AWESOME first trip to Australia and New Zealand

Dec 15th, 2015, 01:09 PM
  #61  
 
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great idea to fly into QT and base yourselves in Glenorchy for the start of your trip and i envy you the helicopter trip - I can imagine it being a real highlight.

looking forward to reading about more of your trip.
annhig is offline  
Dec 15th, 2015, 01:10 PM
  #62  
 
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I agree, the scenery of that area of the South Island is truly beautiful. Glad you were able to walk a bit of the Routeburn--we did the whole 3-day hike and it was definitely the highlight of our trip (hard work but so rewarding!).
aprillilacs is offline  
Dec 15th, 2015, 01:20 PM
  #63  
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Not a helicopter. It was a fixed wing plane, DH didn't want to go on a helicopter. There is a small airstrip in Glenorchy, the plane took off from there. When we arrived at the airstrip for the flight, we had fun watching people skydive. The airstrip also serves those folks. They cleared off when they knew our plane was coming (it started off in Queenstown and stopped to pick us up, Glenorchy Air).
FromDC is offline  
Dec 15th, 2015, 02:07 PM
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The flight to and cruise of Milford Sound sounds simply breathtaking. Hope to experience it myself someday.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2015, 02:33 PM
  #65  
 
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Your Milford Sound experience with the weather delay underlines the value of building in a couple of days buffer & being flexible in our travels.

Glenorchy is charming, isn't it?

The procedure you saw is called, "Lamb marking". Tails are docked to prevent fly-strike and males castrated.
In Australia, the owner's registered earmark is clipped into the off-side (right) ear for ewes & on-side for weathers (males), using specifically designed ear-marking pliers.

We also have a NLIS ( National Livestock Identification Scheme), whereby owners are issued with a number which is engraved into ear tags. This tag identifies the owner & property, must be inserted into the ear of all stock.. Different colours denote the year of birth of the sheep. When a sheep is sold, a pink tag is inserted in the opposite ear by the purchaser.

At a glance, I would be able to identify a sheep with a purple tag in the right ear & a pink one in the left, as a ewe born in 2012 & not now on the property on which she was born.

There is a similar scheme in NZ. Those portable cradles are a great invention.

More than you ever needed to know about sheep husbandry!
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2015, 12:16 AM
  #66  
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Thanks, Bpkhara, yes, loved Glenorchy. Always interested in learning something new, I remember seeing different color ear tags on sheep but didn't know the specifics of the ID process.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 16th, 2015, 12:25 AM
  #67  
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We were sorry to leave Glenorchy but excited about what was ahead: a long but beautiful drive back down Lake Wakipitu, then up the west coast to Lake Moeraki, a specially designated wilderness area and home to a rare breed of penguins, the crested Fiordland penguin, with the hope of seeing them in the wild. Our plan was to spend two nights at the Wilderness Lodge there, owned by a couple who have spent most of their lives helping to protect the fragile ecosystem in the area. The lodge is very remote. It must generate its own electricity, and is the middle of about a 100 km stretch without a gas station.

Arriving in late afternoon, we were able to join the guided rainforest walk, which ended at a steam where our guide fed eels. They were pretty large and slimy. Although given the opportunity to pet them, none of us took up the offer. The next morning, we headed out to a secret beach, which Gerry (the owner of the lodge and our guide) refers to as the Robinson Crusoe beach. They try to keep the beach a secret so that the penguins won’t be disturbed. Gerry drove the four of us to the start of a trail that goes through the forest and ends up at the beach. He left us there while he drove the van to another spot, and then biked back to us. He did that so no one would see the van and decide to follow our trail. After a 15-minute walk we emerged onto the gorgeous beach and Gerry led us to a specific place on the far end of the beach to sit in the rocks, next to a cave. The penguins nest in the mountains behind the beach and come down to the beach through the rocky area where we were sitting. We waited about 10 minutes before we began to see the Penguins, some waddling around the middle of the beach, others coming quite close to us, within about 10 feet. Although penguins are very shy and skittish, we stayed still and quiet so they did not feel threatened and pretty much ignored us. We watched them for over an hour and saw 18 in total. Gerry kept track of when each one emerged (some from the cave and others from the water). Gerry and this group have done quite a lot to protect this group of endangered created fjord land penguins. It was amazing to see them in the wild.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, DH and I drove to Ships Creek observation point and walk. The sea was incredibly rough and we had a fantastic walk along the gorgeous beach with the waves rolling and tons of driftwood scattered about. Back to the lodge for a very brief rest, we then went kayaking at 5 pm on Lake Moeraki. I was in front of the double kayak.... Gerry was in the drivers seat in the back. I finally got a bit better at the technique of paddling. DH did a great job on his own and was able to get a photo or two of the calm, clear lake with the mountains as backdrop, blue sky and just a couple of fluffy white clouds. What a glorious end to a very special day.

