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Most Romantic 25th Anniversary: Australia or New Zealand or Fiji or Tahiti?!

Most Romantic 25th Anniversary: Australia or New Zealand or Fiji or Tahiti?!

Aug 6th, 2006, 06:36 PM
  #1  
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Most Romantic 25th Anniversary: Australia or New Zealand or Fiji or Tahiti?!

Please help us choose a very memorable destination for a romantic 25th anniversary trip! We will be flying out of San Diego or LAX in January 1007 and have a week or 10 days.

My husband is a biologist and I enjoy writing, reading, culture, inspiring scenery, and travel.

Places we have enjoyed together:
Italy 2004
Ireland 2006
Costa Rica 2005
New Zealand (over 20 years ago! would like to see again)
Holland & Belgium (over 20 years ago)
Caribbean islands (various)
Kauai and Maui

Activities we enjoy doing together:

hiking (easy)
nature walks (with native flora & fauna)
viewing beautiful scenery
swimming and/or snorkeling
music and/or dancing
culture
history
eating where the locals eat
meeting the locals

I would like this trip to stand out above the rest, since it's a 25th anniversary trip. I would like to spoil us a bit with nice rooms with a romantic view. Prefer to spend not more than $350 per night per room on average.

Although we enjoy snorkeling it isn't necessary for this trip. We like beautiful walks as much as we like snorkeling.

Thanks so much! Would love to hear about YOUR most romantic trip!


Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Well, I would eliminate Tahiti. While it is a beautiful place with many advantages. There are drawbacks that you don't see in the T&L photo spreads. First, it is very hot & humid. If you have an aversion to mosquitoes- another reason not to go. They were prolific on every island & I have been on several in French Polynesia. Also- for $350US a night- you will not be staying in the best rooms. You can not get an over-the-water-bungalow for that price. In addition, everything else is very expensive. Breakfast usually runs about $40US for 2 people. Everything must be brought onto the islands- plus the islands don't have little out-of-the way markets like other island destinations. And, I would have to say the people are not all that friendly. Most of our hosts- whether is was at a full service hotel or a private island lodge for 2- performed the bare minimun regarding service (although the food was amazing!- the wonderful french - of course!!)So- based on that- I would recommend the the South Island of New Zealand- I have toured it extensively- based on your time limitations- I would suggest the Queenstown area- places like Arrowtown & Milford are delightful & VERY romantic. That area has everything that you listed in your post. Best of luck & congrats on making it 25 years!
Gaillauren is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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Gaillaurren: I sure appreciate your candid opinion! You are right that the guidebooks make every place sound equally wonderful and tend to gloss over the drawbacks.

Occasionally we are willing to spend more than $350 a night on a special room, but if I do that every night, my husband won't relax as much, and it is HIS anniversary too!

So far I have been leaning towards New Zealand and I see that you recommend that as well. The south island is what I was thinking as well. Since you have toured that area extensively, do you have any specific recommendations as to romantic places to stay?

My husband is willing to consider New Zealand, but also has it stuck in his mind that he wants to talk me into Chile. Personally I would prefer to save Chile for a non-anniversary trip.

Thanks and would welcome anybody's opinions.
Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 08:42 PM
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Given your interests, I would definitely choose NZ over Fiji. Where have you gone in NZ? You could try a new area. We cannot wait to go back!

There isn't much snorkeling in NZ but we did go swimming and snorkeling with the dolphins in Kaikoura-- awesome.

www.dolphin.co.nz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Tim and Liz, thanks for your reply. Looks like another vote for New Zealand. Our first trip to New Zealand was 20 years ago, and we were new at planning trips. It seems that we went everywhere but only for 1 night in each place! It was a crazy but amazing trip. I would love to return and thoroughly explore a particular area.

I am still open to other countries as well. It might seem strange that I am asking about specific accomodations when we haven't decided on the country yet. But sometimes when you start looking at particular b&bs or hotels, the details help you to get a flavor for the country, and that leads to a decision!
Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 11:56 PM
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It appears that Australia is very hot in January...maybe too hot for me. The south island of New Zealand seems to have a more moderate temperature?

