Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania · 24 Days · 36 Moments · December 2017

J&K honeymoon: a tour through New Zealand

10 January 2018

So sad to be leaving this amazing country. No doubt we'll be back!! Now on to a couple of chill out days in Singapore before heading home!

9 January 2018

Enjoying our final night with some Pinot Noir in Jucy Snooze. Might have to try out a Jucy camper next time we're here - they're everywhere!! For 3 weeks here, we've checked off a good amount of the main attractions. However, might need a trip back here to finish them off!
A long drive from Queenstown to Christchurch, with a couple of stops at Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo and Geraldine for a tasting platter of beer!

8 January 2018

We were due to do a fly-cruise-fly to the Milford sound but 10 mins before we were due to be picked up it was cancelled due to bad weather!! So we jumped in the car and drove 4 hours each way instead, and boy was it worth it!! Not actually a sound at all, the fiord was formed from a glacier which carved it's way through the rock during the last ice age. It then melted, and sea levels rose to fill this massive valley. A stunning location full of waterfalls and wildlife! After a 2 hour cruise, we were dropped of at the underwater observatory - basically the opposite of an aquarium, where the fish could come and look at us in a glass tank!! 🤣

7 January 2018

TSS Earnslaw: an original steamship still operating on Lake Wakatipu. It takes a tonne of coal an hour to power the engine, and it moved surprisingly fast - up to 16 knotts!! The trip is about 1.5 hours on the water, and you could even get high tea if you wanted! We opted for wine... unsurprisingly!
Exploring Queenstown - a really cool little town with some amazing bars, restaurants and cafes. And what a sunset!!

6 January 2018

Quirky little Arrowtown! An original mining town which has kept it's old style character!
The drive from Fox Glacier down to Queenstown through Mount Aspiring National Park and we found some gorgeous rivers, waterfalls and general views! Tried to go for a dip but oh my was the water cold!! Matching the gorgeous ice blue colours.
The MOST AMAZING experience. Heli-hike on Fox Glacier!! We spent about 4 hours watching the sun come up from the glacier, walking around and exploring ice caves. And what cool views from the helicopter as well!!

5 January 2018

Beautiful Lake Matheson, Mount Tasman and Mount Cook. As our Heli-hike was cancelled today due to windy conditions, we spent the day sight seeing the rest of Glacier Country. Absolutely stunning!!

4 January 2018

Third stop, and we finally got too see a Kiwi!! No pictures allowed, so this was internet sourced. They're nocturnal birds and very rare to find, despite once being one of the most common birds found in NZ.
Second stop of our West Coast drive: Punakaki and the pancake rocks and blowholes. Pretty cool, and amazing views!!

3 January 2018

Stop 1 on our West Coast drive of the South Island: Cape Foulwind. An absolutely beautiful little town, with really friendly people. We took a coastal stroll to meet the local Seal colony and we were fortunate enough to see a tiny pup being fed by mum!!😍

2 January 2018

Abel Tasman National Park: what started as a seriously drizzly and wet hike of the coastal trail eventually picked up to blue skies, and gorgeous beaches. It was another 13 mile, 30000 step day, walking from Torrent Bay - Bark Bay - Onetahuti - Awaroa, where we were welcomed with wine and beer at Awaroa Glamping site. Whilst we spent the night battling with HUNDREDS of mosquitos, it was a truly spectacular day and night. Had we had more time I would have loved an extra day to Kayak round the remailing bays, see more seals and hopefully even a Penguin!! An overnight stay on the AquaPackers, a backpackers lodge on a boat floating out at see would have been pretty cool too! Might have to come back again, what a shame 😆

1 January 2018

And time to head to the South Island!! On to the ferry, and through the Marlborough Sounds!

31 December 2017

We welcomed in the New Year on the Wellington lagoon. An amazing evening of 70s and 80s live music was put on by two amazing singers and a full orchestra. We had Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Queen, The Who, Elton John, The Beatles and loads more. We sung, danced, laughed and had an amazing night. A truly memorable new years eve, and what a start to 2018. Could Wellington be our favourite place so far?!
Our second day exploring Wellington. Cuba street is a cool place, with loads of restaurants, cafes and shops. On top of that, rather than the green man to indicate you can cross the road, the whole street has green Amy Winehouse's!! So cool. We then went on the cable car up to the viewpoint, and visited 'the space place' which is a museum and observatory. Had never realised, but you can't actually see the North Star in the southern hemisphere. Similarly they have a 'Southern Cross' which we can't see in the North!

