Singapore Part I: Little India
Singapore Part II: Chinatown
Releasing hawkbill turtles into the wild.
Nightly entertainment at Bounty Island Resort
Where We Went: Fiji (Nadi, Natadola Beach and Bounty Island)
First Moment Here: The first night we were in Nadi we were eating dinner on the beach and there was the most beautiful sunset. A great way to start the trip.
Funniest Thing We Did: Hang out with two awesome women from Scotland that kept us laughing. #laughteryoga
Best Thing We Did: Two days on Bounty Island, a tiny island with white sand beaches, crystal clear water and “Fiji Time”. We went paddle boarding and the water was so clear you could see tons of blue star fish on the bottom of the ocean.
Tastiest Thing We Did: We went to a Fijian restaurant in Denaru Island called Nandina and had all sorts of amazing Fijian cuisine, from their version of ceviche to prawns. Yum!
Coolest thing we Learned: “Bula” means hello, welcome and is used as s general greeting, sort of like “aloha” or “pura vida”.
Biggest Surprise: That people can drink Kava. There was a nightly kava ceremony we thought we’d check out and after one sip of the stuff, we are surprised people willingly drink it. After seeing how they make it, we were even more surprised.
Mystery Solved: We kept wondering what this thing on the horizon was, trying to zoom in on it with the camera and figure it out. Turns out it was Bounty Island, the place we went and spent a few nights. Lol.
Where We Went: Christchurch/Sumner Beach, Picton/Marlborough, Napier/Hawke’s Bay, Mt. Cook, Lake Taupo, Rotorua, Waitomo, and Hamilton
Funniest Thing We Did: Adam saw a sign that read ‘exit’ so he decided it would be awesome to drive through mounds of gravel in our hatchback corolla through the vineyard to a gate that was closed. Then I had to get out to open the gate, let the car through and close the gate behind the car. So embarrassing.
Craziest Thing We Did: We went in the limestone caves in Waitomo then boarded a boat in pitch black and were taken through glowworm caves lit up by millions of glowworms on the ceiling. It was crazy because it was like nothing we’d ever seen before and everyone has to be completely silent.
Best Thing We Did: Wine tasting in Hawke’s Bay. We went to five wineries, all the tastings were free and we met some very cool people along the way. The wine region is especially gorgeous because of the surrounding bay. Adam was the awesome “DD”. Thanks, babe!
Tastiest Thing We Did: My favorite meal was “Green Tipped” mussels harvested in the Marlborough sound served just minutes away at Le Cafe in Picton. We also drank lots of good wine in the Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay regions. Then, in Napier I had the best scallops I’ve ever tasted…paired with amazing wine, once again.
Dumbest Thing We Did: Go 13k over the 100k speed limit. Got an $80 NZD speeding ticket. Turns out we got another speeding ticket via mail from a camera, plus, we got a parking ticket! Such an industry there!!
Coolest thing we Learned: We went to the Quake City museum in Christchurch and learned about the devastating earthquake and how the city has been rebuilding since. 185 people died and much of the city has not been rebuilt.
Biggest Surprise: For a small country it was kind of a shock that we drove 2,919 miles!!
Mystery Solved: When we saw “A Bowl of Cheerios with T-Sauce” on the menu we had to inquire. Turns out they are mini hot dogs and ketchup.
Check out more photos by clicking on the photo links below!
Where We Went: Wanaka, Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Cromwell, Mt. Cook, Lake Tekapo, and Fairlie
Funniest Thing We Did: Eat about 20 PB&Js per person.
Craziest Thing We Did: Adam took the 43 meter plunge off a bridge via bungy! Dipped into the water and came out of it all alive. Watch the video here:
Best Thing We Did: Milford Sound cruise. We drove from Te Anau, boarded the two hour cruise and a few highlights were driving the boat under a huge waterfall and seeing a bunch of fur seals.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Fergburger! It’s a must eat spot in Queenstown where they have amazing variety. I had the lamb burger with mint jelly and Adam got the NZ beef burger. They also had deer and other great options. Fun experience, well worth the wait.
Dumbest Thing We Did: We thought we had a confirmed airbnb one night but it turned out it has been declined. Luckily, or maybe not so much, the owner of the restaurant we were sitting in owned a hotel and booked a night for us. When we got there it was really dirty and didn’t have an ensuite. Adam was a trooper, Chelsea was glad she travels with a pillow case.
Coolest thing we Learned: Milford Sound isn’t actually a sound, it’s a Fiord. It rains there almost every day of the year which means there are tons of waterfalls emptying fresh water into the fiord, amounting to 12 feet of fresh water covering the salt water from the Tasman sea below. There is a unique algae in the water dramatically affecting how cold the water gets so sea life usually found at 100m can be found at 15m. The whole “sound” area was created by a glacier 2,000m deep that melted, leaving crazy tall sea cliffs and allowing the Tasman Sea to fill it.
Biggest Surprise: We continue to be amazed by how gorgeous it is. Post card perfect around every corner. We’ve even stopped taking pictures and stopping off at lookout points because there is just too much to see and too many photos to take.
Mystery Solved: We were so in awe of the color of the water and couldn’t figure it out until we read a sign that told about the rock particles suspended throughout the water (some have settled on the bottom) from glacial melt. So cool!
-If you live in a place where you think your weather changes quickly, think again. The weather here changes as you cross the street. It feels like it changes about 20* at a time, back and forth, mixing in rain and wind with scorching sunshine.
-There are hydrangeas of all colors growing by the thousands, queen anne’s lace and lavender growing like weeds and so many other gorgeous wild flowers in pinks and purples growing roadside.
-Took a quick detour from Queenstown to Moke Lake as well as driving up to 118 Lensman Rd. for a very - great tips from our airbnb hosts!
Check out more photos by clicking on the photo links below!
No photos allowed so here is what we saw in the cave (via their website):
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.
Where We Went: Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
Craziest Thing We Did: Night dive with white tipped reef sharks. Other fish have learned to hunt by flashlight so you get to see some action. Also hid our lights and got to play with phosphorescence.
This was taken off the back of the boat, right where we got in and out of the water. See the shark?
Best Thing We Did: Stay on a live aboard and SCUBA, SCUBA, SCUBA. Chelsea got to have an up close encounter with a sea turtle and we both saw tons of cool fish, etc. at the Great Barrier Reef.
Tastiest Thing We Did: The food on the live aboard was all amazing!
Coolest thing we Learned: Adam got his Advanced Open Water PADI certification so he went on a deep dive, navigation dive, boat entry, night dive and others.
Biggest Surprise: The insane amount of beautiful coral and unique types of sea life. (See Cairns post!)
Mystery Solved: Coral bleaching (where the algae aka color leaves the coral) does not happen from sunscreen or people touching it, global warming aka ocean temps rising are the cause.
-Met so many great friends on the live aboard from counties around the globe - Sweden, Finland, Australia, Germany, US, and many more.
-Each dive was better than the last, we had so much fun on all 8 dives!
-We spent Christmas and the day after with a few friends we met on the live aboard!
None of these pictures are ours, but here is some of the stuff we saw: