As expected, our trip has flown by in many ways and we only have approx 3 months to go. I should probably add a disclaimer to the name of this blog, as it’ll actually only be 10 months we spend in New Zealand, book-ended by other travel.
We’ve got some decisions to make about what we want to do before we leave and how to stretch the budget!
These are a few things we have in mind…
Return to Queenstown
We packed in as much as we could to our 2 day stop in Queenstown during our south island tour, but it just wasn’t long enough. If money was no object we’d love to spend a fortnight on the slopes, as the region’s ski season starts in June. Unfortunately as beginners the cost just seems to rack up too quickly.
An alternative might be a long weekend in a hotel overlooking the jaw-dropping views. I’d also like to visit the Central Otago vineyards, famed for their Pinot Noir, and the hot pools. If we had a car I’d also like to get out to the neighbouring towns of Wanaka and Arrowtown.
A South Pacific island… but which one?
When we first had a chat about New Zealand in STA Travel, the sales rep seduced us with photos and tales of Fiji. We’ve found Kiwis give mixed reviews and it seems like getting off the beaten track is the best way to visit this group of islands. I’m wary of extending the travel time too much, but this Lonely Planet article might help us decide.
I’ve also heard great things about Rarotonga, a romantic isle in the Cook Islands. There’s also Tonga, which seems slightly cheaper and is a great place for spotting humpback whales.
Christchurch and Kaikoura
We’ve passed through Christchurch a few times but never managed to venture further than a short walk around the city centre. Sadly, it’s no longer the obvious tourist draw that it was once and I think we need longer to appreciate the creativity involved in building the city back up. We had a lovely couple of days in Kaikoura but the weather stopped us seeing the whales. I’d love to go back at the end of our trip to give it another go and stock up on souvenirs in the gift shops.
US West Coast road trip
We’re currently booked to spend a week in San Francisco on the way back to the UK. We’re thinking about extending this to 3 or 4 weeks and hitting the road. Tempting destinations include: LA, Portland, Reno, Seattle and Vancouver (may be stretching it!)
I’m getting quite weary of scouring the internet for flights and packages, so we might seek some professional advice for these final bookings!