My recent ramble about friends “down under” reflected on my good fortune to have past trainees who have been kind enough to entertain us in Australia. A related medical connection took us also to New Zealand, where we were hosted by Linda Robert. We met “Bobbie” many years ago as the owner of OBEX, a medical device company in Auckland. She was handling endoscopic accessories produced by our long-time dear friend and supporter, Don Wilson, founder of the Wilson-Cook company. We discovered a mutual interest in golf and “the rest is history”.
Over the last two decades we have competed with Bobbie, Tommo and accompanying friends on a series of wonderful golf courses in New Zealand. It is “golf heaven”. You might start in the north Island with Kauri Cliffs, then amazing Tara Iti (recently ranked #2 in the world outside the USA), sister course Te Arai and, if feeling really strong, challenge yourself on monumental Cape Kidnappers at Hawke’s bay. The windshield blew out of our golf cart one windy day there!
Then down the South Island to the Kinloch course near Lake Taupo, and awesome Jacks Point near Queenstown. We stay at the Millbrook resort, whose courses are currently hosting the NZ open. There are others….
But sublime golf is only a small part of New Zealand’s charm. The scenery is stunning, not least down the rugged west coast of the South island, which we drove along recently with Rob, Kyra, Linda, Bobbie (and Fred), after taking the train through the mountains.
Add excellent food, with plenty of my favorite Asian twists, and of course, the WINE. We specialize in Savignon Blanc, much of which comes from the Marlborough district. I was reunited there on this visit with John Inder. We were young doctors together in Leamington Spa just 56 years ago. The Hawke’s Bay winery region took a hit with Cyclone Gabrielle, but our favorite (Craggy Range) was spared. I gave a lecture to some surgeons at that winery some years ago. Why not?
Add beaches, boat and helicopter rides, and sheep shearing to the mix
And so many good people and long-time friends.
And lots of sunshine in February!
New Zealand is indeed wonderful, but a long way away. The jet lag is brutal, but worth it.
All part of life’s rich tapestry
(Can someone please tell me why some images are half-shadowed? And how can I increase the font in the captions?)