Reply
Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

New Zealand and Australia

[ Edited ]

I returned from my 5 weeks in NZ and Australia. It was so bittersweet! I loved my time in both places, but it is always good to be home in the US! Based on the miles calculated by United, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, we flew about 22,630 miles!!!

We flew to Auckland and stayed 4 nights. I would rather haver stayed  3 nights on Waiheke Island at the Boatshed! It's amazing. We also spent time in Paihia in the Northland and stayed at Chalet Romantica. Perfect location to wander on the beach, take a cruise etc.We then headed south to Wellington and stayed in a house on Mt. Victoria which had gorgeous views and later in a small house in town. I can tell you that parking in Wellington is a huge problem. We toured the WETA Cave (think Lord of the Rings, Avatar, ad KingKong) We flew south  to Queenstown via Christchurch then drove a beautiful but rainy 3 hours (I think) to TeAnau where we stayed at the DistinctionTe-Anau Hotel. My room overlooked the gorgeous Lake Te Anau. This area is the Gateway to the Milford Sound and Fiordland. We did take an actual tour to Milford, but it was realy nice as there were only 12 people in this large, comfortable van (Fiordland Tours) it was actually chilly, but i didn't care! We took a  short hike 20180417052906_IMG_0160.JPGthrough the wilderness with a really nice guide named Terry. We walked/hiked to the  Marian Cascade (glacial waterfall) and another short hike to see The Chasm.  We traveled the historic Milford Road and when arriving at Milford Sound we took a 2 hour or so cruise through one of the most unbelievable places i have ever seen. So naturally beautiful and mostly untouched sans the cruise vessels. So remarkable to see the crystal clear water, dolphins, seals, mountain parrots (keas)...no penguins though (:-(. It was an extraordinary tour with people we had never met but who have shared pictures through text and email like we were old friends! Driving back to Queenstown, the mountain vistas were majestic! Even in the distance after a short bout of rain, a huge rainbow appeared. We stayed a few days in Queenstown and enjoyed the smaller towns like Glenorchy and Arrowtown the most. We both loved NZ...April was the perfect time to be there to experience fall, winter and warm weather at the beaches! I haven't even talked about Australia, but i am already planning another trip to NZ in early 2020!20180417045023_IMG_0146.JPG20180417052210_IMG_0157.JPG20180419101210_IMG_0180.JPG

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,206
Registered: ‎08-08-2011

Wow - what a great trip!  Did you do it on your own or through a travel group?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,542
Registered: ‎07-11-2010

What a wonderful trip!  NZ is so beautiful.  Was there many, many years ago but will never forget it.  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,270
Registered: ‎03-10-2013

@Shiloh09 So glad you had a nice long vacation. I really enjoy hearing about other countries, scenery, food, etc. Thanks for sharing.

Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

 My sister and I planned it together. She gifted me with airline points for my retirement so we could upgrade to  business class on the long-hauls. We flew ANz through out NZand to Australia. Once in Australia, we flew Virvin Australia. Both are wonderful airlines. Otherwise i was able to use airline points for a couple of car rentals and my flight to LA. We did 2 day cruise tours which we found online with reviews from Trip Advisor. The 2 hotels we stayed in were also based on Trip Advisor reviews. The homes/villas/condos we stayed in were booked through AB&B. ALL of these were from Super Host ratings only based on our criteria.

 

This was a year in planning and a couple years of saving and acquiring United miles. I have already begun saving for next time, but Iceland is also on my bucket list!

Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: New Zealand and Australia

I edited the title of this from "Ireland" to "Australia". Not sure where the Ireland came from other than the last time my sister and I traveled internationally we went to Ireland. Sorry for confusion in the post.

Spoiler
 
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,935
Registered: ‎02-02-2015

Re: New Zealand and Australia

@Shiloh09 What great pictures! Loved your report.

 

You mentioned the parking. Were you talking about the fact that the roads are very narrow in a lot of areas there, that when you park you need to make sure you side mirrors are folded in (if they have that capability) so they won't be knocked off? That's what I noticed in Wellington and other towns.

 

How wonderful that Milford Sound looks to be clear for your visit. Many times it is overcast, misty, cloudy, and people don't get the beautiful view you had.

 

Thanks for reporting back. If you find any more photos or information to share, we would love to hear back from you. Heart

Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: New Zealand and Australia

We found that street parking in many residential areas is limited and often required a permit. Wellington particularly was difficult. One day I drove around for 15 minutes looking for a space to park near the house where we stayed! Minor aggravation though. I do not care for  roundabouts but I suppose they do keep traffic moving in the larger metro areas.Indeed the roads outside the large cities are narrow mountainous, hill-y and winding. My choice was usually to hit the side of a mountain or go over a cliff! ( much like driving the Pacific Coast Highway but more narrow! Have started saving and buying United miles for another trip to NZ in 2020! 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,800
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: New Zealand and Australia

I'll be returning to Australia the last of March. Frequent flier ticket already booked. It will have been ten years since I was last there. We will be doing the non--stop from Houston to Sydney via United.

**************** "A black cat crossing your path just means that it is going from one place to another." Proud owner of a black cat and a shopper of QVC since the merger with CVN.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 237
Registered: ‎03-28-2011

Re: New Zealand and Australia

Did a bucket list trip that included Tahiti, NZ, and Australia in Oct.   Loved every bit of it.  

 

Visited Auckland and Rotoura in NZ.  Hit Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne, and Tasmania in Australia.  Tahiti was  3 night stopover in Pepetti (sp?) which isn't the most beautiful, but, the resort was okay it was FREE with our Air Tahiti Nui airline tickets.

 

Would love to go back and do the places we didn't get to someday.