Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

The Hobbiton - A beautiful journey for the fans of the Lords of the Rings and the Hobbits

 Hi everyone... 

It's been quite sometimes I haven't been updated! Well, life has been super fun and busy, and I haven't manage to sneak some times to write some of those adventures here in my blog. 

But, now, here I come, with some photos and stories about the Hobbiton.

Before I start sharing more, have you ever heard of this wonderful place before? or perhaps familiar with the movies?

For those who claim themselves fans of Sir Peter Jackson's works, - the Lords of the Rings and the Hobbits,- 
 like me, then you must be familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien's books as well as the movies.

Living in Aotearoa for a mere 2 years, #thefrakarsas are lucky enough to take some road trips around Aotearoa, New Zealand, For sure, 2 years is far than enough to explore this wonderful country.

So, our trip to The Hobbiton took place in 2022, during fall, just before winter. We went to Rotorua and had so much fun there. Then we drove to Mata mata, the name of the area where the Hobbiton is located. Before coming here, I have already booked the tickets for the 4 of us. So they have different time for the tour, where one tour will take around 1.5 hours.

For sure, you are highly recommended to book the tickets in advance as this place is extremely popular all year long. The chances to just walk in and get the ticket is quite slim, so you better book it through their official website. It costs us around NZD 675 (including the tax) or Rp 6.500.000,- for the 4 of us.  I know it's quite expensive but it's really worth it..

I have to say we are very excited to be here! Before I share more details, please check out these photos from the Hobbiton.

A Joyful Trip Back to Indo Tempeh Christchurch

Welcome to Indo Tempeh, Christchurch 

Hi everyone...

Welcome back dan semoga semua sehat - sehat selalu yaaa.

Now that we're back to Jakarta, Indonesia, I would like to share more stories and experience while we were living and exploring Aotearoa, New Zealand. I realized that I haven't really share that much, not as much as the memories that we take home from there.

One of the them is when we managed to visit Christchurch and hunt for Indonesian food. Yes, food from home is always comforting and that is why whenever I can, I always look for them or make them at home. 

Mba Nana, the owner, and I..

In Christchurch, we have many Indonesians residing there so naturally, we also have many Indonesian restaurant there. Welcome (back) to Indo Tempeh, my number 1 go-to Indonesian food corner whenever I come to Christchurch.

Nasi Rendang, anyone..

Indo Tempeh is located in Riverside Market, Christchurch,- pretty much in the city center. The restaurant serves halal, authentic Indonesian food, including vegan menu. As it is strategically located in the Riverside market, many visitors can easily come and stop by.

Whenever we come to Christchurch, - in my case, I came here 5 times during my stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand, - we also stop by here. I even brought many food from here back to Wellington and bring extra during our road trip in the South Island.

I really like the food here. Not only that they are delicious, the menu are halal and authentic as well. As you can see from some of the photos, there are so many wonderful menus being offered. 

Mixed green & yellow rice with crispy fried chicken and Tempe bacem, my favorite 

Here we can have beef rendang, ayam kremes (deep fried chicken with crunchy battered eggs and flour), sayur nangka, risoles, and many more. As you can see, since they mainly produce tempe or soybean cake, various tempe cooked in many ways (sweet, spicy, and/or deeply fried with crunchy flour) are also available. In addition, you can also enjoy turmeric/yellow and pandan/green rice. Super yummy!

The good thing is,  Indo Tempeh also have great vegetarian option , with jackfruit in coconut milk soup and various tempe or soybean cakes. As I mentioned above, there are many delicious choices, including tempe bacem (fried sweet tempe with palm sugar, coriander and herbs), tempe mendoan (deep fried tempe with flour, spices and spring onion), or spicy tempe.

Some choices of Tempe

In addition, they also sell peyek or crispy rice flour chips with peanuts and kering tempe or sweet and spicy fried tempe. They are indeed my favorite as well!

A pack of peyek & kering Tempe 

The last time we came here, some of the tables are available near the stall but on first come, first serve basis. I always manage to get the table for brunch, lunch or dinner. Well, sometimes, I have to patiently wait before we can get enough space for the four of us, or even more as we also came here in groups. 

