Last week I was sent this wee parcel, and got especially excited to see that it has been sent all the way from New Zealand. I felt a pang of homesickness as I haven’t been back in over a year.

New Zealand has to be┬áthe most pristine, naturally beautiful country in the world (but as a Kiwi myself, ofcourse I’m biased!). It is therefore very exciting to get introduced to┬áAntipodes, a natural beauty brand based on organic ingredients derived from New Zealand.

Antipodes is a genuine ‘green beauty’ brand that is proudly conceptualized and created in New Zealand. Certified vegetarian, Antipodes is designed for eco-conscious world citizens. Click here for more information on the Antipodes brand ethos.

One idle, sunny afternoon, my siblings and I headed to The Square, the heart of the city of Palmerston North, New Zealand. After a few mundane grocery chores, my sister treated us to a taco lunch.

She has been raving about Dos Locos Taco┬ásince I landed in New Zealand. This Mexican food truck has been setting trails ablaze in the foodie scene of Palmerston North. Owned and operated by a very lovely couple of Mexican and South American descent, the business first started off in New York, America’s street-food central.

dos locos tacos mexican food truck

My father was a very active member of the community at Palmerston North (New Zealand). He was a member of the Rose Society, had acted as president of the cultural society three times over, and was always involved in fund-raising events for the local Islamic Center. In retrospect, his social life has definitely been more varied and meaningful than mine.

On 21st February, Palmerston North held its annual Esplanade Day at the very popular grounds of the Esplanade. Here, small businesses and communities take up stalls selling all kinds of nifty, often handmade items, at exceptionally good prices. A makeshift stage is set up with live music and local entertainment, and members of the Islamic Center also put up a stall here to raise funds for the upkeep of the center’s needs.┬á

With a population just over 80K and covering an area of 336 square kilometers, my gorgeous little hometown of Palmerston North, New Zealand can be considered pretty tiny by global comparisons.

However, this little city has earned itself a number of titles. It is known as the ‘Knowledge City’ of New Zealand, given the number of highly reputable educational institutions it houses for its size (the biggest, and oldest campus being Massey University from where I proudly earned my three tertiary degrees in Marketing).

Palmerston North is also known as the ‘City of Roses’ owing to its very well-loved Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden.

Palmerston-North-Rose garden

I booked my trip home to New Zealand on Singapore Airlines. However, the flights between Singapore and New Zealand were operated by Air New Zealand as the two airlines have a partnership deal through Star Alliance.

I’ve flown Air New Zealand domestically within New Zealand, and have never been too impressed. The aircrafts for one are very tiny, and all you get onboard is a cup of tea or coffee accompanied by a miniature biscuit (it still makes me giggle how the flight attendants even announce this: ‘In a few minutes we will be serving you tea or coffee along with a biscuit‘!).

However, for the longer haul, Air New Zealand’s international flights are a class apart.┬áBeing a Kiwi myself, perhaps this is biased but here’s 3 reasons I thought Air New Zealand was ‘Sweet As’!

air new zealand sweet as

Much has changed in Palmerston North, the little township of New Zealand I fondly call home. The bustling Broadway Ave is a ghost of its former self with big retail giants like Farmers moving into the grotesquely expanding mall, The Plaza. About a decade ago, the city center of Palmerston North spread beyond The Plaza, and I quite miss the charm of walking about town for my weekly dose of retail therapy.

Although the town looks shuffled with old favorites gone, and newbies playing trumps with bigger, brighter and newer signage, a few of my favorite foodie haunts have managed to survive the tests of time.

Here are 3 must-try places for foodies visiting Palmerston North:

palmerston north new zealand food restaurant review thai indian cafe cuba silk cake

Sunday morning was gloomy grey. The skies were dim with a hint of drizzle, and I would have continued nesting in my warm bed had my sister not announced she was heading to the weekly Palmy Farmer’s Market.

The Palmy Farmer’s Market sets up in Palmerston North every Saturday and Sunday morning from as early as 7 am till noon. It is a collection of stalls set up by local farmers from the neighboring towns, and Palmerston North residents flock here every weekend for great deals on fresh, organic farm produce.

Palmy Farmers Market flea market palmerston north new  zealand organic farm produce vegetables health maori samoan pacific island (3)

daffodil day new zealand cancer society 28th august 25th anniversary donate (3)
A daffodil from my father’s garden.

28th August, 2015: Today marks the 25th anniversary of Daffodil Day in New Zealand.

Daffodil Day is Cancer Society New Zealand’s annual fundraising event. It was created to raise cancer awareness, as well as encourage donations for cancer research and funding the care of cancer patients in New Zealand.

Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings, and is therefore the perfect icon for Cancer Society New Zealand.