On Thursday morning we made the 3.5 hour drive to Hokitika in 5.5 hours with a couple of stops on the way. We did a short walk to the Fox glacier valley to get as close to Fox glacier as possible, then drove to the tourist town of Franz Joseph where the second glacier is the star. We had a quick lunch, and finally arrived at our little B&B in Hokitika, called Teichelman's, named after a famous doctor and conservationist from the early 20th century. Frances and Brian warmly greeted us. I had previously corresponded with Brian about arranging a "Luminaries" tour. The reason for our overnight in Hokitika was to see the setting of the book (it won the Booker prize a couple of years ago, I absolutely loved the book and read it twice even though it is more than 800 pages). The Luminaries takes place during the gold rush in 1865. I wanted to walk through the streets and imagine what it was like for the characters in the novel. Brian assured me that there would be a tour I could take, but we had no idea that he would be doing it himself. Half an hour after we arrived, he changed into a costume of a well dressed man of 1865 New Zealand and spent the next 2 hours taking us all around town. It was a hoot! Great fun for us and we learned so much about the history of Hokitika and the gold rush days. For a brief time, Hokitika was the largest port in New Zealand and on the Main Street we saw the reproduction of a photograph from 1867, which showed 41 ships in the harbor. The town just sprang up from nothing when the gold rush began. There are no buildings left from that time period because of the many fires through the 1940s. But apparently Hokitika has the oldest volunteer fire squad in New Zealand and it recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding. Brian wouldn't take a cent for us for the tour so instead we made a donation to the little Hokitika museum (which I also briefly toured, another one of those little gems). That night we had dinner at a local restaurant and I had a whitebait omelet. Whitebait is a tiny translucent fish (like a little guppy) and whitebait fishing is a BIG pastime in this area. The fishing season ended on Nov 15, so I figured it would be my only opportunity to try it. It was delicious.

We spent a couple of hours on Friday morning browsing through the shops in Hokitika, which is known as the greenstone town. Greenstone is the name given to the local Jade, and it was a very important part of Maori life. We bought some pieces and other small souvenirs, then started the drive to Arthurs Pass.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 01:16 AM
  #68  
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ARTHUR'S PASS:
Although not a long one, the drive to Arthurs Pass was a very twisty, narrow road in many parts. Arthur's Pass is the connection between the east and west coasts of New Zealand's South Island, a pretty dramatic area surrounded by mountains and most of it has been designated as a national park. We planned our stay at the Wilderness Lodge at Arthur's Pass, owned by the same folks as the one in Lake Moeraki. The lodge is set in a farm area, with a working sheep farm. Our room had a breathtaking view of the mountains in the distance and the Waimakariri River in front. A couple of hours after we arrived, we did a walk with Alan, the lodge's guide, to the Broad Stream River Gorge to see the glacial landscapes and mossy forest. We were accompanied part of the way by the farms sheepdogs who herded sheep to follow us part of the way. After dinner, we went in the van to the pasture to do some stargazing and saw Alpha Centuri (the brightest star in the southern hemisphere), the Southern Cross, and Orion's Belt.

We awoke on Saturday morning to freezing temperature but we weren't going to miss the 10am tour with Alan to see the waterfalls and alpine plants of Arthur's pass. It was a rigorous walk for us, but well worth it. Another couple was with us. The "giant" buttercups were in bloom (they are small but still, the largest in the world) and we saw a few clusters of them. We had very interesting conversations with Alan about ecology, including the pricing of non-priced goods. Alan was involved in writing many of the regulations on road construction in the South Island and we learned a lot about the struggles between the farmers and the conservationists. We made a couple of stops in the van to see the Otari viaduct and a precious chapel, which has a stunning view of a waterfall and mountains. You sit on the pews and stare up at the gorgeous scenery, I wonder if anyone can concentrate on the sermons.

