Cardrona, A Unique Stop at South Island, New Zealand - South Island, Here We Come

 
As we continued the trip in our South Island, New Zealand road trip, here's one of the special place I'd like to share to you all.

To those who have been following the stories of our travel recently, you know that we had a road trip starting from Christchurch to so many cities along the way to the southern part of South Island Aotearoa New Zealand. Some of the cities we visited include Akaroa, Fairlie, Lake Tekapo, Mt. Cook, Twizel, and Cardrona, then down to Wakana, Queenstown, Invercargill, Bluff, Balclutha, The Caitlins and Dunedin. A lot of cities indeed and we were 11 days on the road!

Anyway, on our way down from Mt. Cook area heading to Queenstown, we stopped at Cardrona. Cardrona is famously known as the ski-resort area dotted with amazing landscapes and slopes, with historic spots deriving from the gold mining era in this region. 

We drove here from Twizel, after enjoying our remarkable stay near the Aoraki Mt. Cook area and tasting various delicious salmon plates.

Welcome to Cardrona

We didn’t really stop for a long time in this city but we managed to stop at Cardrona Hotel and one unique stop, Bradona.   

Cardrona Hotel is one jewel in the middle of picturesque valley, famous for its rustic and charming setting as well as historical episodes, originating from the gold rush era in this area. 

the story goes back in 1863...

I have to admit I was so intrigued to see what's inside the hotel. Imagine throwing yourself on the gold rush era, starting from 1863, while people were flocking from different corners of the world and tried their luck. Having this hotel as one of the hubs, I can imagine the merry and colorful stories from those episodes of history.

Obi and I in front of Cardrona Hotel and its antique car.


We didn't stay here and although I was originally planning to sit down for a quick coffee or tea, we were already behind scheduled and tired. We managed to take quick pictures in front of the hotel and even when I tried to get some souvenirs, the shops were closed for a while. Well, just our luck. So we skipped enjoying this unique hotel and hopefully we will get a chance to visit this place again. 

There is an Olde School House next to the hotel and we managed to have a quick look as well here. 


Judging from the name, perhaps it used to be the school building back in the days. But now, it becomes shop, art gallery, and artisanal hub where we can get souvenirs and merchandise.


I just love this green corner


After a quick photo at Cardrona Hotel and the surroundings, we stopped at Bradrona.


the panoramic snap of Bradrona

Beautifully placed in the middle of picturesque valley of Central Otago, between Wanaka and Queenstown, the fences in Bradrona were packed with hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of bras serves as a great reminder about the importance of taking care of ourselves and at the same time spreading the awareness about breast cancer.

Many left their bras with some writings and notes on it, telling a little story and where they are from. Some stated the countries they were originally from, some shared stories about the fight against breast cancer, others wrote the memoirs of their loved ones. So much love in there. It really warms my heart.


Posing with Obi at Bradrona :)

As a breast cancer survivor, I feel like this is the spot that I should not miss while visiting the area. Bradrona is not just a quirky place where people put and left their bras as a form of solidarity to breast cancer survivors, but it also signifies the strong support and love to all cancer fighters. In the reel that I have shared in my Instagram account @insav, you can see more of the place. 


There is a box for donation for New Zealand Breast Cancer foundation @pinkribbonnz so you are welcomed to contribute to the fight against breast cancer as well.

the donation box at Cardrona

Btw, World Cancer Day 2023 is celebrated in February each year. So when I stopped by here at the end of January and witnessed the overwhelming support to breast cancer fighters and survivors, I feel so blessed that I have received so many supports, help and assistance from my friends and family. Lucky me indeed. And hopefully, in the future, there will be more breakthrough in cancer treatment so we can witness the world with less or even with no cancer. 

In sya Allah.

Right after Cardrona, we stopped by at Wanaka and relaxed at Lake Hawea, and even briefly enjoyed Lindis Pass. Will get back with more stories on those marvelous places.

will get back to you on this...





Ramadhan in Wellington Aoteroa New Zealand - First Week

Ramadhan Kareem..

Bulan penuh berkah yang selalu kita nantikan bersama telah tiba.

Alhamdulillah ini Ramadhan kedua kali untuk kami #TheFrakarsas di Aotearoa New Zealand. Senang sekali rasanya! Tidak terasa sudah hampir dua tahun kami merasakan tinggal di negeri unik di kawasan Pasifik ini dan meskipun banyak suka dukanya, termasuk pindah rumah yang kedua kalinya di Wellington, tapi kami sangat mensyukuri karunia dan berkah-Nya hingga saat ini.

