New Zealand

Traveling without a plan

September 13, 2010

Opening ourselves up to new experiences is part of the intrigue of travel. Our best travel stories are of the unexpected surprises along the way… positive and even seemingly negative at the time. Things that happen which give us a jolt, put us on a different trajectory, let us see a situation in a different […]

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New Zealand Travel Books

May 10, 2010

Good travel books can be an essential ingredient for trip preparation as well as a ready reference while on the road. Though there are other travel books on New Zealand, the three below were the ones we used for planning our trip. We ended up packing them all, and used them almost every day as […]

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Queenstown, NZ

April 17, 2010

We arrive in Queenstown in the evening about 7 hours after leaving Dunedin. The Taieri Gorge train takes us part of the way and then a bus completes the trip. Our niece, Jaime, is in Queenstown visiting from Maryland and we are very excited to see her, so we quickly settle in our hotel and […]

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Dunedin, NZ

March 28, 2010

Our first stop on the 226 mile drive from Christchurch to Dunedin is Oamaru. An historic seaport town nestled on the South Island’s east coast. While Oamaru’s early wealth was founded on gold, it was agriculture that provided the driving force for a thriving commercial port and harbor area. Although commercial usage has steadily declined over […]

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Akaroa, NZ

March 21, 2010

A scenic one hour drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is a quaint little fishing village located on the southern side of Bank Peninsula. Akaroa sits at the edge of a beautiful harbor inside the eroded crater of a huge extinct volcano. Originally a French settlement, the streets have French names and local restaurants focus on French cuisine. […]

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Christchurch, NZ

March 9, 2010

Revived after our 5 nights in Nelson we are ready to head to Christchurch. Jay was there in November/December of 1975 after a summer gig in Antarctica installing some electronics he had designed for a University of MD atmospheric project. We have been thinking about visiting since then, so I am excited to finally see […]

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Nelson, NZ

February 28, 2010

We arrived in Nelson in the afternoon after taking the ferry from Wellington (North Island) to Picton (South Island).  Nelson is a charming town with a Victorian flair to many of the homes. Landing in Nelson for 5 nights at the Victoria Villa we look forward to a respite within the vacation. Cooking our own […]

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Wellington, NZ

February 23, 2010

Often the motels in NZ have laundry facilities and that is where I was a few hours before hitting the road for Wellington. The old washer/dryer were quite slow and a very friendly lady from Wellington stopped by with her wash. She was curious about our travels and when she heard that we were off […]

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Hawke’s Bay, NZ

February 22, 2010

The drive from Napier to the wine country is a scenic and easy drive, just 11 miles south. While in Auckland, a local wine merchant in the Stables suggested half a dozen wineries that were his favorites. Among them, were Clearview, Craggy Range, Black Barn, and Te Mata Estate.  He recommended Black Barn for lunch. […]

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Napier, NZ

February 19, 2010

Reading about the Art Deco architecture and beautiful coastline attracted us to Napier. We later learned that the town had been almost completely destroyed by a large earthquake in 1931 and in rebuilding the townspeople went wild for Art Deco! Arriving in town without a reservation we canvassed the waterfront which is lined with accommodations […]

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Mount Maunganui, NZ

February 15, 2010

Today is a short travel day – we are leaving Hahei in the Coromandel and driving to Mt. Maunganui.  Right out of town we stopped at Cathedral Cove Macadamias. Our first time seeing a macadamia tree, we learned about the challenge of growing and harvesting them in New Zealand. They have a small stand on […]

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Whitianga, NZ – Coromandel Peninsula

February 6, 2010

New Zealanders impress us as a very friendly and helpful bunch.  Several people in Hahei had mentioned a great dinner spot in Whitianga called Salt. Whitianga (pronounced Fitianga) is a short 15 minute drive north of Hahei.  The best part of the journey is the little ferry that takes you across the estuary into town. […]

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Thames, NZ – Coromandel Peninsula

February 6, 2010

After successfully navigating the roadways on the left side from Auckland we arrived in Thames for lunch! Our first look at the Coromandel area – lovely terrain with green seas, tropical lush vegetation, big skies full of clouds. We popped into a small organic food co-op on Pollen Street for some almond butter and rice […]

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Hahei, NZ – Coromandel Peninsula

February 5, 2010

Pulling into Hahei we began to look for lodging. After some searching we found a Garden Studio at the Cathedral Cove Lodge Villas part of the Hahei Holiday Resort. Simple and clean the room is just a stone’s throw from the beach and was available for two nights. Yahoo! Jay quickly headed off to the […]

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