We are in Auckland, New Zealand now! This will probably sound weird, but I kind of enjoyed the flight. I watched X-Men, Lost in Translation, and Modern Family, slept, listened to music and played Angry Birds. We were on a 747, which I had been on before, but it was still cool and Air New Zealand is a good airline. Strangely the guy sitting next to us didn’t go to the bathroom once during the 12 hour flight.
Brad tried yogurt today, so he is already branching out! He also tried some strange brown dressing on a ham and cheese sandwich. And he even said he liked it!
The weather is okay here, chilly and partly cloudy, but nice enough to walk around. Our bunks won’t be ready until later today, so we just walked around the neighborhood a bit and now we’re hanging out at a coffee shop. We’re both tired, so I don’t think we’ll do much today. From what we’ve seen so far, Auckland seems nice, but nothing special.
Hopefully we’ll be up for more activity tomorrow!
We now have everything booked for NZ! Our itinerary isn’t as crazy as I thought it would be:
- Sept 14: Take ferry from Wellington to Picton, drive to Kaikoura (2 hr drive) for the night
- Sept 15: Kaikoura
- Sept 16: Drive to Nelson (3 hr drive) for the night
- Sept 17: Abel Tasman National Park (Happy Birthday to Emily and Sean!)
- Sept 18: Abel Tasman National Park
- Sept 19: Abel Tasman National Park
- Sept 20: Last day of hiking in Abel Tasman, drive to Punakaiki (3.5 hr drive) for the night
- Sept 21: Drive to Franz Josef, explore the glaciers, stay the night
- Sept 22: Franz Josef/Fox Glaciers
- Sept 23: Drive to Wanaka (4 hr drive) for the night
- Sept 24: Wanaka
- Sept 25: Drive to Queenstown (1 hr drive) for the night
- Sept 26: Queenstown
- Sept 27: Queenstown
- Sept 28: Queenstown
- Sept 29: Drive to Fjordland National Park (4 hr drive), stay the night at Milford Sound Lodge
- Sept 30: Milford Sound
- Oct 1: Drive to Invercargill (4 hr drive) for the night
- Oct 2: Invercargill, possible day trip to Stewart Island
- Oct 3: Drive to Dunedin (2.5 hr drive) for the night
- Oct 4: Drive to Oamaru (1.5 hr drive) for the night
- Oct 5: Drive to Christchurch (3.5 hr drive) for the night
- Oct 6: Fly to Melbourne, Australia
I’m really happy with this plan. I think we’ll see the highlights of the South Island (with the exception of Mt. Cook), but still have time to explore and relax. Brad updated the New Zealand Itinerary map, go check it out!
Oh yeah, in the midst of planning a year-long backpacking trip, we were also planning a wedding. (I would not recommend this, by the way.) Things got a little crazy the last couple of weeks, but everything ended up going great! If I do say so myself, our Bucky Badger themed wedding was awesome. We had a Bucky ice sculpture, Camp Randall style section seating with tickets (Brad is a genius and made them look authentic), Bucky chocolates and an appearance from the band and Bucky himself. I had so much fun and everyone keeps telling me that they did, too. The ceremony at Olbrich Gardens was exactly how I pictured it and went perfectly. We had to sleep in our car for a night in March of 2010 to book Olbrich, but it was definitely worth it. The flowers were beautiful, our readers did an incredible job, the string quartet sounded great, our vows were very sweet…. Really, I know nobody wants to hear me go on and on about how much I loved my wedding, but I can’t help it. I loved every second of it!
Now we’re up in Door County for the week, getting some much-needed relaxation in before we sell all our stuff, move out of our apartment and leave for New Zealand! Keep checking back or subscribe to our updates because things are about to get quite interesting!