On April 28th, New Zealand moved from Level 4 lock down to Level 3. We've spent our lock down time living in Carterton, a tiny farming village in the heart of the Wairarapa region on the North Island.
Level 3 echoes many of the same sentiments of Level 4: stay home, be kind and maintain social distancing. Key differences are that more kiwis are able to go back to work (with clear restrictions) and we're allowed a little more freedom of movement. We are required to stay within our regions (except for those traveling between for work) but we are able to go further than just our street for exercise and can go on small day tramps (what kiwis call hikes).
So today, the day we were actually scheduled to fly out of New Zealand for our next adventure - those flights were of course cancelled weeks ago - we celebrated by taking a small autumnal drive out to Waiohine Gorge near our town. There was no one else around when we visited and we enjoyed a few glorious hours in the sunshine.
Waiohine Gorge is known for its long-reaching and narrow swing bridge that hangs over the gorge, swinging lazily in the breeze - not for the faint of heart! Luckily, Nico and I are actually quite fond of the thrill of heights and we meandered our way back and forth across, spotting waterfalls and beautiful trees from high up in the air. The swing bridge is just a few minutes walk from the car park which is at the end of a winding gravel road.
Particularly beautiful was the drive there and back; autumnal colours starting to make an appearance with shades of yellow and orange dotted around the countryside and we spotted three simply beautiful horses on one of the many farms we drove past.
So, while we were supposed to be leaving today, we're actually feeling pretty lucky to get to spend a little more unexpected time in our favourite country to ride this thing out.