I know the owner, mba Nana, quite well, as I met her many tomes. We have been in touch through whatsapp as well as I have ordered fresh tempe several times. Mba Nana is one of the stellar examples of successful Indonesian entrepreneurs in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has successfully promoted Tempe and sold it in many supermarkets in New Zealand. Her vegan catering services are also quite famous. So proud of her!

Happy faces after eating delicious Indonesian food

Paid parking is available for Riverside  Market, including for disabled. The market is also disability friendly with accessible entrances and toilets for disabled as well. For sure it is usually packed during rush hours and weekend. Sometimes we have to be patience for a while as we wait for the parking spot.

Can't wait to be back here again!

Make sure you don't miss this place whenever you visit Christchurch.

See you in the next adventure!

Nga Mihi, Aotearoa

 736 days.

Two years and 6 days.

That's the time when us, the Frakarsas, stayed in Aoteroa, New Zealand. 

The land of long, white clouds is really leaving some long-lasting, wonderful memories for the four of us. 

Saying hello from Aotearoa..

Back then in November 2021, arriving in the middle of COVID-19 and lock-down, we certainly had to go through certain procedures that required a lot of preparation and coordination. By the time we landed in this land of Kiwi, we knew it was going to be another unforgettable chapter for us.

Then came along the orange setting and all the adjustment as well as protocol we all have to go through during the pandemic. I remember we all are required to have a pass to actually go out and scan the QR code to 'log in' wherever we go, including to the office and public places. I have to say New Zealand came slightly later when it comes to the obligation to wear mask whenever you are at the public places, while many countries like Indonesia has implemented that policy for quite some times. Even with all the prudent measures taken, we still got infected by COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Well, I set the record of being positive with COVID-19 4 times,- twice in Indonesia and twice in New Zealand, together with Rudi and the kids. Not that I'm proud of it but looks like this is destined to be part of our journey here. Alhamdulillah everything went well and we all were in good condition with no further long term health concerns.

Well, back to our short journey in Aotearoa..

I say short because I am usually posted in countries longer than my designated assignments. Geneva and New York were the examples of that. Instead of 4 years,- my full terms, this time my family and I only stay for two years. Opportunity knocks and I was appointed as one of the new directors in my ministry. Originally, I was assigned until 2025 or even January 2026. But since the beginning of the procedures that I have to go through for this particular position, it has been a family decision. Well, we sat down with the kids and talk a lot about the decision and the implications if I got the job. And now, here we are.. back to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Cheers from the Frakarsas


Happy Happy New Year

Hello, 2024!

Wishing everyone a wonderful year of 2024, filled with blessings, endless joy. health and happiness!

Cheers for brighter days ahead. Semoga kita semua selalu dikaruniai yang terbaik dari Sang Maha Segala. 

Cheers from the Frakarsas

It's been an unforgettable 2023 for #thefrakarsas, as we enjoyed our last year in Aotearoa, New Zealand, before moving back to Indonesia.  So many things have happened and for sure, many places visited and wonderful people,- those who became parts of our family,- we met along the way. Pertinent decisions were made in 2023 as well, including those that will change and heavily impact the course of our lives.

2023 has taught us many things as well, including how we, the Frakarsas, all depend on one another, while at the same time supporting each and everyone of us. 
one of our wonderful trips at the South Island, New Zealand

We made many important decisions this year, especially those related to the future of the kids. We have arrived at the point when we will be physically separated in order to pursue our dreams. Bo and Obi are growing up and my husband and I have to definitely work on next phase of our lives. 

will certainly miss my boy..

The plan is for Bo to continue his study in Aotearoa New Zealand and Obi for the the time being will stay with us in Indonesia. Obviously, with the help of technology and all the facilities we can utilize nowadays, space and distance won't be problems anymore. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, insya Allah semoga semua jalan dilancarkan dan mohon doanya ya teman - teman. 

first time touching the Llama :)

I have been blessed with so many great things that I might not be able to dwell on one by one. For sure, we started 2023 at that time with a great vibe and unforgettable trip to the Northern part of New Zealand. 