30 December 2017

Cheeky stop in Woodville on the way down to Wellington. Found an awesome cafe serving cream soda milkshakes. Living the dream!
An amazing day exploring Wellington. We happened upon "the Oasis" a cool little outdoors bar. It had an old ambulance transformed into a beer van, amazing street food, FROSÉ (yes, that's right, frozen rose!!) and a fantastic singer playing tunes all afternoon. Unsurprisingly we didn't leave for a fair few hours!!

29 December 2017

Hawkes bay: obligatory vineyard tour, on a tandem!! Amazingly, there were no arguments, however Kyle was a TERRIBLE backseat passenger!! The 'On Yer Bike' company have such a cool thing going on. You can rent a bike (or tandem) and hit the cycle trail to visit up to 8 vineyards. Each offer wine tastings for $5 (!!) which they waive if you buy something. So much fun, even if it did rain!

28 December 2017

Exploring Napier (although I admit this pic isn't my own - we forgot to take any!!) These houses are called the 6 sisters, built from wood, by a father for his 6 daughters. The fact they were built from wood is the only reason they survived the earthquake in 1931 which reduced the rest of the city to rubble! After the earthquake, the city was rebuilt in a 30s art-deco style and remains that way to this day.

27 December 2017

So we had really wanted to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but due to bad weather it was closed!!! So we opted for a different walk, still at the Tongariro National Park, but at a lower altitude to avoid the snow. 5 hours, 13 miles, 300-odd floors (according to the Fitbit) over/up the volcanic national park to Tama lakes: two beautiful blue freshwater lakes that have formed in craters created during the volcanic erruption. We got sun, gail winds, rain and hail!! We were both really quite sore and tired after!!

26 December 2017

Given we were missing out on the family boxing day run, I got us up early on boxing day (Kyle wasn't best pleased) and on the road to the Waitomo glow worm caves. We spent 5 hours absailing (35 metres - bloody terrifying), zip-lining (in the dark!!), caving and black water rafting (cave water is COLD). We even climbed up 2 waterfalls!!

25 December 2017

Christmas day!! Bucks fizz, all-day Moscato, a swim in the pool, a swim in lake Taupo (which has pockets of thermally heated water - amazing!!), and a BBQ. A pretty unusual, but lovely, Christmas day!!

24 December 2017

Christmas Eve part 2: we took a boat ride to see Ngātoroirangi, māori rock carvings on lake taupo. An amazing sacred artwork surrounded by smaller carvings depicting tupuna (ancestors) and kaitake (guardians) that are pivotal to the history of the local māori tribe.
Christmas Eve part 1: Huka Falls - the only river to drain from Lake Taupo. The heavens opened and we got soaked!!

23 December 2017

Te Puia Maori experience. We had an amazing evening of song, dance and incredibly cooked food. Pictures don't do this justice, but I do have videos I will try upload!
The Redwoods!! Amazing place with so much to do!! We chose a 5km loop walk, but you could horseride, bikeride, do a tree walk (!!), Or choose different lengths of walk - all the way up to an 8 hour "tramp"!!
Wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland. This part of New Zealand is nicknamed "the shakey isles" due to the number of tectonic plate movements they experience which literally changes the physical landscape!! This whole area is naturally heated and the sulfur in the water changes the colour of surrounding rocks. Pretty cool!!

22 December 2017

Geothermal mud bath, followed by sulphur spa!! Our skin is feeling as soft as a baby's bottom. However, we do keep getting a waft of rotten eggs following us around - can't be us still can it!?? 🤣

21 December 2017

Yes, that's right. We went to hobbiton. Not only did we do the full tour, and geek up our knowledge of the Lord of the rings, and Hobbit films, but we also had a grand banquet at the one and only green dragon, and had a party in the party field. It was AMAZING.

20 December 2017

After our lovely day on Waiheke island, we decided to get dolled up for an evening of city sight seeing...from the sky!! Sky tower, Auckland: viewing decks on levels 52 and 60, a cafe with AMAZING frangelico espresso martinis (with a scoop of ice cream as well 😆) on level 51, and Orbit-360, a restaurant that actually spins as you eat on level 53. The spinning took a little while to get used to, but the views and food, phenomenal.
Given we got married in a vineyard, we saw it only fitting to spend our first full day of honeymoon doing a bit of a vineyard-crawl on Waiheke island! Obviously not the ONLY thing we did though. Had a couple of lovely walks on the beach and through the vines across the island. Lovely day!
We're officially in New Zealand!! No upgrade on this flight either, but they did treat us to a glass of bubbly on arrival! Thanks Air New Zealand!! 1am out the airport so will start our adventure in the morning 😄

18 December 2017

Made it to Singapore! 28 degrees at 9pm.... Brief stop before our next flight first thing tomorrow
And we're off!!! Goodbye cold, drizzly UK. Next stop: Singapore!!