Thursday, 9 April 2015

New Zealand!

Hi!  Long time no see!  I’ve been back from my trip to Australia and New Zealand  for 2 weeks now, and am well and truly over the jet lag – but not the post-holiday-blues!

It really was a trip of a lifetime!  We loved every minute of it!  Here are some highlights:

Our first stop was Adelaide in Australia to visit my cousin Richard and his lovely wife Jacqui.  Here they are with Maurice on Brighton beach!  They spoilt us rotten for 3 days, showing us the sights of Adelaide.




Glorious empty beaches, huh?  It was a bit of a thrill to be paddling in the warm sea wearing shorts in February! And we had a lovely wine tasting in the McLaren Vale.

Next stop was Sydney, where we visited Maurice’s nephew Mark and his young family.  Mark showed us the sights of central Sydney and the harbour, but sadly, the weather wasn’t good, cloudy and rainy! Most disappointing!


We spent a day touring the Blue Mountains.  Awesome!


And we visited a little wildlife park to see koalas and kangeroos



All too soon, it was time to leave for the main bit of our holiday, touring New Zealand by motorbike.



Once we got to NZ, we joined our tour, organised by Paradise Motorcycles. There were 4 bikes already on the trip and we joined them on day 3 of their tour. Our old friends Stewart and Sue were already there. More people joined the tour along the way until we were 12 bikes in total. We spent a few days on the North Island – where we saw lots of beautiful scenery and rode twisty turny roads - but we were assured that the scenery would be even more stunning on the South Island.  We visited Hobbiton and went to a Maori evening, where we ate food they had cooked in the earth, using thermal heat, and watched Maori traditional dances including the Hakka.


We had the calmest possible ferry crossing. It must be one of the most beautiful ferry crossings in the world!


There were lots of highlights on the South Island, not least Queen Charlotte's Drive right from the ferry! It was stunning! Every day's riding bought different scenery, from native rainforest to snow capped mountains and crystal clear blue lakes.

Highlights include;

Helicopter ride over Mount Cook and the glaciersIMGP4555

Trip to the glow worm caves IMGP4603

Boat trip on Milford Sound DSC_6587

Seeing the albatrosses and their chicks(the only mainland landing site in the world of these majestic birds)


Staying at Larnach Castle in Dunedin, with the most marvellous view from our toilet!SAM_1850DSC_6662SAM_1847

The road down into Queenstown, and having a glass of wine at the top of the gondola overlooking this wonderful view of QueenstownIMGP4593

and lots lots more!

We hadn't done a tour like this before (we organised our California trip all by ourselves), and this bought pluses and minuses! We weren't able to stop when we wanted to take photos, but the interplay and group dynamics was really great and bought a whole new dimension to our holiday.

P3130110 P3120097

Group Pic

We stayed in excellent accommodation and ate some wonderful food!


We loved being with our friends Stewart and Sue, sharing our holiday-of-a-lifetime with them! We'll be talking about it for years to come!


Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

How wonderful. I'm very envious of your big trip. The Mechanic and I have grand plans for when the children have left home! Thanks for sharing.

Helen said...

I was only thinking about you the other day, that you must be back!! What wonderful photos and memories - thanks for sharing some of them with us. I think I'd find it a bit restricting not being able to stop and take photos whenever I wanted (I tend to take hundreds everywhere!) but the group thing does sound great fun too.

alexa said...

Welcome back! And oh my goodness, what an amazing trip you have had and such wonderful photos you've given us as a taster! You have packed SUCH a lot in ..

Karen said...

I think you said it best at the end of your post---this looks like a trip of a lifetime. And what fabulous photos you have to remember it by.

Sian said...

Welcome back!

It sounds glorious. And your photos are fabulous..that's quite a collection you've put together for this post, and I enjoyed every one: the animals! the buildings! the smiles!

Alison said...

It looks as if you had a fabulous time...Welcome back! Xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

New Zealand and Australia are on the top of my list for where I want to visit.

Melissa said...

Wow - that sounds like a fantastic trip!! Thanks for popping over from Rinda's blog today - hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Sandie said...

Incredible!! What an adventure and how brave to go on the back of a motorcycle. Not sure if I'd like that - I'd be quite scared but might find I love it. You never know until you try. I discovered this after canoeing for the first time. I'd always said 'never' until then and have been several times since!
Will come back for another look when I have more time. My friend lives in Australia and has always invited us to go stay. Perhaps now we are both retired it is something we can think more about.