Then along the year, I managed to visit 9 countries, without me realizing it. I managed to visit, among others, Samoa (for the very first time!), came back to Cooks Islands, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Turkey, Switzerland and of course, Indonesia! Not to mention many parts of beautiful Aotearoa, New Zealand.

At the same year, I also have to move to 3 houses! One of the records during my existence and career. And for the first time ever, I travelled back home with my mom and my son with 17 luggages as the same time! Hah... never have I thought it would happen to me ever!  For the first time, the Frakarsas went on 6-hour hiking and tracking. For the first time as well, we cooked layers cake or lapis legit, and it didn't work well LOL. Well, so many 'first time' that we experienced here in New Zealand and beyond. Well, so many 'first time' that we experienced here in New Zealand and beyond.

So, that's a little story I have in the beginning of 2024.

I will certainly share more about all those experiences and hope to see you around on the next post!


It was windy and cold, as we started assembling for the flag - raising ceremony this morning. 

Yet, our hearts were warm with pride as we saw Merah Putih, our national flag, was gallantly fluttering against Aotearoa’s blue sky. A beautiful, historic day! 

Pengalaman indah di bumi Aotearoa merayakan genap 78 tahun usia negeri tercinta, kebanggaan kita semua, Indonesia. #thefrakarsas beruntung bisa menjadi bagian dari cerita penuh warna tentang jalan panjang perjuangan, indahnya persatuan dan persaudaraan serta memaknai kemerdekaan. Alhamdulillah… merci ya Rabb ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ™.

Saya dan @bofrakarsa were proudly wearing our Tapis from beloved hometown, Lampung. A bit mix and match I know (apologies for that) but proud to wear my Siger and the set of West Lampung Tapis I got as my dowry (thanks sweet ๐Ÿ’œ @frakarsa ).

Bo was wearing his Tapis and Kiket, the headrest for Lampungnese males, Manuk Mekhem or the sleeping bird (CMIIW please ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡). Well, again happy and proud to wear them ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ 

 These are only a tiny bit of fun photos I took today, so bear with me ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜‰ 

 Merdeka ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Welcome to Whakapapa - It’s Snow Time at Aotearoa New Zealand

It’s Snow Time at Aotearoa New Zealand 

Kia Ora,

Apa kabar semua? 

Welcome back to and let’s continue our adventure here in New Zealand. This time, I have a little story about how us, the Frakarsas, enjoys winter time in the land of the long clouds.

This year is the second winter we have here in the Kiwi land. Yet, last year’s winter was a but fuzzy and blurry as we had so many things going on in July- September 2022. I somehow remembered cold, wet winter days last year, which is not too different from now. However, this year we manage to drive up North to see the snow and enjoy a bit of fun out there.

On our way to Ruapehu and Tongariro National Park

So on one long weekend, we drove to Tongariro National Park and went to Whakapapa, a ski area in this beautiful place.It took us 4 hours to drive there and we decided not to stay over night in Ruapehu, the nearby village. After that long drive, welcome to Whakapapa - it's snow time at Aotearoa New Zealand !

We got our ticket for 1-hour sledding in Happy Valley, Whakapapa. The ticket for the 4 of us cost NZD 89.54, including taxes and surcharges.

Got our ticket and we were ready!

Obi and Bo were excited, as the last time we played in the snow was back in New York City. When we arrived, it was foggy and rainy, yet we managed to enjoy riding our sled and go up with the magic carpet ride. Bo actually wanted to try the snowboarding but we were a bit late due to the traffic up to the Whakapapa ski station. Well, fog and rain are not helping.

Bo posing with his sledding board

Yet, we arrived and directly got our ticket at the machine. After that, we went down to the Happy Valley (What a perfect name for the place :) ) and lined up to get to the area for sledding

There were three lanes we could use and it was again fun to play in the snow, screaming around and hitting the snow piles. One hour flew fast and although we wanted to continue, it was too cold and freezing already. So, we called it a day and just wrapped it up the same time as the Happy Valley was about to close.

