Australia, New Zealand · 13 Days · 44 Moments · March 2017

Lynne & Del's OAT trip to New Zealand

17 March 2017

Today is our last full day in Wellington as well as New Zealand. We fly back to Hawaii tomorrow. We went to the Museum of New Zealand. What a tremendous Museum Nd it's FREE!

16 March 2017

More views of Wellington.
Wellington is likened to San Francisco with the bay, hills, cable cars, winds, etc. Also like Hollywood because of the movie making done here.
Last couple of days left so we are touring Wellington. Stopped at the Weta workshop where movies 🎥 are created like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, etc. very cool.

15 March 2017

Additional sites around Christchurch.
We are going to ChristChurch to look at some of the damage done by the earthquakes and the reconstruction before flying to Wellington.
We stopped at Rubicon Valley sheep ranch for tour and lunch.
Pics of areas where Lord of the Rings and Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe were filmed.
Incredible vistas of the Southern ALps.
This morning we're driving to Christchurch through the Southern Alps. Picture of Mt Cook in the morning as we leave Hokitika. We headed over Arthur's Pass.

14 March 2017

More pics of the Paparoa National Park with pancake rocks and blowholes.
We continue to Paparoa National Park. Pancack Rocks and Blowholes.
We're driving through Buller Gorge. We're driving to Cape Foulwind. We are going on the seal walk to see NZ fur seals. We also saw a Weka bird 🐦.
We then went to the Great Museum of stuff. So many antiques and cool stuff to look at.
Today we are driving to Reefton to learn about it's mining history. We had billy tea made with manukau that helped sailors not get scurvy and biscuits. Yum!

13 March 2017

Tonight we stay in Hokitika right by the beach. We stopped at the Westland Greenstone manufacturer where we learned about creating the greenstone jewelry.
Today we drove to Franz Josef glacier. We walked in the rain 4.25 miles and 8,744 steps to see the glacier through the low clouds.

12 March 2017

We stopped at Fox Glacier.
We continued on and stopped to walk out to the Tasman Sea.
More vistas along the way.
Today it's raining ☔️ but we're traveling by bus 🚌 through the Aspiring National Park and the Westland National Park. We'll cross the Haast Pass and drive along the Tasman Sea. We will stay overnight at Fox Glacier Hotel. We stopped at a bungee jumping spot. We stopped at the Aurum Winery and tried their wines.

11 March 2017

The nature walk and views of some of the movie locations.
We're going on the Hamilton Jet on the Dart river. This was super freaking FUN! The water is so clear.
Took the water taxi to Queenstown today to go on a bus to get to the jet boat 🚣🏿. Before we took the bus I got my nails done by a very sweet Kiwi gal. We went on the Glenorchy Rd to Glenorchy. It was named after the founder Glen Orchy a Scotsman. The view is spectacular!

10 March 2017

From rainforests to fur seals to incredible waterfalls Milford Sound is SO WORTH SEEING!!!!
We went on a boat on Milford Sound which is a Fiord. We went out to where it meets the Tasman Sea before coming back in.
National Forest pics of our day. Stopping at Lake Gunn where Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Today we are going to drive through Fiordland National Park and then take a boat ⛵️ on Milford Sound. The views just keep getting better and we haven't gotten to the National Park

9 March 2017

Went to Arrowtown which was a gold mine town in 1860. Still has many of the original buildings. A real working red phone booth.
Pictures of mountains as we fly into Queensland.
Today we leave Rotorua for Auckland on Air New Zealand and then to Queensland on the South Island.

8 March 2017

Tonight we are going to a Maori Village for dinner and show. Del once again was chosen to be chief for everyone there which represented over 15 countries. The host greeted each country in their language. AMAZING!! We watched them come down river to greet us, then we saw them uncover the food, chicken, lamb, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing. YUM!! They did the greeting with Del chief, a girl who won a trip to New Zealand sang a song. They then did dances and songs. Then we ate. We then went to see glow worms.
We went to the Waimangu volcanic valley. Itis in the New Zealand part of the ring of fire." After lunch we walked a trail along the river seeing the sulphuric steam and the went on a boat to see the crater where it erupted. It is considered still active. We also saw some mud pots.
Today it's pouring!🌧. So this morning we're going to the Kiwi Encounter to learn about these very unique animals. They're nocturnal and almost impossible to see out in the wild.

7 March 2017

Before going to the hotel we are going to see the redwood forest 🌳. The New Zealand fern has silver on the bottom of their leaves.
We have arrived at Rotorua and Lake Rotorua which is a caldera and has hot springs everywhere.
Parts of the area we are driving through was where the Hobbits lived in the filming of Lord of the Rings. The vines through the bus window are the kiwi 🥝 fruit. The figures are made out of corrugated metal.
We had lunch at Ray & Dorothy's milk farm. We learned about their becoming an completely organic farm. They talked of the changes they've made to farm this way. What a treat to meet this couple.
Inside pictures of The Woodlands.
This morning we drive by bus 🚌 to Rotorua. We will be doing a home 🏡 hosted lunch at a dairy farm. We stopped at an historic homestead called the Woodlands. Beautiful home and grounds.

6 March 2017

Rode the ferry over to Devonport isthmus in the afternoon. We walked up to the bunker area and Mount Victoria with the 360 view.
Today is a tour day of Auckland. We went to the Maritime Museum and then got a quick lunch. We are meeting with a Maorian man, Prince. Del is our chief for our group and will be doing a greeting with Prince and then we will sing This Land Is Our Land. We then met his wife Catherine and their two grandchildren who served us tea, biscuits, crackers and cheese, and fruit.

5 March 2017

We met Scott , our leader after going through customs. We're going to our hotel, the Amora.
Up early...4:30 AM😩. We fly to Auckland New Zealand this morning having said goodbye to our leader Liz. Looking forward to meeting our new leader Scott.