Come Travel With Carly Flynn

TOO EASY!

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Looking for a short-haul holiday destination that’s fun for all the family? Head to Rarotonga.

Waitomo Caves - Magic

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We live in paradise. There’s no doubt about it. We just need to remember it. As self-employed parents, my husband and I always seem to put work first, but we made a pact this year to embrace school holidays, to switch off and explore with our wee family. Get off the beaten track and show them stuff that we remember from our childhood. And it’s paying off.

Back on the road with the VW California

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There once was a time when you could have called me a hippie. A halcyon decade where for the best part of every weekend, my husband and I would pack up the van and ditch the work life for the beach life in our old faithful Cyril. No matter the temperature. It was our escape. The teal blue 1972 Kombi van was the first love of our couple life. Weekends in the Coromandel, Raglan, Waiheke even, we lived in it up north for 3 months in a Paihia campground before a few years overseas. Then we paid big money to store Cyril, who waited patiently until we returned.

Rarotonga - the Little Island with a Big heart.

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The more often I visit the Cook Island capital of Rarotonga, the more it occurs to me this is an island not to be taken lightly, or lazily. Forget any romantic notion of turning up and staying at a resort, cocktail in hand, poolside for a week without moving, you will not see the real Rarotonga, much less get the best from it. Island time is still just that in Rarotonga, but this tiny island of just 32 kilometres packs a big punch, and is more accessible, more manageable and more enjoyable than it’s ever been. To my mind, this is an island that has grown up more in the last three years than in the previous 25 since my first visit, which coincided with Cook Island tourism truly beginning.

Wellness Retreats NZ

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It's funny isn't it how we're happy to spend a fair few hundred dollars on a pair of shoes or a new handbag, but we balk at the idea of spending this on our own wellbeing. A monthly massage or facial can take priority over figuring out what's REALLY going on. As regular readers will know, I'm on a bit of a health and wellbeing path these days, determined not to accept that the levels of tiredness and low energy we suffer aren't just a symptom of being a "busy woman in 2014." Taking time out is ESSENTIAL but a gift we rarely give ourselves.

Glamping - Bethells Style

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As you may or may not be aware, I'm a camper from way back.. my parents had us in bassinets in tents right from babies, and my husband and I have carried on the tradition - just not yet with the kids. We get enough sleepless nights without throwing in sunrises and campground noises to wake the kids, but Glamping is a whole different way of camping, and one that ensures an excellent night's rest! I almost don't want to share this with you - for fear of it becoming too popular and, selfishly, meaning we won't get to visit when we want. But the set up at Wainamu Luxury Tents is too good not to share.