Wednesday, November 18, 2009


After three weekends in a row of nearly solid reading, googling, researching, phone calls, emails guidebook indices, and currency conversion charts, I have the major details of our winter trip to the South Pacific booked.  Here is a little rundown of the itinerary:

We fly from New York on Christmas Eve, because that was the only day there were any seats available for purchase with miles.  It was a tight spot, because we have to be there by December 28th (the origin of this trip is boyfriend-work-related) and apparently Quantas books out 11 months in advance for mileage cash-ins, so we were lucky to get seats at all.  In any event, we fly Christmas Eve, which means we actually miss Christmas Day as a result of crossing the international date line!  We land in Melbourne on the 26th and have a few days to recover from the flight and jet lag, and to enjoy summer time by the hotel pool before the BF has to go to work.

The Australian portion of the trip is centered around work, so the schedule is a bit hectic:

December 26-29: Melbourne, Victoria
December 29-30: Lorne, Victoria
December 31: Hobart, Tasmania

January 1-3: We have a few days off, so are retreating to the Victorian countryside outside Melbourne (as close to the outback as I am going to get, I am afraid) and taking a few days at the Royal Mail Hotel and restaurant, made famous by Anthony Bourdain in his Melbourne episode of No Reservations.  I hope to visit some of his other featured food stops while in town as well.

January 4-5: Melbourne
January 6-7: Brisbane
January 8-10: Perth
January 11-14: Sydney

These days are going to be fun, but exhausting, I expect.  Luckily after Australia we are heading to New Zealand for some rest and relaxation on the North Island, and then some sight seeing on the South Island.

January 15-17: Mangonui, North Island, New Zealand at the house of friends.  I have been told about subtropical climate, sailing to abandoned beaches to swim with wild dolphins, eating good food, etc.  From here we fly to the South Island to see the sights.  We are staying in little hostels and motels (with a few punctuations of more luxurious accommodation here and there).
January 18-19: Picton and Queen Charlotte Track, South Island for some hiking, kayaking, and maybe wine tasting.
January 20-21: Kaikoura for some whale watching and cool tree houses at the Hapuku Lodge
January 22: Hokitika, on the west coast of the South Island
January 23-24: Lake Wanaka in the southern Alps
January 25-26: Te Anau, which we are using as a base to explore Milford Sound, the fjordlands, the glow worm caves, and maybe Doubtful Sound (we will see how motivated I can get my BF).
January 27: Queenstown
January 28: We are flying back to Auckland for a night before leaving the country.

And here is where things get a little crazy.  In order to get home with miles, we had to book with Air Tahiti Nui, with a layover in Tahiti.  Not a problem for me, getting to stay in Tahiti for a night... except when you are that close to what is, in my imagination, one of the most exotic, faraway destinations in the world-- Bora Bora-- you are obligated to go... even if it is the rainy season there (gulp).

January 29-February 2: Bora Bora (!)
February 3: Fly home...

When I was a kid I used to pour over old atlases, and I would dream up itineraries for month-long trips I never thought I would ever actually get to go on.  This, it is turning out, is one of those trips.  I cannot wait!

Images via, The Telegraph UK, and hawaii 5-0


  1. soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous! you are living the life Chad. LIVING THE LIFE

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