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  1. Jeffrey Bruner says:

    Hi Riana. Congrats! You are going to my favorite place in the world (NZ). Been there three times, each time 2-3 weeks. I think your instincts about Auckland are spot-on — it’s a big city and frankly not that different than any other big city. I would skip both Auckland and Wellington, with the latter only staying long enough to catch the ferry to the South Island.

    On the North Island, I would focus on the Coromandel (jaw dropping drives; stay at Buffalo Lodge if you can) with Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, Rotorua (Maori culture and thermal spas) and Lake Taupo — and on the South Island the drive to Milford Sound. (It’s the best drive you will ever experience.) That’s going to take 7-10 days once you factor in the driving time.


    1. Thanks so much! Really appreciate your recommendations!

  2. Hooray! I’m glad you got in on the Fiji Air deal ! I’ve always wanted to go to that area of the world but sadly hubby doesn’t so I will have to travel there via your blog posts! Have a wonderful trip.

    1. Thanks so much, Jodie! Aw I hope your husband comes around or you find another travel companion for this trip.

  3. Helen Shafer says:

    Congratulations on your future “honeymoon” trip to New Zealand and Australia. I have not been to New Zealand but did spend four weeks in Australia.
    I do recommend Sydney as a place to visit and also a trip to the blue Mountains which I know you have already done. Also it seems like everything you spoke of is all that we did when we were on our trip there. We went mid February to mid March so the weather was really nice. We did go to see the little penguins oh I think that was in Tasmania which I don’t think you will be going there. I do have points with Worldmark and maybe could get you some accommodations. We stayed at a condo in Sydney and walked everywhere, not far from the harbor. My cell phone is 360.319.7650. My sister Ruth is coming for a visit July 31st for 10 days and am hoping to get up there for a visit with Margie. I’ll talk to Margie soon. Helen.

    1. Thank you so much! Sounds like an amazing trip you went on. Hope to see you if you make it for a visit!

  4. Kellye Hefner says:

    So excited for you Riana! Can’t wait to read all the posts!

    1. Thank you so much! We’re so excited too!

  5. Planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand in a 3-week time frame is indeed hard! I went to Australia for 3 weeks way back when (before bluetooth as well). Colin definitely needs to see Sydney. Like you, I thought Melbourne was just like any other city, too, but I loved Philip Island and the Great Ocean Road. I drove by myself from Sydney to Melbourns, GOR, Philip island and back to Sydney. I spent time in Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Frasier Island and a 3-day diving livaboard in the WhitSundays. Australia is a lot bigger than we can imagine until we get there. Good luck in your planning, and try to fly to different places as driving between cities takes up a lot of your time (Sydney to Melbourne was 14 hours, but I did just fly in from the states and had to take a few naps along the way).

    1. Thanks for the tips! Sounds like you had an awesome time in Australia. Glad to hear Phillip Island is worth it!

  6. This is so exciting! Happy for you guys and waiting for amazing posts :))

    1. Thanks so much! We’re so excited too!

  7. Hi, We are planning a trip and would like to get to both Australia and New Zealand in the same 3 1/2 time frame. I know we will have to pick and choose and just see major sites which is fine for our first time. I’m wondering which you would recommend flying in/out of, we are coming from LA.
    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Thanks for checking out my post, Liz! Your best bet for cheaper airfare would probably be flying into Sydney or Auckland (though you can check a few different major airports). If Auckland is cheapest, I’d fly there and tour the North Island, then fly to the South Island (Queenstown) and tour around there. From Queenstown you can fly directly to Melbourne. So you could fly to Melbourne, drive the Great Ocean Road, then fly to Uluru. From Uluru you can fly to Sydney and then fly home to LA from there.

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