We landed in Auckland at midnight and, after Bob's boots received a deep clean to be allowed entry, we were greeted by Mark and transported through the darkness to his parents farm where the rest of team Georgetti slumbered.
It was amazing waking up naturally in a comfy bed rather than with a crick in my neck from an aircraft seat. All of the mystery from arriving in the pitch dark the night before was removed leaving a stunning view of the surrounding farmland from its forested slopes to its lush valley, grazed contentedly by a cohort of 3 year old Bulls. After breakfast it was the boy's job to squeeze these hulking beasts onto the truck (not a lorry) whilst Bob played mermaids with Olivia and Isabelle.
By this time the sun was high in the sky so after being shown Mark and Fi's awesome development plans and learning the names of some of the local trees and plants Mark took it upon himself to try and kill me by going for a run up a local mountain. The view from the top was breathtaking, not that I had much breath left anyway, stretching from the Tasman sea in the West to the Pacific Ocean on the East coast, before returning for a refreshing dip in the pool and lunch.
For our afternoon's entertainment Mark took us to Goat Island marine reserve where we could snorkel, seeing some huge snapper, before kicking back on the beach in the sunshine. Our ever-prepared surrogate parents then produced a magic coolbag containing local sparkling Fijoa wine, cold beers and chilli-philli dips which we enjoyed whilst watching the sun descend towards the sea.
We arrived back at the farm to the sound of sizzling meat and a true New Zealanders BBQ supper, with huge portions of meat and gallons of fantastic wine which comfortably saw us through to the small hours, talking rubbish under an amazing starscape. Our first day in the Antipodes did not disappoint!