short trip to Masterton area, around 2.5 hours drive from Wellington. We visited Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse on the second day of 2023. This place is quite famous and many people come and visit it on various occasions.

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand

Before I spill the complete story, here are some pictures my family and I took along the trip. 

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand
Our first family picture in 2023

It was a beautiful day indeed. As you know, even though it is summer in New Zealand at this moment, we do have wet, rainy, dan cold days. So when that particular weekend has wonderful weather, we headed to the beach. We have explored some other beaches in NZ as well, enjoying the breeze and stopping by at some cafes along the bay.

READ: Enjoying Lunch at Beach House and Kiosk at Taputeranga, New Zealand

This time, we would like to take you to Castlepoint beach and lighthouse.

This is the second lighthouse in the North Island, New Zealand that we have visited. Before that, we stopped by at Cape Palliser, as well as Putangirua, the famous pinnacles that became one of the movie sets of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand

This is the second lighthouse on the North Island, New Zealand that we have visited. Before that, we stopped by Cape Palliser, as well as Putangirua, the famous pinnacles that became one of the movie sets of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

As we did the trip on the second day of the new year, we were actually planning to go camping again. On Christmas break, we went camping at Kaitoke Regional Park (will share the story later, folks) and the kids did enjoy it. Now that we had another 3-day break, we were thinking of going camping in a different place. But apparently, picnic is lovelier and there we went.

We stopped by different cities along the way to get some food for the picnic. We passed Grey town and Masterton when we decided to get some fast food as I didn't cook for this occasion. Since the weather was lovely and it was still new year's eve holiday, the kids' favorite restaurant was packed and we got to line up a bit. 

Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse, Masterton, New Zealand

As we arrived at the beach, we found our spot and joined our friends on the picnic. It's lovely to have some relaxing time on the beach with good food, great friends, and wonderful weather. It didn't take long for the kids to run around and get to the beach to play with the water. We didn't really swim as the water is still freezing, at least for us, but the kids sure loved chasing the waves. We saw some Kiwi kids surfing in this area as well. I spoke to their parents and apparantly this is their favorite spot for surfing, especially when the weather is conducive.

I took the video of the beach as well as the lighthouse and feel free to check it out.

Once the kids were done playing in the water, we moved to a different part of the beach and walked up to the lighthouse.

Different from Cape Palliser lighthouse which has hundreds of stairs and quite a steep hike, here in Castle Point we have the ramp. There are stairs on top of the hill but it's very manageable. This makes the hike easier as well. It took us around 10 minutes to reach the top of the hill and the view is amazing. The lighthouse itself is locked so we cannot climb up to the lighthouse. It's only open for the designated official.

Check out my video to get better information about this place.

Well... That's our little adventure at Castle Point Beach and Lighthouse on the second day of 2023.

Cheers to more lovely trips in this new year. Share your stories with me in the comments and let me know if you have visited some lighthouses as well.

Happy 2023 from Aotearoa

Are you ready for the new year?
Yes you are and here comes the last day of 2022!

Wishing you all an amazing new year of 2023, filled with happiness, joy, health, success and abundant blessings. 

Doa terbaik untuk kita semua di tahun 2023 yang semoga akan diisi dengan hari - hari yang produktif, sehat dan bahagia. Semoga segala rencana baik yang sudah disiapkan bisa terealisasi dan apa yang belum tercapai dapat segera dikabulkan. Aamiiin.

happy new year from Wellington, New Zealand

 Di akhir tahun 2022, saya sempat menikmati hiking di Mt. Kaukau, Wellington, yang menjadi salah satu tempat favorit karena pemandangan dari atas yang sangat cantik. Bersama 8 teman perempuan lainnya, kami mendaki selama kurang lebih 1 jam dan menikmati pemandangan serta udara segar. Kegiatan yang sehat sebelum menikmati pesta tahun baru. Pemandangan yang dinikmati juga benar - benar menenangkan jiwa dan raga, membuat kita lebih sehat dan segar. We certainly hope we can do it regularly so we can stay healthy. Sounds like a good resolution to me!

Meanwhile, hours later and after a good break, we gathered on the last night in 2022 in my Ambassador's residence which is beautifully located in Northland, Wellington. We had great times sharing with our big family in NZ, enjoying BBQ, singing karaoke, and playing Just Dance. 

My hubby and  I on the last day of 2022

Around 40 people gathered and we all witnessed the kids' fireworks, starting at 9.30 so that the kids didn't have to stay awake too long, and also the new year countdown with 3-minute fireworks at 12 PM on the dot.

I managed to capture it live for my YouTube channel as well. Feel free to check it out ..

So, have Cheers from Wellington!

WW: Mt. Kaukau and Its Amazing View from the Top


We are out and about again, yay!

Summer is here and it means friendlier (read: warmer) weather, going outdoor and enjoying the beauty of Aotearoa. Last weekend, we have series of meetings and celebration as well. We have back - to - back birthdays, farewell and welcoming party.

After all those wonderful sessions packed with delicious food and great laughs, we decided to have a little hike to shake out all the fat and sugar. This time, we went to Mt. Kaukau in Johnsonville area. 

We started the hike from Sirsi Terrace, Broadmeadows. For here, we got 2 steep hills with some loose gravels that make it a bit challenging to hike. Then after that, some flat areas with lovely pathway and great view accompanied us to the top. There are a view choices when it comes to tracks, including the one with more gradients walks and those with steeper hikes. There are stairs that we can use as well. I just found that that one of the entry ways is close from our house in Khandallah. Something to look forward too for another hike.

After around 45 minutes hiking, we were serenaded by the  amazing view from the top of Mt. Kaukau. It is just jawdroppingly beautiful.

Check out these photos I took along the way...

