Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our winter vacation will take us to the other side of the world

Twelve days and counting. On Friday, February 10, we leave Boston for what’s sure to be an unforgettable two-week vacation to a destination that’s on many people’s “bucket lists”. We’re heading to New Zealand, one of the last lands to be settled by humans! When we arrive in Auckland, we’re going to start a fast-paced tour of this island nation, seeing and experiencing and eating and drinking as much as we can.

We’re traveling with our friend Mark from Chicago, who has made all of the travel arrangements – for which I am eternally grateful. He’s planned all of our flights, our hotel reservations, our car rentals, and some excursions that sound unbelievable. Peter’s been studying the Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand that I got him for Christmas, and is making a list of options for things to see in each location we visit.

I’ll be posting more details of our trip as it gets closer, but here’s a map of New Zealand showing where we’ll be hopping.

We start in Auckland, way up on the North Island, where we’ll stay for one night before flying to Queenstown on the South Island. We then drive to Lake Te Anau in Fiordland National Park (where we’ll spend one night on a boat cruising Doubtful Sound) before we drive back to Queenstown for a night’s stay. From there, we fly to Wellington, the southern most tip of the North Island, where we’ll stay two nights before driving to Napier for two nights, and then continuing on to Rotorua. “With bubbling mud pools, exploding geysers and surreal-coloured mineral terraces, the 'Sulphur City' and surrounding region never fails to impress,” says The Lonely Planet Guide. We finish our trip by driving back to Auckland where we’ll spend our last night before flying back to Boston via Los Angeles.

We are doing a crash-course in getting to know New Zealand, because we don’t want to miss a thing.

I’d be interested in any and all ideas and suggestions (books to read, websites or blogs to visit, food, drink and/or expedition suggestions, "must-see" attractions, etc.) whether you’ve been to New Zealand or have just always wanted to go. I’ll also be bringing my laptop with us and hope to post photos and recount our adventures on this blog. More details coming soon!


  1. JEALOUS! Wow. That's something else. I'm not sure if you watch Globe Trekker on PBS but it featured NZ a while back:

  2. And here I was all excited about going to California for two weeks....Would love to go to New Zealand. Have a wonderful time!

  3. It looks like it's going to be an exciting trip! Since I've never been there, I look forward to visiting New Zealand vicariously through your blog - so take lots of photos of everything!

    A fellow blogger in France, Gwan, is from NZ. She's really nice and would probably offer suggestions if you contacted her. I'll tell her about your upcoming trip.

    Where in the World is Gwannel Sandiego

  4. Aw thanks Mary Kay! I saw this pop up in my stats and took a look :) Definitely sounds like you're hitting most of the big spots - I would say "no beaches??" but I think you've got enough to do in 2 weeks without them.

    I've never been to Napier so I'm not sure of the best route between there and Rotorua, but I hope you get to drive on the Desert Road past the mountains and Lake Taupo, it's pretty cool!

    It doesn't look like you have enough time to do the Glowworm Caves in Te Anau - I have fond memories of them as a 7 year-old. Doubtful Sound is amazing though! There are actually more famous glowworm caves in Waitomo, which you could hit up on the way back to Auckland if you had time (assuming you like glowworms and caves). It's a bit out of the way from Rotorua though.

    I lived in Wellington for a year. Te Papa, the national museum, is a great place to get an idea of our history and culture. Not sure if you are going with kids, but it's very interactive and modern (or at least it was when I went about 10 years ago, maybe less modern-seeming now). Otherwise, Wellington is great for café culture (and bars, if you like bars).

    Do pop over to my blog if you have any other questions. Have a great trip!

    1. Hello Gwan! thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and your thoughts on our upcoming trip to NZ.
      RE: beaches - don't know if there are any beaches worth visiting in Wellington, but between there and Napier, it looks like that's the closest we'll be to the water. Our itinerary is still coming together, but I i did read about the Glowworm Caves, and it's on my list of things to push for seeing. I'm traveling with my partner and our good friend Mark from Chicago - so no kids, but I'm sure we'll hit up some museums to try and soak up culture and get a better sense of the area we're visiting. And did you mention bars? Yes, we'll probably visit a few!

      Again thanks for your nice note. I'll be sure to visit you on your blog.

  5. I didn't see one mention of you going to Helm's Deep, Isengard, Rohan, Gondor or Rivendell.

    What gives???

  6. Please please take lots and lots of pictures!!! Are you in flickr or something? I'd love to see them...
    I hope you have a marvelous time!!!!

  7. Nice post. For another reason to go to New Zealand look at this post on Great Barrier.



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