In focus: summer picnic at the beach, flowering pohutukawa and other things we loved


In focus is a fortnightly, online update on things that the focus team has loved. New places we have discovered, food we’ve enjoyed and events that have made us happy – here’s a glimpse into our lives from the past two weeks.

New Zealand’s Christmas tree

There really is nothing quite like a pohutukawa in full bloom. Walking round the Mount, the crimson flowers are everywhere and it’s a reminder that Christmas isn’t far away … which means Santa will be coming and I will soon be reunited with my family.

I love the tenacity of this beautiful tree. As they cling to steep cliffs and hillsides they are still able to flourish and this reminds me that beauty can come from adversity. I believe there’s even a grove of pohutukawa trees on White Island which shows just how hardy they are!

Summer picnic at the beach

The pop-up picnic fairy, Cloe Leigh of Cloe’s Creationz and Tauranga’s fav vegan chef, Mila from V on Wheels joined forces last weekend to host a gorgeous fun-filled event at the Mount Maunganui beach. The timing was perfect – after two weeks of rain, it finally felt like summer had returned!

Though Cloe normally sets-up her picnics for private functions, where everyone knows each other, this time she decided to sell tickets online and invite anyone who might be keen to spend an evening in a special way. We ended up having a cosy and diverse company of ten. Some guests were attracted by Mila’s vegan food, others were looking to make new friends and to meet Cloe in person. At the end of the event everyone received a fab goodie bag (latest issue of focus included, of course!)

One couldn’t wish for a better way to relax over a weekend!

Sunset cruise in Raglan

Raglan is one of the most popular summer destinations in New Zealand for many reasons –  there’s awesome surfing, picturesque black sand beaches, trendy cafes with delicious food … but we recently discovered another reason that is definitely worth a two-hour drive from Tauranga, and that is a sunset cruise!

There is something really special about watching the sun set while you are on the water. The Wahine Moe – Maori for Sleeping Lady – is a newly crafted catamaran designed with both luxury accommodation and sunset harbour cruises in mind. The experience was made that much better when we were served hot fish ‘n chips. Wow, life is good!

The tour’s duration is around 2 hours and the price is $59 per adult.