As we have experienced before, we are doing Ramadhan and fasting in the country where majority of the population is non-Moslem. So as always, we have to be able to manage our expectation and circumstances during this blessed holy month. It's not really a problem for me and my husband as adults but for my kids, who still need to go to school from 8.50 - 3.10 PM everyday, fasting is still a bit challenging. But I do trust that Bo et Obi will be able to handle all these challenges during Ramadhan. They even have many school activities and events such as sports, fun cross country and more. 

Nikmat berpuasa di negara orang tetap kami rasakan berkat keberadaan keluarga besar Umat Muslim Indonesia (UMI) Wellington. UMI Wellington adalah kumpulan para umat muslim Indonesia yang ada di Wellington dan UMI telah berdiri cukup lama,  sejak tahun 2008. 

bersama Obi, Shirin dan Tussie .. bagian dari keluarga besar KBRI Wellington 

Dari 9 pendiri asli UMI, saat ini jemaah anggota UMI sudah mencapai kurang lebih 1000 orang. Sebagian besar ada di Wellington, namun banyak juga yang pindah ke kota lain di Selandia Baru ataupun kembali ke Indonesia karena masa tugas atau belajarnya sudah selesai.



Berbagai kebiasaan unik yang kita jalani di tanah air sebagian bisa kita rasakan saat kumpul bersama keluarga besar UMI Wellington. Salah satunya adalah seperti kegiatan Tarling atau Taraweh keliling yang diruanrumahi berbagai komunitas muslim Indonesia di Wellington secara bergiliran.

Minggu pertama Ramadhan 1444H, keluarga besar Hutt City menjadi tuan rumah Tarling pertama di bulan Ramadhan 1444H dilakukan di Naenae College, Lower Hutt. Alhamdulillah .. acara berjalan lancar dan senang banget ikutan Tarling karena yang hadir di acara berbuka puasa sampai pelaksanaan sholat taraweh ramai, menambah keceriaan Ramadhan. 

mendengarkan ceramah sambil menunggu waktu berbuka

Tarling kali ini diawali dengan ceramah dari Ustadz Ali Al-Bahar yang dilakukan secara daring mengenai keutamaan Ramadhan. Ceramah yang menyejukkan dan menyegarkang kembali ingatan kita akan indahnya bulan suci ini. 

Flyer tarling dengan keluarga besar Hutt City

Selesai ceramah, kita menunggu sebentar hingga azan berbuka. Bahagianya saat mendengar azan walaupun hanya di ruangan yang kita sewa dan kami pun segera berbuka puasa. Tak lama kemuadian, kami melakukan shalat maghrib berjamaah, yang dilanjutkan dengan makan malam. Kali ini, makan malam yang disediakan antara lain terdiri dari nasi putih, daging sapi lada hitam, sup brenebon, dan ayam bakar bumbu kecap, lengkap dengan lalapan dan sambal serta kerupuk. Untuk takjil, ada bubur kacang hiaju, kue pukis, bakwan, risol, mini donat dan juga kurma. Alhamdulillaaaah, nikmat tak terkira. 

ayam bakar, anyone?

Usai makan malam, kami pun melanjutkan ibadah sholat taraweh hingga selesai. Sesudahnya, kami membantu panitia membereskan tempat pertemuan yang kita sewa dan kembali pulang untuk istirahat dan bersiap untuk sahur di hari berikutnya.


 Selama acara, tidak lupa kami mengabadikan banyak foto bersama teman - teman yang hadir dalam Tarling kali ini. Rasanya seperti mini reuni, walaupun kami kerap bertemu di pengajian, baik yang berlangsung luring maupun daring.

cheers from all the ladies yang menjadi panitia Tarling kali ini


Oh ya teman - teman... saat ini UMI Wellington sedang berikhtiar mendirikan masjid untuk mendirikan masjid Indonesia pertama di Wellington, Selandia Baru. Ikhtiar besar ini dilakukan dengan semangat tinggi dan niat baik untuk mendapat ridha  dan berkah-Nya. Memang tidak mudah dan memnbutuhkan biaya yang sangat besar namun in sya Allah UMI Wellington, bahu - membahu dengan umat muslim lainnya di seluruh dunia, berusaha menwujudkan mimpi indah ini. Saya sendiri mendapat kepercayaan untuk bergabung dengan pengurus UMI tahun 2023 dan juga bagian dari panitia pembangunan masjid UMI Wellington. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim semoga segalanya berjalan lancar ya.




