Living Large, New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand, the country that has so many breathtaking, stunning views.  So much nature and trails to hike.

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Prior to posting on individual areas of New Zealand, we will post a blog on the journey that we travelled, in one month,  both north and south islands.

Gas and the cost of living in general is very expensive.    We have seen $2.42 per litre for gas  and the lowest we have seen is $2.15.9.

 

Keep that in mind when planning your trip.  Everything, such as tax and tip is already included in your bills, however, food and restaurants are very expensive.  It is hard to get a meal for less than 25$ per person.  We purchased many prepared meals from the grocery store or shared meals in order to save money.

Our journey began with a flight from Gold Coast to Auckland, where we stayed at an air bnb for three nights.  Great Harbour front here and ferry rides to Devonport or Waiheke Island.  Lots to explore.

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We rented a car and travelled south to Teranque, worth staying one night to climb to the top of Mount Maunganui which is an extinct volcanic cone, as well as beautiful beaches.

 

Drove through Rotorua, which is known for all the Geysers, incredible to see all the boiling water and steam coming up from the earth.

We walked on top of the Red Wood trees.   Many beautiful trails through the red woods.

 

We stayed in Tapau for three nights.  This is a great area with lots of hiking trails along the river, jet-boat rides or hikes to Huka Falls.  We drove two hours to Waitomo to see the “Glow Worm Caves.”  Another must do when travelling in New Zealand.

 

Then straight to Wellington to fly to Queenstown.  Wellington is the capital of New Zealand.  We stayed two nights but should only have stayed one night as there really is not much to do in the city.  Lots of shops and very expensive.

The ferry across to the South island is very expensive so we decided to take a flight to Queenstown, with New Zealand Air.  The ferry, we have been told,  is also a great way to cross with  more stunning views.  Keeping in mind that they will not allow you to cross with a rental car.  The rental will have to remain on the North island and a new rental obtained on the south island.

Queenstown is a great town to visit.  From Queenstown you can do a bus tour, or drive to Milford Sound.   In Milford Sound you  take the boat cruise through the fiords.  Absolutely stunning views of the fiords and water falls.

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More amazing sites from the top of the mountain by Gondola.  If you are adventurous, you can hang glide,  bungy jump, or many other adventures such as hiking the trails or hiking up the mountain instead of taking the Gondola.

 

After Queenstown we drove to Arrowtown, another great stop of an old gold mining town.  This is also a must  to visit or stay over night.  There are some great restaurants to stop for lunch.

We stayed in Wanaka for two nights but one night would probably be enough.  The drive to Wanaka is stunning.  Give yourself  time for many stops to take pictures and take in all the beautiful views.

On our way along the West Coast we stopped in Franz Joseph Glazier for one night.    Here you can either hike or take a helicopter ride to the Glazier.

We stayed in Kumara, to break up the drive, however, there is absolutely nothing to do there.  There is only one restaurant in town and no grocery store.   It would have been better to stay in Greymouth for a night, if you need to break up the drive.

Nelson was nice and the drive from Nelson to Christchurch was beautiful with one night stop in Kiakuara.  Saw many dolphins playing in the ocean along the ocean drive.

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Nelson, with many restaurants in town to choose from.  Also beautiful beaches but we did not have the time to explore.

 

 

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Woke up to this beautiful sunrise in Kiakuara.

On the way to Kiakuara stopped to have some green mussels.  Biggest mussels we have ever seen.  Much bigger than the mussels in PEI.

 

Arrived in Christchurch for a two night stay, to fly back to Auckland before flying back to Sydney.  Many repairs on buildings after the earthquake a few years ago.

 

Also went to the Antarctica centre to see the blue dolphins.

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