Would the scenic areas around Queenstown, including Milford Sound, be so crowded in January that it wouldn't be peaceful and romantic? I don't want to be behind a line of tour buses... I think our first trip to New Zealand was in their spring time, so it wasn't quite tourist season yet...It wasn't crowded. (But that was 20 years ago too!)

Also I had forgotten how long the plane ride was! About a 17-hour flight including the stopovers from San Diego to Auckland or Christchurch?! Ahhh! Mighty far for a 7 to 10-day trip. Oh, well, I think our first trip was only 10 days, and it was magnificent.



Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:06 AM
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Of your choices, I've only been to New Zealand, but Mr. Pickle and I are considering going back for our 25th next year if our current plans fall through.

You could drive to LAX from San Diego fairly easily, or you could take a Southwest flight. Their terminal at LAX is right next to the Air New Zealand terminal.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:32 AM
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Melissa -

NZ doesn't get all that hot, even in the height of summer. January is usually the hottest month, but you're still only looking at an average of 23c in Fiordland. Milford Sound is very much a tourist magnet, and yep, there are gonna be alot of tour buses, especially in Dec-Jan.

You might want to consider the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound instead - fewer people. I've yet to take this cruise, but it's on my "to do" list.

I like Queenstown, but it's busy even in the off season, so it's bound to be hopping in January. NZ has a wide assortment of romantic cottages, B&Bs and vineyard accommodation in quiet, secluded areas. It's quite possible to locate such a place near Queenstown, then you'll have the best of both worlds - plenty of activity by day and a quiet retreat at night.

I found The Bay of Many Coves in the Marlborough Sounds very romantic, and it would be my personal choice for a special getaway.

www.bayofmanycovesresort.co.nz/dining.htm
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:44 AM
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There are some intersting places on these sites:

www.cottagestays.co.nz

www.boutiquestays.co.nz
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:54 AM
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Disregard that second link, it's not the one I thought it was.
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 7th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Thanks Melnq8 and Lee Anne! I'm still leaning towards NEW ZEALAND and have discovered that the airfares go down on Feburary 1. We could postpone our January trip til February 1...

I investigated CHILE a little bit on-line, and photos of Torres del Paine area in Chile are gorgeous, but trip reports seem to indicate accomodations are pretty basic...not what I want for a 25th anniversary...

I'm dreaming of an anniversary in PARIS, but too cold and rainy in January!

I have considered islands like FIJI and TAHITI, but they are MUCH further to fly from San Diego...HAWAII is a lot closer...and I'm not sure that Tahiti or Fiji would be a LOT better than Hawaii??

Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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Just my 2 cents worth in support of Chile - I have never seen such a more beautiful country especially around the Lakes District and into Argentina to Bariloche. The accommodations cover everything up to and including 5 Star plus the beautiful scenery makes it 6 star holiday especially as everything when you get there is so cheap that you can splurge out with meals, wine and accommodation. The Country club at Llao Llao near Bariloche is fantastic I would give my eye teeth to spend time there. Look up the internet for Bariloche, Argentina and then look up the lake crossings into Chile and you will see what I mean. I "think" I have spelt Llao Llao properly.
lizF is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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lifF, thanks, I will look into those Chile sites too...
Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 10:18 PM
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Here is the website for the Bariloche side of the Andes - then you travel to the other side by bus and boat on the lakes to Chile. Look at the photos and you will see on of the lodge at Llao Llao as well which will give you an idea of the quality of accommodation and the views.
lizF is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 10:18 PM
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I always forget the site:

http://www.welcomeargentina.com/bariloche/index_i.html
lizF is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Melnq8, thanks for the links to accomodations. The Bay of Many Coves Resort does look like a special place, you're right. So many places to dream about.
Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 12:19 AM
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LizF, thanks for the link. There's a lot of info on that link, I could't find the lodge at llao llao, but you gave me some things to think about. I think I need a trip to the bookstore to look at some guidebooks with photos.

I feel quite scattered at this point, with a headful of countries!
Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 01:08 AM
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Here is the website on the resort - if it looks good on the site, it is 100 better in reality.
lizF is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 01:08 AM
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Darn I have done it again

http://www.lhw.com/property.aspx?pro...=349&Ext=Gllao

lizF is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Thanks, LizF. Llao Llao does look like a nice place. I usually have files for a vacation I have just finished; files for one I'm working on now; and files for the next vacation possibilities!
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