Saturday, May 12, 2012

Onward to Tahiti !!!

After breakfast it was time to get on the bus again. This time we headed west. We stopped at the Waimoto Glowworm Caves. After taking the tour of the cave system and boat ride, we enjoyed a nice lasagne lunch. Who figures on enjoying an Italian dish while in New Zealand? We then continued north, back into Auckland. Had some time to walk around and enjoy the city one last time.

Beautiful scenery everywhere you look in TAHITI !!

Next day we had to check out and went off to airport. We flew to TAHITI! What was the best part was we left New Zealand on May 10th but landed in Papeete the night on May 9th around 9pm. By the time we completed the formalities of immigration and customs and got to the hotel, it was time to sleep. When we woke the next morning we had a great view. Spend the day checking out several (5) hotels. Not so bad since all of them have fantastic views of the water and mountains.

Friday, May 11, 2012

MY TRAVEL AGENT in Rotorua, New Zealand

The thermal geysers of Rotorua
Another full day of activities. After breakfast we headed to Te Puia, for a tour to learn of the Maori culture and see where students learn the art of carving and weaving. We were supposed to be on the bus by 10:30am so we had to rush past the thermal geysers. Made it just in time for the Agrodome shop. We then went up the gondola to the Skyline restaurant for lunch and did the luge. Once that was done we had a Duck (amphibious) truck waiting for us.  We had a quick tour of Rotorua and went out on two different lakes, Tikitapu & Okareka. Around 5pm we were back in town. Then we were picked up and taken to the Tamaki Maori Village for our Hangi dinner. A full day to end our stay in Rotorua.

Sheep on display at the world famous Agrodome

Tamaki Maori Village for the Hangi feast (dinner !!)

Probably too tall to be a Hobbitt .....

I would have to kneel a lot more to fit through that front door !!

This morning was very early with a flight back to the North Island. We made our way from Auckland down towards Rotorua. We stopped at the Hobbiton, a movie site from the original Lord of the Rings series and now more recently used for the movie the Hobbit.  After taking numerous pictures since it was my first time being here, we had lunch at the Shrine Rest. We then made a stop at Rainbow Springs and learned of the Kiwi bird and saw several other birds and fish. Finished the night by eating at an Indian restaurant. I was amazed at how many Indian restaurant there were in Rotorua.

A Rare Glimpse of New Zealand's Mt. Cook

Yesterday we left the beautiful lake town of Queenstown and headed north by coach. We made some picture stops along our way to Mt Cook/Aoraki, New Zealand’s tallest mountain. What surprised me was how brown the hills were. I had remembered New Zealand’s south island as mountains and green grass for all the sheep. There was a period where we did not think we were going to see Mt Cook because of fog but in a 5 minute period it lifted and there were blue skies to go along with the blue lake and there are several of them.  Lake Pukaki, as you drive along on your way to Mt Cook has that gorgeous glacier blue green water.

At 12,316 ft., Mt. Cook is New Zealand's tallest mountain

After lunch at the Hermitage, we continued on to Lake Tekapo and saw the Church of the Good Shepard and the bronze statue of the collie dog. In Geraldine, there was a shopping stop before ending the day in Christchurch.

Although it was dark, I took a taxi ride around the area still closed off due to the earthquake damage. I had been told it was 4 blocks of the city center but learned first hand it is a much greater area.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MY TRAVEL AGENT cruising on Milford Sound .....

This morning was an early day to head out for our Milford Sound cruise. Although I have done this tour both my previous trips to New Zealand, it is still so beautiful and enjoyable. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are several thousand.

 Did sleep on the return coach ride back into Queenstown since it was the same route we took in the morning and the sun had set so nothing to see. Tomorrow we are on to Mt Cook and Christchurch.

MY TRAVEL AGENT heads for Queenstown .....

Note:  MY TRAVEL AGENT is currently in New Zealand, checking out different locations in order to help bring YOU a dream vacation to this beautiful destination.  Here's Paula's latest report .....

The weather is just great! Flying over the South Island to Queenstown, you could see the entire Southern Alps. On arrival in town, once again we did a tour of the area since it was too early to check in. We did stops at Lake Haynes and Arrowtown. We stopped at Kawarau Bridge but had no takers in our group to jump (bungy) off it. Sorry AJ Hackett, no money from us. Next stop was the Shotover  River where almost everybody did the jetboat ride. With wind chill it was sooo cold. I cannot believe they have people who do this in the winter months. We had some time on our own to walk around and explore. Queenstown is quite the quaint lakeside town situated on Lake Wakatipu. This lake is second largest of the southern glacial lakes. Unfortunately the sun is setting early so it was already dark when we went up the gondola to Skyline Restaurant on the top of Bob’s Peak for dinner.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MY TRAVEL AGENT is in New Zealand .....

Auckland Harbor filled with boats of all types, plus the Sky City Tower rising over the Auckland skyline.
"Kia Ora" from Auckland. This was my first time flying on Air Tahiti Nui. We departed LAX after midnight (half hour late) and arrived in Papeete, where we changed planes. Once we arrived, we had a short city tour since it was too early to check into hotel.  Stopped at various city skyline lookout points. The weather is beautiful. Only here for 1 night before flying down to the South Island. Enjoyed Fish & Chips dinner down on the Wharf at an Irish Pub. Although I slept a bit on the plane was in bed by 8pm.