Untuk informasi lengkapnya, check out our website untuk informasi tentang UMI dan juga proposal pembangunan masjid/Indonesian Islamic Center di Wellington, Selandia Baru di link berikut ini ya:

*www.umiwellington.org.nz*


Sekiranya teman - teman ingin berpartisipasi dan bergabung bersama kami untuk mencari berkah-Nya, klik link www.launchgood.com di bawah ini yaaa..


https://www.launchgood.com/campaign/lets_build_a_mosque_in_wellington_new_zealand?src=1827062&fbclid=IwAR0Q38NfCDmfLlhI8vJCXA4tm0-VE4ERpDpD6nC0ZgXDz8N60YfKFFrsK0o#!/


Selain melalui platform Launchgood, berikut Info rekening donasi

Pembangunan Masjid Indonesia di Wellington, NZ


Rekening Indonesia: 

BRI 3781-01-000007-566

Atas nama Irdan Moh Arkan 


Rekening New Zealand:

Westpac Bank: 03-0525-0022413-001

Swift code: WPACNZ2W


Stay tune for more news on this campaign, termasuk Tabligh Akbar Online bersama untuk kick-off rencana baik ini πŸ™


Mohon bantuan doa, penyebaran informasi terkait rencana baik ini, dan juga dukungan donasi untuk mewujudkan masjid Indonesia ini. Jangan bosan - bosan ya kalau aku broadcast informasi ini berkali - kali nantinya.


Let’s build Indonesian Islamic Center and mosque in Wellington, New Zealand

πŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•Œ


Wassalamualaikum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuh



Ramadhan Kareem from Aotearoa New Zealand

Assalamualaikum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuh 

Alhamdulillaaah.. Ramadhan is here.

Semoga kita semua selalu dalam lindungan-Nya dan mendapat segala berkah, ampunan, dan petunjuk-Nya di bulan suci ini πŸ™.

The holy month of Ramadhan is here and I am so blessed to  be able to enjoy this month of repentance, self-resistance, perseverance and empathy. The month when, once again, we are given the chance to reborn, to be a better self.


In sya Allah, this will be our second Ramadhan in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Read our first Ramadhan in Wellington here : Welcoming Ramadhan in Wellington

For 2024 or 1444H in Islamic calendar, we are enjoying Ramadhan in the middle of Fall, right after summer down here. In terms of time, it’s pretty much similar to the length of fasting in Indonesia. 

In the first week of Ramadhan, until the end of March, we roughly started the fasting at 6 AM until 7.30 PM. So it is around 13.5 hours fasting. Later in the beginning of April 2023, we will have daylight saving, when the time is adjusted in accordance with the movement of the sun. Then our fasting will start from 5.11 AM to 6.17 PM. So, it's pretty much similar to Indonesia. So, my family and I are super happy.


As you know, while we were posted in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, US, we experienced Ramadan in the middle of long summer days. Well, it was quite an experience and alhamdulillah, everything run smoothly at that time.  

Read our Ramadhan story in New York City here: Ramadhan with the Kids

I sincerely hope Ramadhan will bring all the best of us and may we all who observe it will manage to do all the good deeds and get jannah as we deserve. And what makes this Ramadhan special is that us, Umat Muslim Indonesia (UMI) Wellington, is planning to build an Indonesian mosque in Wellington, New Zealand. Last week, on the first weekend in this Ramadhan, we had Tarling or Taraweh Keliling, hosted by one group of Indonesia community in Wellington. I guess I will share the event on a separate post. 

Saat ini, UMI Wellington sedang berikhtiar untuk mendirikan masjid Indonesia di Wellington, Selandia Baru. Ikhtiar besar yang dilakukan dengan semangat tinggi dan niat baik untuk mendapat ridha  dan berkah-Nya.

Untuk informasi lengkapnya, check out our website untuk informasi tentang UMI dan juga proposal pembangunan masjid/Indonesian Islamic Center di Wellington, Selandia Baru di www.umiwellington.org.nz

Sekiranya teman - teman ingin berpartisipasi dan bergabung bersama kami untuk mencari berkah-Nya, klik link www.launchgood.com dan bisa mencari kampanye let's build a mosque in Wellington New Zealand

Selain melalui platform Launchgood, berikut Info rekening donasi Pembangunan Masjid Indonesia di Wellington, NZ, jika teman - teman berkenan bergabung.

