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!