The time is really ticking down now, only 6 weeks until we fly away home to the Land of the long white cloud. I’m already really excited and trying to work out a basic plan. Three weeks is not even close to enough time we would need to properly inhale New Zealand. So sadly this time we will not be visiting the South island. It would have been too expensive and a bit too rushed. I’m a bit disappointed as I’ve only ever been as far as Nelson and I was looking forward to bungee jumping in Queenstown, sailing around the Milford sounds, crossing the cook strait to Wellington on the inter islander. But these things will just have to wait a while longer.
Next trip I will dedicate a lot more time to the South island and go from the bottom to the top like my brother did a few years back with his best friend, starting at Stewart island. So now that that decision is made, we are able to decide what takes precedence in our three weeks. Because it will be Dion’s first trip to NZ I want him to experience all the glorious sites Aotearoa has to offer but I don’t want us to feel burdened by engagements and scheduled days.
So far we have a very loose plan which starts with us flying into Seoul to break up the 24 hour flight. I wrote about this here. It will be a good chance to have a breather from the confined air plane space and smells, and tick another continent off the list. We’ll arrive in Auckland and spend a few days with my sister then take a super cheap flight to Wellington. I hope Wellington’s best weather will grace us for these few days. My parents will meet us there and we’ll drive back to the bad lands of the Manawatu. Here we’ll have a relaxing few days in my old home and I’ll get back behind the wheel of my dad’s old car. I can’t wait to drive again after so long. We'll slowly make out way up to see Napier, Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga, and the Coromandel.
It’s just proving to be a bit of a trial to sketch out rough travelling dates and transport.
We’ll try to leave our weeks fairly open but we do collectively have a few must do’s: Maori village (hopefully a hangi) beaches, meeting a new family member, rivers, lakes, Dolphin safari, lots of eating, jumping off something high, good Kiwi beer, catching up with friends, volcanoes in Auckland, dog walking, games of Settlers, Fish n chips on the beach, Te Papa museum, Thermal pools, Waiheke island, pies, corner dairy milkshakes and of course see a Kiwi. Seems like a lot, hopefully we’ll fit it all in.
I remember the last time I went home for a holiday was after spending my first nine months in Korea and I had nine days in NZ. Stepping out of Auckland airport that day and breathing in the Kiwi air was rejuvenating. I can’t wait for the moment I walk out of the arrivals gate. Counting down!