Indonesia: 

BRI 3781-01-000007-566  Atas nama Irdan Moh Arkan 


New Zealand

West Pack Bank: 03-0525-0022413-001, Swift code: WPACNZ2W

Stay tune for more news on this campaign, termasuk Tabligh Akbar Online bersama untuk kick-off rencana baik ini πŸ™

Mohon bantuan doa, penyebaran informasi terkait rencana baik ini, dan juga dukungan donasi untuk mewujudkan masjid Indonesia ini.

Let’s build Indonesian Islamic Center and mosque in Wellington, New Zealand

πŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•ŒπŸ•Œ


Once againRamadhan kareem, dear friends. May Allah SWT bestow us with endless blessings.

Wassalamualaikum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuh


Lake Tekapo continued and Twizel - South Island - Here We Come

Kia Ora..

Hope everyone is fine and I would love to continue our trip to the South Island.

So far, I have shared some of our trip to Christchurch, Akaroa, Hooker Valley, Lake Tekapo, and Queenstown. I certainly still have so many cities and beautiful spot to share here.

Let’s go explore more of Lake Tekapo, shall we?

Frankly speaking, I have so many lasting memories in this place. We might only stayed for 2 nights but there is something about Lake Tekapo. I have always a big fun of amazing natural landscape and here, I felt at ease and peaceful. I guess my family felt the same too.

Coming down to Lake Tekapo area from Christchurch and Akaroa, we spent our first night at Mountain Chalet Motels

Welcome to our room at Mountain Chalet Motel..

We got the room for 4 people, which costs us NZD 245 a night. We love this motel, which more like a chalet and very comfy as well. I guess I will share the review of this place separately.


collage of photos of the Mountain Chalet Motel where we stayed in Twizel

After making a stop at the Church of Good Shepherd by the bank of Lake Tekapo, we also manage to explore the area. I have shared many photos of the Church during the twilight hours and even midnight with the star trails. Since we have to wait until almost midnight to get the star trail and the night photos, my kids and I also walk around the lake.


On the first day we arrived in Lake Tekapo area, we already stayed in Twizel. It took us around 20 minutes to go the Lake Tekapo from our hotel.  We kept coming back to the church of the Good Shepherds as this charming church is really a beautiful landmark in this area. 




We considered ourselves lucky as it was a bit cold and windy so we didn't really have many people flocking around. Or they have visited this spot in the middle of the day when the weather was far more friendly. I tried the water in the lake but it was freezing, at least for me and my kids. So instead of getting into the water, we just strolled around the bank and enjoyed the view.



piles of rocks by the bank of the lake

Weeks before we arrived, the bank of Lake Tekapo was packed with lupins.

It's the type of flower which are typically found in this area and when all of the lupins were blooming, it looked like a tapestry of purple and pink lupin fields. The real name of this flower is Russel Lupin, or Lupinus polyphyllus.  And even though it looks beautiful (and mostly purple, my favorite color!), it is considered as pests!

Too bad we arrived rather late in this area and most of the lupins were gone already. But we still saw a few flocking separately in different spots here and there.


the remaining lupins

cann you imagine when lupis are covering this area? :)

My daughter and I..enjoying the lupins

The next day, before we continued heading to the next stop, we explored Twizel city. It’s the city between Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook, so we can easily go back and forth between these 2 amazing places.

And what we love most is that Twizel is famous for its salmon! 

High Country Salmon is where we stopped by to get our brunch before heading to Wanaka and Queenstown. This cafe is very well known for its salmon dishes, including fishing and catching salmon yourself at their pond. Quite famous among tourists and visitors coming to this area.

By the time we arrived at this cafe, we immediately ordered the brunch as we were quite hungry. I was so tempted to get into their fish shop but the kids and my hubby directly took me to the cafe. 



And this is what we ordered...
Big salmon breakfast and salmon with eggs Benedict.
It was super delicious indeed!
I also ordered sashimi and salmon rice ball and salmon sushi for our lunch later.
Everything was so good feels like you want to get more and more. The salmon was fresh, soft yet very tasty, and it was cooked on the spot.
I was actually thinking to bring home the smoked salmon but considering that we were still on the road for some times, I didn't buy it.




Once we were happy with our salmon - infused brunch, we continued the trip. This time, we stopped by at Cardrona and Wanaka, before heading down to Queenstown.

