Day 200: Happy New Year from Sydney

Day 198: Queenstown, New Zealand

We visited Queenstown after leaving Milford Sound.  It was another must see destination and quite honestly, we could have spent three or more days here, just exploring all of the shops, restaurants, and surrounding activities. Here’s the beginning of our journey to Queenstown. It started with dramatic snow capped mountains and gushing waterfalls, then transitioned to soft blue mountain backdrops with purple, yellow, and pink flowers and green blue lakes. Next, we crossed over a flowing, bright blue river as we entered Queenstown.  It was quite a lovely welcome. Queenstown is a… Read More

Day 197: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

We were told by trusted resources that if we were going to spend time on both North and South Islands in New Zealand, we should spend 1/3 of that time on the North Island, and 2/3 of the remaining time on the South Island.  We now completely understand why.  South Island offers some of the most stunning vistas from snow topped mountains to intensely shaded blue green waters, and colorful flora and fauna.  It’s staggeringly gorgeous.  Below is just a fraction of the scenery we were treated to. We were also strongly encouraged to… Read More

Day 196: West Coast, New Zealand

We enjoyed the gorgeous views driving along the West Coast of South Island,  New Zealand.  We started very early this particular morning, as we had done some Freedom Camping close by the night before.  We began our day at Westport heading south along the west coast, and then driving through the Haast Pass. The drive was spectacular, but I imagine you are tired of hearing me say that!  So…see for yourselves. What you’re not seeing here are the waterfalls running off the cliffs and into the ocean! Punakaiki, also known as “Pancake Rocks”… Read More

Day 189: North Island, New Zealand

We’re blown away by how beautiful New Zealand is and this post is just about the North Island!  There is so much to see and do here, it’s incredible.  I’ve put this short blog post together to just summarize a few of the beautiful things available to see and do on the North Island.  Hope you enjoy. First, just a few quick tips I gathered along the way: 1.  One of the best ways to explore New Zealand is with a Campervan.  Kea seems to be one of the best, as their… Read More

Day 188: Milford Sound – “Don’t Do It!”

“Whatever you do, do NOT drive yourselves to Milford Sound!”  Those are the first words we heard when talking to a native New Zealander about our upcoming trip to Milford Sound.  Given that we were considering doing so in a Campervan made us hesitate slightly about our choice and we almost re-considered but chose to do it anyway. Why the warning?  Because Milford Sound receives thousands of visitors each year, and can become overly crowded, not to mention the large, dangerous, speeding tour buses trucking along without a care in the world… Read More

Day 187: Couchsurfing in Christchurch

If you’ve never heard of Couchsurfing, it’s a site that allows users to travel to many destinations around the world and stay for free with strangers who may soon become friends.  It is literally, at times, staying on someone’s couch.  This works really well for singles and small families, as not only do they save on accommodation costs, but they end up making really neat friends along the way who also love the city they live in and are willing to share “insider” secrets. Of course, the very thought of Couchsurfing had… Read More

Over-all About Our Time in Tahiti

We stayed in Tahiti for about a week. We spent 5 days on the island of Moorea and 2 days on the actual island of Tahiti. There were many fun things that we did there, but the best part was that it was relaxing. After having done so many errands in California, it was nice to get a break in Paradise! While we were in Moorea, we stayed in a bungalow. My parents shared one above the water and my siblings and I shared one overlooking the water. The views were quite… Read More

Day 186: Abel Tasman

I’ve long wanted to visit Abel Tasman, located north on the south island.  I’ve heard many wonderful things as well as seen some amazing photos of this area.  Once we arrived though, it was almost overwhelming to choose what to do, as there are so many different treks you can take in this area.  We finally settled on one that we thought would be challenging but not overwhelming for the younger children. The drive to the starting off point (northeast Abel Tasman) was a bit hair-raising, as we were driving in a campervan… Read More

Day 183: From Bloggers to Friends – New Zealand

When we finally decided to do a Round the World trip, I was hungry to know who else had done it and how they had accomplished it!  I started researching online and stumbled upon a fantastic blog.  The authors were a family from Portland, Oregon (Jason and Kerri) who had made the same decision but were doing it for two years with their daughter, Sydney.  Their blog, was a fantastic resource but I also just enjoyed reading about their family, their decision-making process, and their experiences.  I soon began following their… Read More