As well as spending lots of time with my family, I managed to sneak in a bit of wildlifing. My first stop was the Otago peninsula in South Island. The beaches were fantastic.
And hidden in the sands was some spectacular wildlife.
Sea lions haul themselves up on the beach during the day and bury themselves in the sand to keep cool.
But they are always curious in passersby.
These males enjoyed the odd tussle and fight over dominance of the females.
Also hidden in the dunes were these yellow-eyed penguins - the rarest penguin in the world.