Below is our final itinerary. I may be removing this post in a few weeks when we travel to give new blog followers the element of surprise in where we head next. Also note that we will actually arrive in San Francisco on Friday, July 21 and will sightsee with the kids for a day before we embark on our trip.
|Day of trip||Day||Day of the week||Stay in|
- Originally I had planned spending our time in Australia among Sydney, Tasmania, and Melbourne. Later I changed this to Sydney and Port Douglas to give us more time in Sydney and to have a more lazy time before we head to New Zealand.
- When I changed our itinerary to remove Tasmania and Melbourne, we were going to stay in Cairns. After talking to a couple of people and a TripAdvisor forum, I moved our Great Barrier Reef Destination to Port Douglas instead.
- Originally we were not going to be in Christchurch, and we were going to fly into Queenstown from Cairns. When I looked into flights from Cairns to Queenstown though, the flights would have involved an overnight layover in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, or Christchurch. Hence, I started thinking about adding in a day in Christchurch. So now we have two nights in Christchurch, but essentially just a full day in that area.
- From Christchurch we were originally going to fly straight into Queenstown. Then I thought about it and looked at a map and there are some things in the Dunedin area we wanted to check out. So, instead of flying into Queenstown, we are flying into Dunedin and will then make our way to Queenstown later that afternoon for our lodging.
- We were originally going to stay at the Pancake Rocks on the West Coast of the South Island. However, after reading reviews of the hotel and location, I decided to change our hotel to a hotel in Greymouth, 30 minutes south. Bigger town, more food options, and more hotel for our dollar.
- I contemplated taking the ferry from Picton, South Island to Wellington, North Island. Then I realized if we did this, it would essentially eat up a full day of sightseeing. A flight from Nelson to Wellington is only half an hour…and cheaper. Hence I chose that option.
- On the North Island, we were going to stay at the Tongariro National Park in a chateau. Once again though, I read the reviews of the hotel and it seemed like they price gauged you. I looked for another centrally located area on the North Island and ended up booking an apartment in Taupo.
- We were also going to stay in Whakatane on the North Island for two days. But then I felt we’d be trying to cover too much between our stays in Taupo and Whakatane – both had been scheduled for two nights a piece. I decided to add another night to Taupo and another night to Auckland.