Entries from 'New Zealand'

New Zealand Budget Breakdown

Our blog continues getting further behind as we keep traveling and struggle to find time to write blog entries, but I will be diligent in keeping our budget posts coming as we complete the blog entries for each country. New Zealand, although not nearly as expensive as Australia, is still not quite a budget traveler’s…

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“One Hobbit Stamp”

This post is a heartfelt shout-out to Sgt. Sarah Wilson and Ms. Trina Tauvela of the Auckland Airport, my dear Uncle Alan and Aunt Daphne and the honest person who found my wallet: Him and I were standing in the security checkpoint line at the Auckland Airport, chatting about potential occupations (Kitten Wrangler, Professional Sumo…

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Rotorua stinks…literally!

After the wedding, we had a few days at our disposal before catching our exit flight to Singapore. We chose to spend it touring the geothermal wonders of Rotorua.  When we explained our plans to Her’s English family members, several of whom had visited Rotorua en route to Auckland, they bristled at the mention of…

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The missing link between homo sapiens and fowl?

So our new year didn’t exactly start off on a high note, but we spent the next two days — before taking the ferry to Waiheke for the wedding — making up for it by cramming in a colorful garden and exploring a few volcanoes. In the Domain near the Auckland Museum is the splendid…

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A room with a view

I felt the bed shake as Him suddenly jerked upright beside me. “The window!” Fully awake now, I watched as he flung off the covers and walked briskly to our hostel room’s window. And then I too remembered and  grew alarmed. I joined him at the window and peered down to the single story below….

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A 12-hour, nearly odor-free bus ride

We had stocked our bags with trail mix and fruit before boarding our 12-hour bus ride from Wellington to Auckland, but we soon learned our provisions had to be consumed in utter secrecy. John, our bleary-eyed, semi-retired bus driver, does not like food on his bus. And, as he warned us before each pit stop,…

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Middle-earth (Or at least the middle of New Zealand)

I’m not sure if this is always the case, but when one tours Wellington just before, during or after a Tolkien-related theatrical premiere, there are signs. Everywhere. Times Square-grade Bilbo Baggins posters cloak entire sides of buildings. Gandalf banners flutter from light posts. Elephant-sized fiberglass trolls glare at passersby. While it seems the entire Kiwi…

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Winding roads and rough seas

We spent the morning before we had to head out toward Picton doing some kayaking around Abel Tasman park.  The Kaiteriteri Kayak company was our operator of choice, and we decided on a two-hour self tour around the bay.  We arranged the excursion through our lodge, but it is possible to just show up at…

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Christmas abroad

Kia Ora!  We’re a tad behind on our posts, but we’re working to catch up!  In the meantime, a very belated Merry Christmas to all of you! Christmas Day abroad was a strange experience for both of us.  Her and I have spent every Christmas of our lives with at least one of our families,…

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Fur seals, insects, and serious Lens Envy

The drive from Charleston to our lodge just outside of Abel Tasman National Park on the sixth day of our trek would take approximately 3 hours if one were to drive straight through, but it’s worth spending an extra couple of hours to explore Cape Foulwind.  This negatively named area of the West Coast was…

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