After lunch and a rest, we met up with other guests for the 5pm Sheep Station tour, which was another one of those "highlights". Neil, the farm manager, spent a couple of hours with us. First, he demonstrated how the very well trained sheep dogs round up and herd the sheep on the farm. Apparently, the sheep view the dogs as predators because dogs have been known to kill and eat lambs. We were told that 90% of what the dogs do is instinctive, but they get trained to turn in different directions at the sound of whistles and calls. The farm raises mostly merino sheep but also some cross breeds and some cattle. Everyone got to feed a 5 day old lamb who couldn't stay with its mother, with a bottle of warm formula. We then walked to the sheering shed where Neil hand clipped a sheep, leaving the wool in one piece. The wool has a very rich layer of lanolin, we all rubbed our hands in it and they felt very soft and well moisturized. Neil talked about the virtues of New Zealand wool (of course, it's the very best in the world) and we learned that the farm supplies wool to Icebreaker, one of NZ's top sports clothing company, and Loro Piana, the famous Italian wool fashion company. I didn't know this in advance and it was quite a coincidence because I bought two Icebreaker tops from Amazon for our trip before we left....and now I was on the very farm where the wool was grown (but the wool is then shipped to China and the clothing is manufactured there).

We had a lovely dinner that night with rack of lamb from the farm and great conversations with the three other couples who were staying at the lodge ( we ate at a common table at this lodge which was a lot of fun). Some of us were going from south to north and we gave suggestions to the others who were going north to south, and vice versa. It was nice to have restaurant and tour recommendations for the last week of our trip from like-minded travelers.

These 5 days in the mid section of the South Island's west coast and center were terrific. Although surrounded by mountains at all times, our activities were quite varied: penguins and lakes and the sea around Moeraki, history in Hokitika, and farming in Arthur's Pass and of course lots of walking everywhere. We've really enjoyed any amount of physical activity because the food and wine have been delicious and plentiful. We left out some of the more popular stops around here because of our limited time and we could easily have spent several more days in the Westland.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 04:50 AM
  #69  
 
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it all sounds lovely, FromDC.

We chose not to do Arthur's Pass the first time, so it and Moeraki are going on the list.
annhig is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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<>

Glad you enjoyed our favorite place on the SI and our favorite B&B of all time. Vladka is a wonderful host and her husband a fountain of information about the walking tracks (he works for DOC).

Have they built their new units yet? They have plans to extend.
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 09:27 AM
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Last stops on the South Island: Kaikoura and Blenheim

We woke up to a cold and wet Sunday morning in Arthur's Pass. The drive to our next stop, Kaikoura, was supposed to be around 3.5 hours and we didn't lag too far behind that. It rained much of the way there, going to the east coast and bypassing Christchurch. We arrived at our B&B before 3pm after a twisting but beautiful drive, despite the weather. We stayed at Hampton’s B&B, right on the Esplanade, and could see the water across the street. Great location, just at the edge of town and a very comfortable room with good kitchen facilities. We walked the length of the town and back, stopping to admire the flowers and trees in the Garden of Memories in the center of town, a memorial to the soldiers from Kaikoura who died in various wars. That night we had a delicious dinner at the Golden Dolphin restaurant, the best seafood chowder we've ever had and one of the most expensive crayfish we've ever had. Apparently the Chinese are buying up the local crayfish so the price has risen dramatically.

Kaikoura is in a very special location on the northern part of the east coast of the South Island. It is now a tourist town that has many excursions to view wildlife, mostly whales and dolphins. However, we wanted to stop there for a different reason – to see albatrosses. I had a very clear memory of reading the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (I think it was junior high school). It is a haunting piece and I've never forgotten the role of the albatross in that poem. So we signed up for the "Albatross Encounter" at 9am Monday morning. Fortunately the weather was clear but it was a bit chilly and the seas were very rough. Ten of us went out on a boat and were lucky to see several different species of albatross, including the Royal, the largest of them all. After the boat ride, we began our drive to wine country. Although the drive was supposed to be less than two hours, it took us longer because we made a few stops.

