Our trip to the South Pacific was originally planned as a trip to New Zealand. I am still not sure how I managed to convince my husband to let me add on Australia….
The Australia itinerary was pretty easy to plan. New Zealand though created quite a challenge to cover everything we want to see. My husband’s primary interest there is seeing suspension bridges. I actually enjoy seeing the bridges too, but I also want to see awesome things in NZ. So one thing I did was plotted out all the suspension bridges I could find (husband had this info) on a map and see if an itinerary came up that way. I knew we didn’t want to check in and out as well every night so I needed to find places we could stay for a few nights at a time.
Here is what the maps looked like (note – we are not stopping at all markers, they were just used to help me figure out routes that would line up with a majority of these markers):
I also knew we needed to end up in Auckland to return home. So I needed us to end up in Auckland….which meant starting our trip on the South Island.
Using the map I determined three different starting locations – Queenstown, Nelson, or Christchurch. Ultimately Christchurch won as the starting destination as it was easier to get to from Australia than the other two cities 🙂
It honestly took me over a month to arrive at the NZ itinerary. Hopefully it all goes well. In NZ we are seeing a lot of stuff but we don’t have a lot of days of long driving, so there will hopefully be time to go on hikes and hit other roadside attractions. 155 days until our vacation begins and I cannot wait!
Well, it’s now November 20th…the trip is coming together. I *almost* have the itinerary completed. Just when I think it is final I think of something else. I only have two areas to work out – the North Island stint between Wellington and Auckland (4 nights – I am looking for only two locations there) and if we fly into Invercargill or Dunedin before heading into Queenstown.
I may have reserved all of our apartment rentals at this point. Right now for the North Island I have us booked in a hotel for three nights, but I may change that. I’ve reserved our rental cars as well, and only have one more flight to book. So I’m feeling like we are getting there. I’m the type that likes to go on vacation with everything fully paid for except for meals, so for me I like having everything booked way in advanced and paid off before we go.
Places we have apartment rentals for are: Sydney, Port Douglas, Queenstown, Nelson and Auckland. We are in hotels for Christchurch, Franz Josef, Punakaiki, and the North Island (possibly). I have to admit that apartment rentals keep us sane when traveling as a family. By the end of the day we all need our own space. An apartment gives us the capability to spread out and relax on our own. It also allows us to prepare our own meals in case we aren’t in the mood to eat out. It also helps us pack light as we can use a washing machine in the apartment to wash our clothes every few days.
The kids are starting to become more interested in the trip as well. The boy would like to go to Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand. The kids also want to go skiing when we are in Queenstown. The boy has also requested a helicopter tour…we will possibly do that at the Franz Josef glacier but with it being winter there is a high probability that the ride might now happen. And the girl may participate in the Sydney zoo’s Zookeeper for a Day program. It looks pretty neat. I have been telling the kids to expect clothes this Christmas since we’ll be doing some expensive outings on our big trip. They were not too thrilled 🙂
Categories: Australia, New Zealand
Tags: Auckland, Australia, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, New Zealand, Port Douglas, Puzzling World, Queenstown, Sydney, Wanaka