We are publishing this blog from an airport hotel in Tahiti, having arrived yesterday just before midnight. As we’re catching an internal flight this morning, it seems a good time to share our last blog on NZ.
We’d been in NZ a month, travelling around North Island, covering nearly 5,000Km. Adding 3,000Km in Tasmania, Aus., we’ve driven 8,000Km in seven weeks, quite staggering really considering there are few motorways as we know them, just one lane state highways with a passing lane every so often and a maximum speed of 100km an hour. In particular, Marilyn will remember police cars that were attracted to her, following her in the hope that she will eventually make the mistake of not slowing down each time the speed limit reduced, sometimes to 25 kpm but she outwitted them, waving them goodbye when they eventually lost the challenge! We enjoyed the trip immensely, especially the spectacular scenery that we witnessed on most of our drives and some of the spontaneous walks that we undertook, in particular when a sign read ‘waterfall’. We had a selection of New Zealand’s summer weather and were repeatedly told that it is the worst summer for a long time; fortunately we were equipped with a selection of all-weather clothing. Most of the out-of-town places that we stayed in were very provincial, with very little choice in the way of accommodation and eateries but that was part of the charm.
We are now looking forward to chilling out in the South Sea Islands of French Polynesia.
Here’s a quick recap of our NZ blogs:
- Returning to New Zealand after Nine Years
- Napier NZ, Stunning Art Deco Architecture and Hawke’s Bay Wineries
- Wet and Windy Wellington NZ
- Taupo and the Central Plateau NZ – mushy rather than soft centre
- Six splendid days relaxing at the Bay of Islands – plus best photos
- Delights of Doubtful Bay and Spectacular Scenery Northland NZ – with best photos
For completeness, we’re sharing links to our blogs on Tasmania and Melbourne too:
- Farewell Tasmania – Wine, Wilderness and Wonderful Food – Best Photos
- Farewell Tasmania – Wine, Wilderness and Wonderful Food
- Tasmania – Exploring Coast to Coast
- Journey to the End of the World – Tasmania, Australia – Best Photos
- Journey to the End of the World – Tasmania, Australia
- Our Tasmanian East Coast Adventure – Best Photos
- Our Tasmanian East Coast Adventure
- Tasmania – Some first Impressions
- Great Ocean Road, Australia – Best Photos
- A week in Melbourne largely on foot
- Melbourne – Best Photos
- Melbourne – First Impressions
Reflecting, NZ has changed since we were here nine years ago, when we spent three weeks on South Island. It’s become expensive by international standards but is still probably cheaper than Australia. Highlights for us were the spectacular natural scenery, friendly people, excellent walking, fascinating history, the multi-racial culture and learning about the Maori people.
To summarize, we enjoyed New Zealand’s North island immensely and would rate it as one of the most picturesque places, probably on the planet but certainly not the cheapest! Simply, lots of wonderful memories for us but we hope our blogs have given friends, family and fellow travellers a flavour too. For us, they are part of the memory.
For something completely different, we’ll share some thoughts and photos on French Polynesia, so please stay with us.