I hope you enjoy it and wait for more hikes we plan this summer in New Zealand.

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with the link party.

Wonderful Wednesday with My Purple World and Friends

Holiday season is here... yaay!

Meri Kirihimete..

To those celebrating, wishing you a wonderful Christmas and you can spend it with your loved one. It is always the best to share special moments to those who have been so good and supportive towards the year. And what a year it has been! 

2022 has been special, especially for us The Frakarsas. Again, this is the year where we gratefully thanks our Rabb for abundant blessings, prosperity and joy. I hope we all have enough time to ponder upon the past year and find the revived spirit to have even a more brilliant year in 2023!

This December we have many plans and road trips being drafted. Some are realized, some still have to wait. I don't say we won't be doing it, but hopefully what we can always replan until we can thick our to-do and to-go list. Honestly, there are so many places and so many things to do where I have to wait, for quite some times, before I can actually visit or do them. I always believe that everything will be perfect at its own time, so be patience and have faith. 

View from one spot in Khandallah, near our new home

For now, I bet you are ready for another edition of Wonderful Wednesday with My Purple World and Friends! Enjoy all the links we have here and again, happy holiday!

Welcome, this week our features are all about Christmas Recipes and of course our Fashion Feature!!

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Art Deco Afternoon High Tea - Arisan Seru bersama Indonesian Ladies Club Wellington

Art Deco Afternoon High Tea - Arisan Seru bersama Indonesian Ladies Wellington

Apa kabar semua?

Lama tidak menulis blog dalam bahasa Indonesia tercinta and I'm excited untuk berbagi cerita - cerita keseruan perjalanan kami selama tinggal dan berdinas di Selandia Baru, atau Aotearoa.

Belum lama ini, aku bergabung bersama Indonesian Ladies Club atau ILC di Wellington. Salah satu kegiatan yang dilakukan adalah arisan. Iya, arisan. 

Meskipun sedang berada di luar negeri dan bahkan banyak di antara pendiri dan anggota ILC telah berada di Selandia Baru lebih dari 10,15 atau bahkan 20 tahun, tradisi yang satu ini masih lekat di hati. Tidak heran kalau kegiatan arisan menjadi saah satu kegiatan favorit ILC. Arisan kerap menjadi ajang silahturahmi dan temu kangen, sekaligus forum belajar dan berbagi. 

So, long story short, aku menjadi salah satu peserta arisan dan untuk bulan Desember, aku menjadi pemenang arisan bersama 7 orang lainnya. Mereka yang menang akan menjadi tuan rumah arisan berikutnya. Satu putaran memang memiliki 8 pemenang dan masing - masing mendapat NZD 800. Jumlah yang lumayan dan bisa dipakai untuk membeli barang favorit kan. 

Art Deco Afternoon High Tea - Arisan Seru bersama Indonesian Ladies Wellington
aneka cangkir dan teko vintage koleksi kami

Saat grup kami menang, kami memutuskan untuk mengambil tema afternoon high tea and art deco. Jamuan minum teh memang menjadi salah satu tradisi Inggris yang diadopsi dan banyak digemari di Selandia Baru. 

Banyak kafe, hotel atau tempat makan yang menawarkan jamuan teh dengan hidangan khasnya, seperti kudapan dan cemilan khas negara ini. Yang paling populer adalah scones dan pies. Seperti apa persisnya, bisa langsung di-browse sendiri aja ya. Semoga nanti aku bisa share juga resep scones karena sering buat.

Art Deco Afternoon High Tea - Arisan Seru bersama Indonesian Ladies Wellington

Untuk arisan kami, karena pesertanya adalah perempuan Indonesia yang bermukim di Wellington, kami memutuskan untuk menyajikan makanan khas Indonesia. Walaupun temanya high tea, makanan kecil yang disajikan adalah martabak telur, lumpia, kue putu ayu, talam, onde - onde dan masih banyak lagi. Untuk makanan utama, kita menyediakan lontong sayur komplit, jadi ada lontong, sayur nangka, telur balado, balado teri kacang, opor ayam, kering kentang, sambal, kerupuk dan lalap. Untuk dessert, kita juga ada tiramisu dan meringue! Pokoknya komplit deh dan bikin ngiler ya. Makanan yang aku bawa dan sumbang adalah martabak daging dan opor ayam, hasil karya di dapurku yang baru di Khandallah.

Untuk peralatan minum teh, aku juga membawa sebagian koleksi trio Royal Albert dan teman - temannya milikku dan juga teko dan trio dari koleksi T2 aku. Aku sempat share juga kan cerita tentang T2 yang menjadi salah satu toko teh favoritku di sini dan juga perburuan koleksi vintage trio cangkir teh aku  (Baca: Hunting for Vintage Collection at Napier, New Zealand) Aku juga niat lho mengenakan kostum flappers untuk dress code art deco kali ini.

Yang pasti, kita semua menikmati arisan kali ini. Apalagi selain arisan, kami sebagai tuan rumah menyumbang untuk raffles dan door price berupa trio atau 1 set cangkir teh dengan 2 piring tatakan (makanya namanya trio) koleksi vintage. Beli 3 tiket seharga NZD 10 and you can get the chance to win one of those cute cups! Tidak heran kalau banyak peserta arisan yang membeli tiket raffles ini.

Art Deco Afternoon High Tea - Arisan Seru bersama Indonesian Ladies Club Wellington
Berpose dengan Mba Ratih, salah satu host bareng aku. I'm wearing my Art Deco theme costume

All in all, kita semua menikmati arisan seru  kali ini dan pertemuan berikutnya akan diadakan di  bulan February 2023. Masih harus tunggu tahun baru dulu ya. Sampai jumpa di cerita arisan kita berikutnya.

Salam hangat dari Wellington