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Carving out a new life in New Zealand

PUBLISHED: 09:58 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:47 05 July 2010

THEN: Andy and Tricia on their wedding day in Carlton Colville in 1988

THEN: Andy and Tricia on their wedding day in Carlton Colville in 1988

BASKING in beautiful scenery, a couple originally from Lowestoft have never looked back since they headed for the other side of the world eight years ago.

AND NOW: Andy and Tricia in their new home of Kaikoura

BASKING in beautiful scenery, a couple originally from Lowestoft have never looked back since they headed for the other side of the world eight years ago.

Andy and Tricia Pike left their family and friends behind when they packed up and left for New Zealand in 2000, and after years of happiness in their new country, they would recommend the life-changing step to anyone considering a move to the land of the Kiwi.

Andy, 51, and Tricia, 44, first met in 1983, shortly after Andy had taken over the Hotel Katherine, in Kirkley Cliff Road. Tricia was working at the hotel as a chef, but soon they would be running the business together as they married in Carlton Colville, in October 1988.

In the early 1990s the pair felt an urge to travel and live abroad and the laidback lifestyle of New Zealand, together with its similarity to Britain, appealed.

In 1995 they made a three week trip to the country and took the opportunity to see if it was everything they hoped it would be.

“We had travelled overseas on holidays but landing in Auckland was the first time that we had gone somewhere and it immediately felt like home to us and not at all as though we were in a different country,” said Andy.

The couple returned to the country in October 1998 to look at potential future homes and by November 1999 they had been granted residency. In August 2000 they packed all of their belongings into a metal container and by October they had made their way for the South Island.

“A lot of people and friends had said how brave we were in making such a huge move. We never ever looked it at that way, we had wanted to do this move and had worked on the idea that if it didn't work out, we could always go back to the UK. The one thing we didn't want was to get another 10 years down the line and think; I wish we had done that move,” said Andy.

Their first month was spent living in motels in Christchurch, but after struggling to find work they moved for Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Here they immediately found jobs and an apartment to rent, spending eight months in the southern resort.

The couple decided not to settle in Queenstown, instead choosing Kaikoura, a small town on the east coast that they had visited for a whale watching adventure on their first trip to the country.

Here Andy and Tricia bought a home and by the end of 2001 they opened the doors of Lemon Tree Lodge, a boutique bed and breakfast.

“In seven years the business has gone well for us, we have met many nice people from all around the world and even had guests throughout that time that lived in or close to Lowestoft,” said Andy.

“We have managed to keep in touch with some old friends. We have had one or two come out and visit but realise it is a long way. It would be nice for anyone who we haven't been in contact with to let us know how they are all doing.”

The couple are happy to speak to anyone thinking of living or holidaying in New Zealand. They can be contacted by emailing “Journal feedback” to info@lemontree.co.nz

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