When Woman's Day chats to Lexie Brown and Hamish Boyt via Zoom from her family home at O¯hope in the Bay of Plenty, it's the day after the finale of The Bachelorette NZ and the pair are excited that their relationship is finally public after three months of sneaking around.
"We went out for coffee this morning and we're going out for dinner tonight!" exclaims Lexie, 31, snuggling up to her grinning boyfriend. "After months and months, knowing we can leave the house together is a relief, although the beach has been quite quiet the last couple of days, so we've been able to go fishing with my nan and pop, and catch up with some family."
Immediately after Hamish, 30, received that final rose back in November, the pair spent their first night together at Russell's luxurious Donkey Bay Inn. Lexie recalls, "We picked up some pizza and calamari, and I had a bottle of champers. We relaxed – the show was so hectic, it was so good just to sit down!"
Since then, the lovebirds have spent almost every moment together, enjoying adventurous trips around the country, hiking, climbing mountains, sailing, skydiving, and watching lots of sunrises and sunsets.
"That was before people knew who we were, so we could get out there on little missions," explains Hamish, referring to the period before The Bachelorette was announced.
After that, the pair were forced to wear wigs when they went out in public. Lexie laughs, "I have a blonde wig and Hamish has a really ridiculous curly red one that makes him look like a middle-aged woman, but we managed to fool this guy when we went bowling!"
However, more important than all the adventures has been getting to know each other properly. Lexie tells, "We really didn't know each other. We rarely spoke in a real way on the show. It doesn't really foster any natural interaction or allow people to completely be at ease and be themselves, so we've enjoyed doing that."
So what has she learnt about her new man?
"Well, Hamish likes getting up really early, like 6am, for no reason," she replies instantly, shooting a mock glare at the Whangārei travel blogger.
He responds, "Lexie loves hummus, peanut butter, blueberries…"
"And he eats bananas every morning!" she interrupts. "He'll have a meltdown if there are no bananas in the house – but don't take a banana on a boat or he'll be angry!"
"Bananas on boats are bad luck!" Hamish retaliates.
"Well, that's an ancient superstitious thing that Lexie didn't know about, OK?" she grins.
So, wait, was their first proper argument about a banana?
"Oh, no, don't worry about that – we've had a few fights," Lexie tells. "The banana was just one of them. It's normal. We came off the show and didn't really know each other, so being together 24/7 is quite intense – you'd have arguments no matter who you were with."
Speaking of Lexie's other options on The Bachelorette, the Wellington marketing executive reveals she's had video chats with all the contestants since the TVNZ 2 series was filmed. "With no cameras and no pressure, I saw so much more of those guys in a 10-minute call than I did on the show," she shares.
"Everyone was awesome and they feel they were a really boring version of themselves on the show because they didn't have the opportunity to let loose. I loved catching up with them all and I can't wait to see them in real life when we film the reunion."
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