First, we stopped to get fish and chips, which we took in the car and ate at a deserted beach about 15 minutes outside of Kaikoura. About 10 miles up the road, we stopped again at Ohau Falls, where there is a colony of fur seals. A short walk took us up to a waterfall where seal pups were frolicking in the ponds at the base of the falls. What a thrill to see them. About half an hour later we stopped for coffee and finally arrived at our "homestay" in the middle of a vineyard in Blenheim just after 3pm. After a little rest, we visited our first winery, Withering Hills that is right next door to where we were staying and tasted some wonderful wines, bought a bottle of Pinot Noir. We wanted to eat in so we found the local supermarket and bought some NZ salmon to roast in the oven. After returning "home" we had visits from some neighbors and great conversations with them.

The next morning we went to the air museum which houses reproductions of WWI planes with exhibits about the lives of the airmen. Mostly Sir Peter Jackson, the filmmaker of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, has funded this gem of a place. Soon they will be expanding to include WWII aircraft as well. We loved this place! Just after noon, a local tour company picked us up for our winery tour. Good decision not to do this with self drive. We actually got to enjoy sampling many different wines, probably 4-5 each at 5 different wineries. My favorite was Cloudy Bay for the beautiful setting. DH enjoyed Forrest because of the quality of the wines. One of the stops included a champagne-only winery and to top everything off we stopped at Makana confectioners factory. As we were entering the place, I noticed that EVERY person who was exiting was leaving with a purchase. We were no different, and got a box of toffee and another of chocolate covered ginger. Fabulous.

Dinner that night was at the Hans Herzog winery, our only real disappointing dinner of the trip. It was a Tuesday night and usually only the bistro is open, with a small but interesting menu. When we got there, we were told that dinner would be served in the main dining room because of the large crowd. When we got there, it turned out that it was a group function of maybe 30 people spread over several tables, all getting served the same meal. We were seated at a table at the rear of the room, with the wait staff giving us very little attention. There was one excellent dish - - a lamb confit - - the rest was ordinary. It was a real letdown after the great experience we had at the Josef Chromy winery restaurant in Tasmania. Nothing bad about the food but one of those “not worth the price” dinners.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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lucky you - Albatrosses!

another entry for our "next time" list!
annhig is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 12:54 PM
  #73  
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Mel, I'm eternally grateful to you for recommending Vladka's place. We didn't get to meet her husband but I hope there will be a next time. No new construction but there is a compound being built next to the General Store.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 17th, 2015, 04:01 PM
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FromDC, I am totally with you on the Coleridge poem and the albatrosses, although I've yet to see them in the wild. Really enjoying your report on the South Island; all of it sounds amazing.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2015, 05:03 PM
  #75  
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LAST LEG: The North Island of New Zealand

The main decision point in planning this part of trip was how to make the transition from South to North. DH really wanted to have the experience of taking the ferry across the Cook Strait between the islands. We have enjoyed many different ferry rides in our travels but this would be the longest one at just over 3 hours. We'd read that the scenery was magnificent and it did not disappoint, even in the fog and rain.

We began by leaving our B&B in Blenheim just after 7am, arriving at the ferry terminal in Picton just before 8. There are 2 ferry lines that make the crossing and we chose the Interisland because it is larger. Yes, it's VERY large. When we got in the queue, there were dozens of huge trucks, dozens of campers and lots of cars. Our ferry was the Kaiahari, which has 9 decks, a capacity of 550 passengers and 1900 lane meters. We bought seats for the premium lounge, which turned out to be a good deal because not only was it super comfortable but we also got breakfast, lunch and unlimited drinks. The passage was smooth and we were able to admire the views, especially at the beginning when it wasn't raining hard. It took 45 minutes after docking in Wellington before we could drive off because there were so many cars and trucks ahead of us. Even so, I’m glad we decided to rent a car from a company that allowed us to take the car on the ferry, otherwise we would have spent a lot of time returning and picking up cars, checking our bags and waiting for them, those things FOR US are more stressful than waiting extra time to disembark.

We were then off for another long drive to the Tongariro National Park, where we would spend the night in a hotel called "The Chateau". We thought this would be a reasonable stopping point on the way to Rotorua. Again, the landscape was beautiful and after a few hours, the volcanoes of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu came into sight. That was a thrill, seeing the snow capped mountains so close up. But it was a longer drive than we expected and didn't arrive at the hotel until close to 6pm. As the name implies, this is a large structure built to look like a French chateau, reminding us of the old grand dame hotels in the US that were built to imitate those in Europe. I wasn't thrilled with the place but it was in a good location and gave us a chance to see the national park. There were lots of German tour groups, most people were there to walk to Tongariro Alpine Crossing, supposedly one of the most beautiful walks in New Zealand. The next morning we did two very short walks, just so that we could get some exercise after having been in the car all the day before.