To be continued...

WW: Queenstown from Above - Road Trip in South Island NZ



Still on my series of stories about the Frakarsas' road trip in South Island, Aotearoa New Zealand and this time I will share some photos of Queenstown, particularly the view from above. 

Many have claimed that coming to New Zealand is not complete without visiting this remarkable city. Queenstown has certainly won many people's hearts due to its remarkable landscapes (one of the mountain areas here is named the Remarkables! ), tranquil ambience, clear blue sky, hiking trails and tons of adrenaline - junkie and back to - nature activities you can do here.

For me, our last summer road trip in the South Island was my second chance to visit Queenstown. Last November, I managed to visit this place and enjoyed some parts of it, amidst the meetings that I have to make  together with my Ambassador and my team.


So this time, when I visited Queenstown again with my family, we ensured that we went to Skyline Queenstown. This is the popular place to those loving adventures, including riding the luges and trying bungee jumping! Well, I skipped the bungy jumping but we all took the gondola up to the higher ground and enjoyed unlimited luge rides!  We did try the Skyline luge in Rotorua back in 2022 but at that time, we didn't take the unlimited one because we went to the Hobbiton, the movie set of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits on the same day. So, my kids had specifically requested to have more time in the Skyline luge Queenstown and indeed, tt was really fun to do so

These are some of the photos I took up there, on top of Skyline Queenstown, showing Queenstown from above.

Cheers from the Frakarsas

the other side of Queenstown

We certainly had so much fun here, with the whole morning gone with endless climbing up the gondola and go with the luge again and again. We took many pictures as the view from up there is amazing.



Queenstown, or Tahuna in Māori, is indeed beautiful. 

I’ll be more than happy to go back again here, preferably during winter or fall, to see different faces of this picturesque city.

Btw, for our summer adventures, You can see the short video I prepared from the action camera we put on my son's helmet while enjoying the luge ride here in Skyline Queenstown


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

South Island, Here We Come - Hooker Valley Track - Road Trip in South Island NZ


Hooker Valley Track - Road Trip in South Island NZ 

The roaring sound of water got our attention, as the four of us, the Frakarsas, continued walking on the gravelled track. I looked at my husband and asked, "did you hear that?", with an obvious nod. He instantly took his phone and our action camera while saying,"we're getting close to bridge." And there, in front of us, the swing bridge, beautifully and, at the same time frighteningly, stretched over the valley and the river, was waiting for us. Hooker Valley, we're coming!

Hooker Valley at the mid section of our hike

Let’s continue our trip, after visiting Christchurch and Akaroa as well as Lake Tekapo in the South Island, Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Are you ready?



This time, I will share our stories while enjoying Mt. Cook  and Lake Pukaki area, especially Hooker Valley track.

So ..South Island, Here We Come - Hooker Valley Track - Road Trip in South Island NZ.

Mt. Cook is indeed a famous and must-see landmark in the South Island. Its amazing landscapes, with snow-capped mountains, curvy roads frame with clear blue sky and turquoise water lake, has captivated people’s attention and admiration. That includes the Frakarsas.



Even on our way from Twizel to Mr. Cook, we have been swayed by amazing landscapes along the way. As many others, we stopped in the middle of the road and took pictures! Of course while carefully looking at the traffic and make sure we didn't obstruct it!





We are lucky that when we visited the area the weather was friendly. Not too hot nor too summery, yet it was a bit cloudy but still sunny. As we reached the area, we stayed in Twizel ,- approximately 30 minutes from Mt. Cook and 30 minutes to Lake Tekapo. So it is strategically located in  the middle.

We drove early morning to Mt. Cook as we planned to track and hike in Hooker Valley. It takes 3 - 4 hours return from the parking lot or the starting point to Hooker Lake and back. And we had an amazing hike indeed.

my Nadine and the walking stick :)

happy me on the second bridge.. taking photos in the middle of the swinging bridge 


Let’s take a look at the pictures I took along the way.

the second swing bridge we went through


cheers from the four of us..

We passed 3 swing bridges along the way, with roaring rivers and semi-frozen lakes which are a combination of thrilling walk and magically beautiful views. I was a bit scared as we passed the first bridge but then finally got accustomed and felt a lot more relaxed on the next ones.

So that’s our little story about Hooker Valley and wait for more South Island adventures in South Island, Here We Come  - Road Trip in South Island NZ series.


the pristine nature is so overwhelming