I like the West Coast beaches - not all bright blue and welcoming for swimming and sunbathing like the Aus ones but what I grew up with - mine is in the North Island and was often grey but somewhere we enjoyed going to very much.
On the other side (it's an inlet) Ian got chatting to a guy coming in in his boat and he suggested the best time to visit was in the winter when the snow is on the Southern Alps - all wrapped up and with plenty of books to read.
We have actually done a little Christmas shopping today. Progress......
I have been playing around with my header - Blogger must have changed the formula as i lost half of it so I wasted several hours getting sorted. I have now got a different one on each blog - sort of keeps you busy.