In three weeks time we drove almost 3,000 miles. Here are some of the amazing views we saw from the car!
One way bridge:
Video across the swing bridge during our Abel Tasman hike.
Where We Went: Auckland, Waiheke Island, Wellington, Nelson, Abel Tasman Natl Park, Hokitika and Franz Josef Glacier
First Moment Here: Everything we see is more beautiful than the last thing we saw. Super scenic, out of this world mountains, and the lakes…don’t even get me started.
Funniest Thing We Did: Getting used to our left side rental car, Adam keeps turning on the windshield wiper when trying to indicate (turn the blinker on). It’s funny when it happens a dozen times a day.
Craziest Thing We Did: These roads are CRAZY! All kinds of hairpin turns, switchbacks and hills!
Best Thing We Did: A day of wine tasting on Waiheke island. We took the ferry from Auckland, had a hilarious tour guide and learned all about the world famous, foot stomped Syrah at Kennedy point. Even had an oyster shooter with rose.
And a boat ride in Abel Tasman National Park that dropped us off at Medlands beach. We hiked back to Anchorage beach where it picked us back up. Super fun, gorgeous hike.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Lamb at Urban in Nelson. Paired with the perfect pinot noir. I had lamb three days in a row, and picked it up again after skipping one day.
Coolest thing we Learned: All about the beer at Wanaka beer works. We went on a great brewery tour. There is a wine/beer mixture you can find (only in Chicago randomly) called There Be Dragons.
Biggest Surprise: All the barefoot people! In grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, parking lots, more restaurants.
Mystery Solved: They use so little garbage (and recycle more than anyplace I’ve ever seen) then we figured it out…they pay for trash by the bag by pre-paying for garbage bags which they fill then set on the curb. Not an “unlimited” system!!
-We got to housesit for the two cutest doggies (Frankie and Milly) and watch a lovely home in Auckland. The homeowners were the sweetest!
-Our hike to Franz Josef glacier started out drizzly but when we got there the clouds moved so that we could check out the bright blue glacier.
-The birds singing in Abel Tasman National Park are amazing, never heard anything like it!
-Got to stay with Jodie’s family in Hokitika. (We met Jodie on the Great Wall of China) They treated us to an awesome meal at the local pub, showed us around their beautiful garden and we even got to meet (and pet) their sheep! So wonderful.
Check out more photos by clicking on the photo links below!
Where We Went: Sydney
Funniest Thing We Did: Right bus, wrong direction. Took the bus in the wrong direction, got off and started heading the right direction, when we got a text that changed our plans so we got off the bus again and headed back the in the other direction…again.
Another funny thing: We ran into this guy who wanted a picture of him and this wall, so we asked him to take one of us too. Who wore it better?
Best Thing We Did: New Years in Sydney was an unforgettable experience. We got to see this city come alive with tons of tourists and Aussies alike out about town celebrating! When it came to fireworks time, there were so many fireworks going off all around us in Darling Harbor we didn’t even know where to look.
Tastiest Thing We Did: We found an amazing breakfast place in Chippendale (near our airbnb) that we ate at two mornings in a row. Amazing!
Dumbest Thing We Did: Book an airbnb that didn’t have aircon. We didn’t even think to check for it but apparently most places don’t have it.
Coolest thing we Learned: We heard a story about the early settlers speaking with aboriginals when they saw a kangaroo and asking “What is that?” The aboriginals replied “Kangaroo” which means, we have no idea what you’re saying. Also, an early convict was sent to Australia for forgery. He was an amazing architect and is honored today on their $10 bill.
Biggest Surprise: You can’t order coffee, they don’t have brewed coffee at coffee shops. You must specify which way you’d like your espresso fixed up!
Mystery Solved: Tasty versus Extra Tasty - words used to describe how sharp cheddar cheese is.
-We met some great people: Paul at the dive bar and Leo at Frankie’s pizza. Shared some stories and some beers. Good times.
-We met up with Bryan and Darcey who we had met during our live aboard experience on the Great Barrier Reef.