FIFA Women World Cup in Wellington

Do you like football?

I do! Although I don’t fully understand the regulations and the latest updates from the field but I always enjoy the festivities and the vibes during big matches and competitions.

This year, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia are co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup.  Can you imagine the excitement we have here!

the match between New Zealand and the Philippines

Poneke Wellington is also selected as one of the cities in Aotearoa New Zealand which will be hosting the matches, besides Auckland, Hamilton, and Dunedin.

Obviously, the Frakarsas won’t miss the chance to see the matches! We got the tickets for the match between New Zealand and the Philippines, which was held on Tuesday, 25th of July, 2023. The match was held in Wellington Regional Stadium.  It was quite a match and we were supporting the Philippines as part of the ASEAN Sisterhood, but we also hoped New Zealand would play well on this match.

What a game indeed! For the first time, the Philippines won and beat the host New Zealand 1 - 0. There was an offside goal made by New Zealand so unfortunately it didn’t change the scores. New Zealand team was very aggressive and offensive, sent many shots on goal but the Philippines’ goal keeper or goalie is so good! No wonder she became the player of the day! 

I hope we can watch more games as the matches continue till mid August. It’s time to get more tickets. 

The three of us after the game..

Me holding the scarf of the match of the day, between NZ and the Philippines

Do you like watching football as well? How about women’s football? 

Do you like watching it directly at the stadium if you get the chance or you prefer watching it on TV? Share your experience here on the comments and see you on the next adventures!

WW: Lebaran Day Feast

Eid Mubarak!

Here's a little photo album of the food that we prepared and enjoyed during the celebration of Eid al Fitr in Wellington. 

Get yourselves ready!

Can you tell me what we have on the dining table? 

Lot's of familiar things I believe!

I bet you cook many special food as well for Eid celebration. Which one is your favorite and who do you cook it with? 

Eid Mubarak from Aotearoa

Eid Mubarak, everyone!

Happy to send the greetings from Aotearoa for the victorious day of Eid Al Fitr from my family to you all.

This year, we celebrated the Eid for the second time in the land of the long clouds. Ramadhan has been beautifully and solemnly observed and I have to admit that this year, the fasting month went so well. Busy days at the office and schools in the case of my kids didn't dampen our spirits to really enjoy the holy month. It's been colorful and for sure rewarding.

Our colorful days during Ramadhan 1444H

My husband and I even managed to join many ifthar gatherings and taraweh prayer with UMI or Umat Muslim Indonesia in Wellington. Every weekend, we had the ifthar gatherings and every Saturday, in different places that had been arranged with the committee, consisting of ummah living in particular neighborhood in Wellington.

This year has been a blessing and again, I would like to once again extend the warmest Eid greetings to all my moslem sisters and brothers, wherever you are. I trust you all are enjoying this precious time with your loved ones. Mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

By the way, nearing the D-day, about 8 days before lebaran, my hubby got COVID-19. I did the test and mine got back with 2 lines as well although I have no symptoms. Udi had been coughing and having cold, then on the 3rd day he lost the taste. That was when we took the test and it was positive. 

So, we isolated at home and probably it's like the blessing in disguise. Good thing we were not heavily impacted by the symptoms this time. So, we both had time to cook extra.

some of the cookies we made

We really ended up with kastengels, nastar, lidah kucing, and kacang goreng. Plus rendang, opor ayam, sambal goreng udang, acar dan ketupat instan. Sounds like a feast, right! A lot to cook and a lot to share as well. 

Then on the D-day, we all gathered in Karori Normal School Hall which has been rented by UMI for the venue of this year's Eid Al Fitr prayer. Beautiful shermont was given and aroun 300 of us gathered in here and enjoyed Eid. After that, we visited some houses of our seniors and elderies in Wellington. It's great to come and meet them and also keep our silahturahmi. When the time is slightly noon, as we have 5 hours different with Wellington ahead, I have a video call with my family in Indonesia. That completed our day of Eid celebration this year! 

The next day, we had some guests coming and we hiked afterwards! How's your lebaran day? Share with me in the comments ya.