By 11am, we were off on the drive to our final destination, the Rotorua area. Along the way, we stopped at Huka Falls, the most famous waterfall in NZ and the most visited natural attraction and wow, it was quite something. The Waikato River narrows from 100 meters wide to 20 meters with just a 20 meter drop, so 220,000 liters of water gush over the falls EVERY SECOND! This generates much of the power to the North Island. Our route followed the eastern shore of Lake Taupo, a major resort destination and the largest lake on the North Island. As with other lakes we saw in NZ, the water had an aquamarine color that I've never seen elsewhere.

We arrived at Solitaire Lodge, a very small hotel on Lake Tarawera about half an hour past Rotorua. With only 10 rooms and set directly on the lake, it is a place to chill out, just perfect for the end of our trip. When we arrived, two German couples were having lunch on the patio. Apparently the food is so outstanding here, they made a special detour from Auckland just to dine here. We had a light lunch with THE BEST house smoked salmon and THE BEST Caesar salad we've ever eaten. And that was just their simple lunch...small portions but truly outstanding quality. After lunch, we went to our room, which has the most incredible view of the lake, all glass walls overlooking it, a spacious patio, everything beautifully furnished in creams and greys. The wall in the bathroom is all glass, a special privacy glass so you can look out but no one can see in during the daytime. DH declared this to have the best view from the toilet of any place we've ever stayed.

We took a walk around the property, through the forest out to the shore of the lake where we saw half a dozen black swans. Glad I brought my camera, they were very active and we were very close. Pre dinner drinks at 7 with delicious canapés (a small, fried hard boiled egg, a fresh prawn, and a warm, plump oyster), then a 5 course dinner to follow, a menu printed with our names on it. Sounds like a lot of food but everything was quite light and not large portions (we got many snarky comments during our trip about American Sized portions or American sized seats.... apparently world round we are considered oversized and over eaters).

Unfortunately, rain was forecast for our last two days so we weren't surprised when we woke up on Friday to heavy clouds. It rained on and off most of the day, so we took the advice of the lodge manager and went to the Rotorua Museum. It was a great place to spend a few hours, and we learned a lot about the culture and history of the Maoris in Aoteraoa, the Maori name for NZ. No one is quite sure when or exactly from where the Maoris arrived here, only that it was from somewhere in Polynesia, possibly Hawaii. Most places here have names written in both an English name and a Maori name and you can really feel their influence everywhere.

Upon entering the city of Rotorua, something hits you immediately - the smell of sulphur. The mineral springs are everywhere here and there is no escaping the odor, which bothers you a lot or doesn't. I kinda liked it. Anyway, one of my two goals for this last part of to trip was to soak in a mineral bath, which is what we did after the museum. The best one in town is called The Polynesian Spa, which made me almost not go there because the name is so awfully kitschy but the lodge told us it was very nice and it was. We took the private deluxe bath, which meant we had a small outdoor in ground tub (made with natural stones and rocks) where water was piped in at the natural temperature of 38.5degrees Celsius (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit). We had half and hour to soak but we could only stay in for 25 minutes because it was so hot. I loved it; we had a view of the lake while a drizzly, light rain fell on us as we soaked in the smelly mineral water.

From our room at the lodge, and everywhere else on this lake, you have a view of Mt Tarawera. In the mid to late 1800s, the area was famous for the Pink and White terraces, which were silica pools built up over time where people bathed in mineral waters. The lodge has some prints from the 1870s, showing how beautiful the terraces were. Visitors came from all over the world; someone named them one of the Wonders of the World at the time. But in 1886, the volcano erupted and caused massive destruction of the area, including entire villages and the terrace pools. It's one of those themes here and still gets written and talked about. It's estimated that 2 billion cubic yards of ash were scattered over an area of 6000 square miles. Mt. Tarawera sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and actually could erupt again.

On Friday night, we had another superb meal and I will only write about one part of it. On our menu, the second course was listed as "goat cheese tempura". What came was an incredible dish of a very large zucchini blossom stuffed with goat cheese and attached to a baby sized zucchini, the entire thing fried tempura style. Now, I often make stuffed zucchini blossoms and they are difficult to make without the flowers tearing when stuffed and then the cheese oozing our while being fried. Well, these were PERFECT and after the meal I got some tips from the chef. The dish just bowled me over.

Although we woke to sunshine on Saturday morning, the last full day of our trip, the forecast was for rain beginning at noon. The agenda was to see the other phenomenon I came here for: a tour to view geothermal activity. We had a few choices and decided to go to the one furthest away but reportedly the least commercial: Wai-O-Tapu, the "thermal wonderland". It was an hour and a half walk through the largest area of surface thermal activity in the Taupo Volcanic Zone and is administered by the Dept of Conservation. The area is covered with collapsed craters, boiling pools of mud and lots of steam. The craters and pools were very colorful, there was green, orange, purple, white, yellow and black, depending on the mineral present. Just as we were at the furthest point from the visitor’s center, after walking for about an hour, it began to rain, just as predicted. We walked back as quickly as we could, very satisfied with the range of thermal activity we saw. We got back to the lodge in time for a light lunch, then a nap, then starting to pack up for the long trip home.

New Zealand was awesome! As far as we can tell, there is no place in the country where you can't see magnificent mountains, and you are never more than 2 hours from the ocean. We had 2 glorious weeks here, loving every minute of it. The highlight for both of us was the flight from Glenorchy to Milford and back but every day we had at least one very memorable experience. Now the difficult task of editing my photos is ahead.

The flights home was uneventful. Eleven months in advance, I was able to book business class award seats from Auckland to Richmond (where we were going to visit our kids for Thanksgiving). We took Air Tahiti to Tahiti, and then to Los Angeles, American Airlines from LAX to Charlotte, then to Richmond. I think because the flights were broken into 4 shorter segments, we suffered no jet lag at all on the return. We left Auckland at 5pm on Sunday Nov 22 and arrive in Richmond at 9pm on Sunday, and fell asleep easily at a natural bedtime on Sunday night.

Thanks for listening, everyone and thanks for your help and advice in planning. When we tell friends and family about the trip, they ask who planned it all. The response is always that I planned it with the help of my friends on the Fodor travel forum. And writing this TR is a great way to for me to relive the trip.
FromDC is offline  
Dec 18th, 2015, 06:29 PM
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Thank you so much, FromDC, for sharing your fascinating trip with us. You've helped me relive some of my own experiences in Australia, given me some food for thought for my return trip next year, and encouraged me to go back to NZ sooner rather than later. I've truly enjoyed being able to share in the journey with you.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2015, 09:06 PM
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Nice report on what sounds like a great trip.YOu seem to have fermented out some excellent and unique places to stay. Thanks for the thorough reportage.

I know what you mean about American-size portions, but I found that most portion sizes in restaurants in NZ and Australia were equivalent to those in the U.S., and the populace seemed to have similar weight issues.
aprillilacs is offline  
Dec 19th, 2015, 02:17 AM
  #78  
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The older we get, the more slowly we travel. This means we really have to prioritize what we want to fit in as far as sightseeing and activities. It also means we spend more time at our accommodations, so it is more important for us to find a place that really suits us. Generally, this means the place must have a lovely view of something and decent size space. This explains why we were perfectly content with Sea Change Safety Cove in Pt Arthur (for example) but not so much at Chateau Tongariro (even though the latter was much more expensive).
FromDC is offline  
Dec 19th, 2015, 01:13 PM
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Yes, thanks again, FromDC - I've thoroughly enjoyed your reports .

Agree, Aprilliacs. Regrettably our portion sizes have become much larger than necessary. Appallingly, we have now matched or overtaken the US in the obesity stakes.

I usually just order an entree* or an entree size of a main, which fortunately is available at many places.

For North American readers - " entree" in Australia & NZ is exactly that - the entree to the meal. Main courses are called "Mains".
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2015, 07:20 PM
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Kudos for a great thread FromDC. You've almost convinced me to revisit NZ.
If seafood chowder is on a menu, I must have it. I had six in our fourteen day trip.

Also didn't mind the smell in Rotarua....

Thanks for sharing, I've enjoyed your experiences.
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